Richard Ng

EdTech, Climate, Future of Work, DE+I

Learn more: what's a Now Page?

This version: 2021-01-03

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.

What's new in my life?

🎄 An interesting Christmas

An odd Christmas for lots of people, and not any different for me in that respect. For as long as I can remember, I've spent Christmas in Newcastle with family who live there. This was the first year where that didn't happen, which was a bit strange.
All things considered, though, I felt pretty well-rested throughout the period - and pretty festive! I had a Christmas jumper out most days in December.
(I also managed to eat an enormous box of Guylian chocolates mostly by myself 💪)

💭 Big picture reflections on 2020

It's undoubtedly been a terrible year for the world - but a pretty good year for me personally, on reflection.
I'm pretty happy where I've ended up with work during the course of this year, I've met a lot of interesting people across the world in a very pandemic-enabled Zoom fashion, and I think I've undergone a lot of personal growth.

🔭 A look forward to 2021

I've found that I seem to work best on a much smaller time-horizon than one year - an enormous amount can seem to happen even in a single month.
So, I don't really have any particular ambitions for 2021. The closest thing I have to a New Year's Resolution is a goal to tend to my new digital garden on as many days as I can, even if it's only very small and incremental edits.
But I do feel pretty optimistic for the year - like I'm in a good place with strong prospects, exciting projects and great people around me.
What am I focusing on?
Here are some questions that I'm thinking about and working on:

How do you empower emerging software engineers?

I've been building a lot of curriculum content for Academy recently (where I work as Programme Lead), and am doing a lot more ahead of our Cohort 0 launch in late January.
Some thoughts I've been having whilst doing this:
  • So much of software engineering is working within an existing codebase - why don't more training programmes emphasise that? It's something I'm very interested to test out with Cohort 0.
  • What's the right balance between 'helping people develop independence and their own learning muscles' and 'giving them the support that they need to succeed'? I don't want Academy Scholars to learn to be dependent on formal instruction.

How do you support and accelerate diverse talent in tech?

This is still on my mind (and will be for a long period of time, I suspect). It's not a problem that's going to go away any time soon.
(Come see me talk about this and other themes at Inclusive Recruitment: How to find and hire people who aren't like you.)

How can I use my expertise to support others?

I've recently joined the advisory board of eWorker, a startup incredibly aligned to things I care about. They've built an evidence-based, matching and hiring platform for companies to access the top 1% of remote software engineering talent from Africa - helping tech teams find senior talent and be intentional on diversity.
I don't have loads of time, but am always interested in chatting to others who I can help - feel free to reach out if this sounds relevant to you or anyone you know.