Richard Ng

Tech, education, startups, D&I

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Learn more: what's a Now Page?

This version: 2020-12-01

What am I up to right /now?

What was I up to back then?

This was my /now page. It was written with two main goals mind:

  1. To answer the prompt:
    1. Think of what you’d tell a friend you hadn’t seen in a year.
  1. To provide focus, clarity and public accountability on my goals.

This edition of /now is a bit on the long side, as my first - future ones should be smaller!

What's new in my life?

🏠 I've left London for Birmingham

Having been in London since September 2017, I left in March 2020 - just before the first national lockdown in England. I basically took a look at my small rented London room, and decided that it would be pretty miserable to work remotely from there.

So, I did a classic 'boomerang' and moved back into my parents' home in (greater) Birmingham.

It's been pretty comfortable - odd being back with them for the longest period of time since legal adulthood, but my standard of living has certainly been good.

🔚 I quit my job mid-pandemic to take a 'GAP year'

Quitting job in a pandemic seems odd, but I did it!

I'd started as a Software Engineering Coach at WhiteHat back in August 2019, and made a lot of great memories through the work - but I knew in May that I wanted to leave.

As I quit, my plan was to take a year of trying out various projects, like a gap year.

You can read more about my decision here - in brief, it came down to looking for more Growth, Autonomy and Purpose (conveniently also forming the 'GAP year' acronym!).

🌱 I joined a great seed-stage startup

I joined Academy as Programme Lead - exiting my 'gap year', but in keeping with the GAP themes:

Growth: a company with incredible growth prospects

It's not every day that you can join the founding team of a company with such high calibre in founder and investors.

Autonomy: joining at a stage to really shape things

As a seed-stage startup, there's lots that is still getting built out. This means that I get the ability to shape things pretty significantly.

Purpose: solving problems that I really care about

It's an opportunity to focus on problems I've been thinking about a lot:

  • How can we empower people to have control over their future?
  • How can we increase diversity and inclusion in tech?
  • How can we build strong communities of learning and growth?
 
What am I focusing on?

Here are some questions that I'm thinking about and working on:

How do you support and accelerate diverse talent in tech?

This is a question that runs through lots of things I'm doing:

  • Programme Lead at Academy: building a new generation of leaders in tech
  • Teacher Training at Code Your Future: coding courses for refugees and asylum seekers
  • Coding Instructor at Black Codher: coding course for Black women

How do we get more people from tech working on D&I?

There are lots of great organisations working on D&I in tech that deserve support.

What if we could mobilise greater numbers of people in tech to support these organisations?

(I'm currently working on something for this - please email me if it's of interest!)

How can I use my expertise to help even more?

Not many people sit across tech, education, startups and D&I in the way that I do.

I'm exploring what I can do to use this to help others with my expertise:

  • open-source course building?
  • value-add angel investing?
  • public writing and thinking?