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A CPPNow Travel Guide

Disclaimer: This blog focuses more on the travel and community aspects of CPPNow rather than the technical side -- if you're looking for the latter, there are (or will soon be) many trip reports written by people far more intelligent than I who cover this. I feel that the atmosphere and inclusiveness of a conference is just as important as how good the content is; if you disagree, this is not the blog for you.

Last year I put together The Beginner's Guide to CPPCon detailing my unexpected but incredibly pleasant adventures in Bellevue. I figured that would be my last report until CPPCon 2018, but life has a funny way of surprising you, in the form of more C++ conferences.

I'd heard of CPPNow -- formerly known as BoostCon -- from Ben, who attended the 2017 conference, but I didn't know much about it other than it featured much more advanced C++ content than CPPCon. When I asked if I should attend, he inadvertently scared me off of it by telling me I probably wouldn'…
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The One Decision I Never Thought I'd Make

You're unlikely to see me streaming World of Warcraft anytime in the near future.

Wow. There's a sentence I never thought I'd write.

I started playing in February 2005 after seeing my boyfriend at the time running around Stranglethorn Vale on his gnome rogue. "That looks like a fun game," I said. He rolled his eyes and gave me the most condescending smirk ever. "Yeah, right. You probably wouldn't like it." Of course, this made me even more determined to play it, and after 13 years of frolicking through Azeroth and a few years working for Blizzard itself, I think I can safely say screw you, dude.

I've seen the game evolve over the years and it's always been my Main Game, the one that I always end up running back to no matter how many other MMOs I've tried -- and there have been a whole heck of a lot of those -- and the one game where I've immersed myself in the minutiae, learning everything I possibly can about the mechanics and the lo…

Remote = Control: Taking Back My Life with Remote Work Opportunities

Despite putting on a brave face about it, and knowing in my heart that leaving behind my career in the games industry to focus on my health was absolutely the right move for me, admitting that I'm too ill for traditional employment has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

A lot of well-meaning people express envy over my ability to spend the day in my pajamas and binge Netflix. On the surface, this does sound admittedly great -- for about the first two weeks. When you're someone who's used to being the smartest kid in her class, or the standout employee; when you're the person who technically started working before they were even old enough to do so legally, selling crafts and original fashion designs or picking up odd jobs here and there; and most of all, when you live in a society that emphasizes how much you can produce over everything else, the switch from doing something to doing nothing destroys your self-esteem and feeling of worth.

As unhealt…

New Year, New Stream

I've been on hiatus from streaming for close to a month now. My next stream is slated to go live on Wednesday, January 10th now that we're past the holiday whirlwind; typically that time slot is dedicated to my World of Warcraft guild's Ret Pally Rehab raid team as we blast our way through whatever dungeon is hot right now (Antorus, at the time of this posting). I love my guild and I love the community and I love the privilege of gaming with everyone live and on-camera.

I hate that damn stream.
It sounded like a great idea at the time, and I think a lot of people even consider streaming in the first place because on the surface it sounds incredibly easy. Step one: open broadcasting software, step two: open game, step three: pewpew with an audience, right? Anyone could do this all day!
But a big part of streaming is keeping up your energy. Part of that is making sure that you have people in your channel to chat to you while you play and give you something to do, an audience …

Finding Your Zen for the Holidays in Spite of Everyone Else

I'm really fortunate in that this year I will be spending another Christmas with my amazing significant other, and doubly so that his family is joining us for the New Year. There's even a good chance that my parents will be here, too, and while in the past this may have been something of a mixed blessing, I'm proud to report that we are all in the process of checking ourselves before we continue to wreck ourselves, so this is now something to celebrate, although it's slightly terrifying that my mother and I are now each other's Sane Person.

In short, it's shaping up to be a good holiday. A busy one, and I'm trying to avoid thinking about what it's going to be like to make menus and cook and clean for that many people without incapacitating myself, but as the anxiety starts to rise it really helps to remind myself that they're good folks, Brent, and they're not like my first ex's family who hated me largely because I was Jewish.

...Let's …

Wrangling Ghosts and Fighting Evil

Good lord, has it really been almost two months since I last updated my blog?

There's been a lot going on -- mostly good stuff, thankfully. I found accidental success with my CppCon trip report, raised $800 out of my $1000 goal during Extra Life for All Children's Hospital, and tried to get started with NaNoWriMo. I'm sorry to report that the last one on the list has not been going particularly well. It's just too difficult for me to write on a deadline, especially with my current schedule. At the moment, plans are to write that darn book for sure, but to do so bit by bit and on my own time. 
In addition, I managed to unlock Affiliate status with my Twitch channel! This means that viewers can now subscribe to me for a couple of bucks per month, and in doing so they get exclusive emoji, immediate access to my past broadcasts, double entries for giveaways, and my undying love. Originally I was on a three-a-week schedule, but literally the same day that I got my Affiliate…

A Beginner's Guide to CPPCon 2017

When we last left our heroine, she was just stating that although she'd be accompanying Ben to Seattle for his talk at CPPCon 2017, she wouldn't be attending the actual conference...

There were a few reasons I didn't intend to go. For one thing, I'm very much a C++ novice, just wading my way through the beginning of my education. I assumed that there would be nothing there for me, and although the conference is quite reasonably priced -- less than $1k for a whole week of content! -- I was unsure as to whether it would be a waste of money for my skill level. Plus, there's that pesky impostor syndrome that sneaks up on me with a less-than-friendly reminder that I'm highly unintelligent and that should I dare darken their doorstep I would be swiftly exposed as the fraud I really am.

Indeed, I had planned a whole week of excursions and exploration in Washington State when Ben invited me to dinner with him and a few colleagues from the conference.

My experience as a…