The sleeping strategy for every baby depends on the combined needs of the baby and the parents. So, let’s start with my sleep needs:

  • I have a very hard time falling asleep; it can take me up to an hour.
  • If I sleep less than a full cycle (~3 hours), I’m more sleepy and grumpy than if I haven’t slept at all. Hence, I rarely take naps, since I’d need an hour to get to sleep and 3 hours to make it worth while.
  • If I wake up after a single sleep cycle, my mind is energized and thoughts start…

At this point, I am wary whenever I hear the term “creativity” used in the domain of computer science and computer programming. Since there are so many ways to create in this world, creativity can mean different things to different people.

For example, I might look at a HackerRank coding problem to manipulate a graph structure in some way and think “I don’t want to do that, it’s not creative enough!” But to another coder, they might look at that problem and think, “Oo, interesting, what creative approaches can I use here?”

Why don’t we agree? Well, for me, my…

I love using computers to re-create real world objects, like coding a simulation of a plant growing or making a 3d animation of a lava lamp. I can rarely capture the beautiful complexity of a non-digital object, but I sure can have a good time trying! So when I come up with assignments for programming courses, many of them ask learners to program a simplified version of some IRL object, game, or situation. My hope is that the programming assignment is more interesting to learners because of its connection with the world around them.

For example, in the Khan Academy…

I’m writing this as my 6 month old daughter naps, nestled cozily under my typing hands. She’s conked out thanks to an exciting story time and a nourishing nursing session.

Before I had a baby, I really had no idea how much time it takes to breastfeed a baby. The prenatal classes gave us numbers like “8–12 times a day”, but I didn’t realize that a single session could take up to an hour.

Once I realized that I could potentially be spending 50% of my time on breastfeeding, I became obsessed with finding ways to feel productive during that…

In my talk at AnxietyTech, I showed many ways we can use tech to fight tech; technological tools that can help us use other technology in a more healthy and less addictive way.

Many of the tools that I showed were ones I built myself: tiny Chrome extensions like YouTube Unhooked, Medium Unhooked, & Twitter Unhooked. I wanted an excuse to work more on extensions like that, plus I wanted to empower other people to build extensions to improve their personal web experience.

So I decided to hold the first ever “UnHookathon”: a hackathon where the end goal is to…

Using tech to fight tech.

In the fall of 2016, I went on a four-month Buddhist retreat, which helped me learn many things about my mind. When I graduated from the retreat back into the real world, I was happy to re-discover some of my favorite activities, like dancing, playing improv games, and connecting with friends.

But there was one thing I avoided: tech. My laptop sat there for months, waiting for me to re-discover it.

I was torn.

On the one hand, tech is great. …

Computer Science isn’t yet a requirement at the K-12 level, but fortunately, there are a growing number of CS classrooms across the US. Many of those CS classes are taught by teachers that are relatively new to CS, like former math or science teachers, so they have a lot to learn quickly.

That’s where the TEALS program comes in: its a program that matches teachers up with volunteers from the software engineering industry. In the co-teaching model, the volunteers actually teach much of the first year (with the goal of serving as an example for the teacher for the next…

I’m the kind of person who loves team bonding activities. A structured activity with a goal and a bit of fun thrown in? I’m in!

And hey, if it works for teams, why not for couples?

So I created DateNight, an activity book for couples. Each activity helps you to get to know each other more, and most of them involve creativity, theatrical expression, or friendly competition. For example, “How did we meet?” gets you drawing a comic strip of your origin story, and “Random Access Memory” gets you to act out and guess memories from your relationship.

The activities…

How do companies give their employees opportunities to bond, relax, and have fun? The company “Happy Hour” is a pretty standard approach, where they get to drink (typically alcoholic) beverages and chitchat with each other.

I personally don’t much enjoy Happy Hours, for 2 reasons:

  1. I’m not that into conversation, especially of the unstructured variety. If a conversation doesn’t have a goal, then I lose interest quickly, or worse, I end up speaking about things that I would have rather not voiced (like gossip and petty talk), simply to fill the space.
  2. I no longer drink in work situations (for…

I’ve been in the tech industry since I was a wee lass, starting with my first job at Google, right out of finishing my MS in Computer Science. I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with many ways of interacting with workmates since then, and after seeing enough of those experiments go awry, I’ve now made the decision that I will not drink alcohol in work situations.

You can likely guess why, but let me first provide you with far too much information on how alcohol affects my mindstate. As soon as I drink alcohol, my mind gets consumed with only…

Pamela Fox

I’m a human that likes to learn, create, teach, and repeat.

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