Monthly round-up: May 2016

In what feels like no time at all since the belated last monthly update, may I present to you: May!

Every week in May involved at least one flight (sorry, environment), and a lot of time away from home. Building on the time I’d spent away in the previous month, it all added up to a pretty draining period and I’m glad to be back at home for a while now, not least to spend some quality time with my Xbox… I mean boyfriend…

Scottish transformation

Half of the month was spent on the Scottish transformation Discovery project that I mentioned in my previous update and sadly can’t say too much about. Most of the time on-site was spent at the client’s offices in Edinburgh, but myself and the internal team also travelled to Glasgow as well as meeting other stakeholders at their premises in Edinburgh. We managed to cram a lot into a reasonably short space of time, ending up with some real evidence for what we were investigating and some clear ways forward for what should be focused on and how. The work is now progressing much more widely, and I’m hopeful that I’ll start to hear some more news publicly soon.


The latter half of the month was spent with a week in Warsaw for Front-Trends, and a week in New York for EmpireJS.

Front-Trends was great fun, and there was an excellent bunch of speakers who I really clicked with over the course of the week. It was also brilliant to be able to spend some time with the lovely Jaco who I’d met at Fronteers, and Marco and Rocco from From The Front whilst they were on attendee duty for once. Outside of my talk I was also MC for a day of the conference, coincidentally on the day where all of the technical problems seemed to occur, including a power cut brought on during the first talk! All in all it was quite an experience, but one that I really enjoyed.

Space Club venue Space Club disco ball Conference audience
The amazing ‘Space Club’ venue, complete with huge disco ball

I sadly didn’t have too much time to enjoy Warsaw itself apart from a very brief wander with Tammie (and friend) and Rachel before I had to run to the airport, but over the week we had some excellent food and drink and I’d like to go back at some point.

After a single day back at home and several loads of washing later it was back to the airport, this time with the added novelty of Gatwick, to fly to the US. I flew with Norwegian on a Dreamliner which was new for me on both fronts, but thankfully managed to sleep most of the flight so I didn’t have too much time to take in the experience.

EmpireJS was held in the amazing setting of Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and despite coming off the back of another 3 day conference for me, somehow managed to have unique content so that I didn’t feel like I was watching repeats of talk variants. It was my first US conference outside of Adobe MAX (which is another world entirely), and I loved experiencing the differences with European conferences – you wouldn’t have got front-end karaoke in Poland!

Speaking at Empire.JS
Speaking at Empire.JS

I was pretty happy with my talk this time around, but I think that this will have been its final outing now. I received two other invites to speak at great conferences whilst I was out there, but I’m going to try to spend a bit less time on speaking and a bit more focusing on work and being at home for the rest of this year.

Outside of the conference I managed to have a couple of days to myself either side of the event, and got to see (and eat) some new bits of New York that I hadn’t got to in my previous trips. It was 30° over there, and I made the most of the glorious sunshine before coming back to the usual British mizzle.

Everything else

Due to being away for most of the month I wasn’t able to squeeze in too much more, however I have been checking in with a couple of the start-ups I work with. One is currently testing their prototype and I’ve been providing some feedback (and trying to break it with awkward paths!). It’s great to see it become more ‘real’ and I’m looking forward to it being designed up fully once everything is nailed down. The other is pretty much ready to launch, which is very exciting for them, and from what I hear they’ve been getting some really good feedback from within the industry they’re working in.

Read more from the blog

Back in time:
Monthly round-up: April 2016

Forward in time:
Monthly round-up: June 2016

Posted by Sally Lait

Sally is the lead consultant and founder of Records Sound the Same, helping people with digital transformation. She's also a speaker, coder, gamer, author, and jasmine tea fiend.