Hi, I’m Rebecca! I live in Yeppoon, Queenland, Australia. I was born in Rockhampton, a 25 minute drive away. I grew up in Yeppoon and have lived here all my life, except for a 3 year stint in Brisbane as a senior developer slash consultant at Readify (now Telstra Purple). I recently built my own home on an acre block in a lovely estate in the middle of the bush. I’m about 12 minutes from Yeppoon and 12 minutes from Emu Park, a smaller coastal town that I absolutely love. Even though I’m in the bush I’ve got town services and fixed wireless broadband (suitable for Zoom and 4k streaming) so I’m quite happy.
I live by myself most of the time, which I can find incredibly lonely, but every second weekend I am joined by my 12 year old kidlette who shares my deep interest in biology. He wants to be a biologist—this was my backup career if IT didn’t work out so I’m very excited about living vicariously through him. We spend our time together talking about video games, biology, physics, philosophy, politics, and mental health. Kidlette is my favourite human and best friend. I don’t have or want pets despite constant pressure from my mother and kidlette to do so, because a lot of the time I feel like I can only just look after myself, and a pet would be too much. I have a house plant that is apparently impossible to kill—turns out if you forget to water it for three months it’s possible.
I enjoy woodwork—I have a large shed but I still need to get it wired up and get my tools out of storage before I can get back into that hobby.
I also love playing around with music; I play guitar badly, ukulele passably, and I can sing Billy Joel’s classic Piano Man quite well although it would require alcohol and a karaoke machine to prove this publicly. I am lucky enough to have a dedicated music room, with a desk set up with a MIDI keyboard and a small analog synth, and a drum kit that kidlette bashes around on quite well. I have Logic Pro and I want to start making some EDM‑ish Aphex Twin inspired tweakery.
With the larger than average block of land I’m on I would love to build a permaculture garden and get a few chickens—I enjoy gardening and chickens are my second favourite bird. The great Australian white ibis is of course my favourite bird. I gained much appreciation for them during my time in Brisbane and I’m blessed with a small flock that wander around the estate sometimes. I had nine on my front lawn once, that was such a good day.
Spoons means that after work I generally crash out on the lounge with a book for a while, then turn on SBS Viceland and watch Forged in Fire while trying not to think about making dinner until it’s physically uncomfortable. I do try to be a little social, I love going out to markets or the occasional Sunday cafe breakfasts.
I am neurodiverse. I have ADHD, and I also live with (sometimes severe, always present) depression and anxiety. This manifests in different ways. I try not to mask as much as I did in the past, so sometimes I might give TMI. I prefer to be open about my experiences and how I’m going, and in doing so I hope to give a safe space for others in similar situations to be more open. I have had a fair bit of experience with depression and mental health issues throughout my life. Learning about neurodiversity, mental health, diversity, equity, and inclusion are special interests of mine.
When I left Readify around late 2015 I moved back to Yeppoon, and I’ve worked in a number of remote positions since then. Most of the time I’ve come in as a senior developer, but then fairly quickly moved into team lead and CTO‑ish roles. My last job was at Automattic (the company behind WordPress), where I started as a code monkey (yes that was my job title) but after a year or so I became a team lead. When my lead decided to leave the company I put up my hand and became Head Of Development, leading two teams and building out the admin interface in WooCommerce.
While I was in that position I started professional coaching with Kate Jenkinson (Next Step HR). Receiving professional coaching is a perk offered to all employees at Automattic, but I was initially very hesitant about it. When I first met Kate I felt an instant rapport, and over the next year plus we worked on many of my core limiting beliefs, on how to build psychologically safe spaces, and how to take my team along with me.
I really loved working at Automattic—my teams were so great to work with, and I spent a lot of time in contact with my two product directors and my immediate lead. It was an absolute pleasure and I learned so much about technical, team, and personal leadership, project management, and about myself.
I probably wouldn’t have considered leaving Automattic any time soon, however I had an opportunity to move kind-of horizontally, into a position where I could potentially still apply strong technical and product skills, have a good impact as a leader, but also bring my ND/MH, DEI, and coaching interests into my professional practice.
Working with Kate Jenkinson helped me develop my coaching skills with my team, and this sparked a real interest in becoming a coach myself. I’m planning on doing a certification in professional coaching during 2023, and to use these skills in my current position.
I’m currently (as of October 2022) a senior consultant at SixPivot, where I have a very mixed and growing bag of responsibilities. I’ve been working with a number of different clients, doing exploration and system/application reviews so far. I’ve also started working on plans around developing: