Steve Brewer

Ruby Developer

Pride 🌈

08 July 2017

"Do you ever stop smiling?", my friend Simon asked me a few weeks ago as I left work with a huge grin about god knows what. Not often, no. I'm happy, confident, powerful, bold, open, alive, enthusiastic and proud in almost everything I do. But it hasn...

My experience as an Uber driver in London

27 March 2017

I'm Steve, a Ruby developer at FutureLearn, a company that offers online learning in a huge range of subjects.

Specifically I help build and maintain the front and back end of our Rails app. I work on the degrees team, where we've just enrolled the...

Why we need to praise and nurture ideas

13 March 2017

There's a certain amount of confidence building we all need in the work we do, especially juniors, especially recent hires and especially creative people who expose their work continuously, which is an exhausting and often terrifying thing to do.

...

When I knew I was ready to be a developer

15 January 2017

I spent all my summer break from work as a primary school teaching assistant learning to code. I was 28, interested in online learning, and there was all this talk about online code schools. I wondered how that would translate to education generally...

Why it matters that you know I'm gay

10 January 2017

I told my team at work that I'm gay at a meeting about how we want to work together last Summer. When I first decided I would do this, out loud and in front of everyone, my initial internal responses were unkind. "You shouldn't do that, it's unprofessional...

It's not just about rights: LGBT people still need you

10 January 2017

A friend of mine took me to Gay's the word today, a gay bookshop near Kings Cross, and I bought a book.

It's called Straight Jacket: How to be happy and gay, by Matthew Todd, former editor of Attitude magazine. Before you worry, what compelled me...

Using the big picture to support your team

10 December 2016

Details on their own can be useless without the bigger picture. If we hone our ability to pay attention to tiny details and then connect them with other details, we can build a bigger picture that's useful for guiding a team in the right direction...

Building a Social Network at FutureLearn

08 October 2016

A variation of this post is also published at FutureLearn.

Watercooler began life as ‘SkillShare’, a prize-winning idea at the FutureLearn Hackday back in June. The aim was to build an internal, company-wide app where people could post a list of skills...

What is a Front End Developer?

25 September 2016

Here's what being a front end developer means for me on the Learner Sales team at FutureLearn:

This week I wrote code that makes our app generate a digital award for learners who have completed a program at FutureLearn. Our talented designer Kieran

Willpower is finite

15 September 2016

On Tuesday I began seeing a personal trainer who babysits me for an hour a day at the gym. He makes sure I a) go and b) do things while I'm there.

So when I get home from the gym, I eat everything. Bag of Galaxy counters? I'll have those. 200g bar...

Notifications are dead

07 September 2016

I've purged literally every single notification but my work calendar. No more interuptions from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, SMS or anything except calls.

Why? After reading Deep Work it's hit me how much time I waste being disturbed. How much...

Getting Settled at FutureLearn

30 August 2016

I'm now three months old at FutureLearn! 🎉 It's tradition here to share feedback with new starters at the end of their three month probationary period. So today I had the pleasure of reading four pages of what my peers had to say about me. Spoiler...

The importance of play in learning to love Trello

17 August 2016

Also published by FutureLearn. When you’re growing quickly as a company, with lots of new people joining and new things happening all the time, not everyone has a chance to get properly to grips with all the tools being used day to day.

FutureLearn...

Learning Exposure

10 July 2016

I used to think I had to learn everything I needed to know in order to be a developer, before I could become a developer. I'm not sure why I thought I would enter a job and know all I needed to know to carry it out, but it's a natural assumption to...

Reflection on Skilling Up

26 June 2016

There's a scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I'm reminded of a lot lately whenever I catch up with my new skills. I suddenly realise there's something I've wanted to do for ages but haven't been able to, so it lay forgotten.

There was a character...

To FutureLearn and beyond!

18 May 2016

I’ve just been hired for my first developer role, and words cannot describe how excited I am right now. I think my response to this news was “I’m the happiest person alive right now”. Way to play it cool. I could have waited for the salary negotiation...

Getting Things Done

17 April 2016

There are a million posts about Getting Things Done, and a thousand on using Trello for this and of course, a whole book. So I won’t go into massive detail, I’m just pitching support.

I organise my life with Trello, and it’s perfect for the GTD philosophy...

Presence

14 April 2016

Drunk Tank Pink is beginning to touch on this more, but everything around us - the symbols and imagery - affects the way we think, feel and perceive the world, based on associations we’ve made in the past. Amy Cuddy’s TED talk resonated with thousands...

Self-Censorship

13 April 2016

I’ve just had a phone interview for a developer role from heaven, and in my eagerness to present myself well, I sent over a redesigned version of my CV that I had adapted for developer roles. It was shorter, and removed parts relating more to education...

What I'm Reading, 2016

12 April 2016

With my new concentration superpowers from meditating, my consumption of books has rocketed from one a month to one a week. My goal in 2016 is to read 50.

I track my reading on Trello. Here’s my bookshelf board. But here’s a list of my favourites...

Meditating

09 April 2016

Learning is simple. You’re either paying attention, or you aren’t. At any given moment you’re either absorbing words and turning them into images your brain can comprehend… or you’re thinking about something else.

Most of us don’t notice when our...

CodeWars

09 April 2016

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" — Aristotle.

I had my first ever code meetup today in Shoreditch. Like, in public with actual real-life people, and it was the next level in my code education.

The goal was to conceive a kata, which...

Learning to Code

05 April 2016

Treehouse have nailed education. Ryan Carson’s faculty of teachers conjure up detailed, light and engaging videos which you can play at a speed to suit.

The videos are broken up regularly by quizzes and code challenges to keep you engaged, check the...

Balance - The 109th Bead

04 April 2016

So recently, I have been…

  • Learning
  • Meditating
  • Reading
  • Organising

Elizabeth Gilbert introduced Eat Pray Love by explaining how she structured the book, and this bears an uncanny relevance some life-changing processes for me:

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