In this entry I talk about two important moments in my life that occurred these past few weeks; graduating from university and being chosen as Brilliant Newcomer of the Year at the .net Awards.
It feels like every entry here starts with a declaration of how busy I've been recently, however, refreshingly, this isn't the case with this one. I've had the past week off work and have been deliberately taking things easy. In all honesty I don't see my job at Mozilla as work, but I've decided that it's still a good idea to take a break every so often. My body even took the time off as an opportunity to get ill. Why does that always happen?
Fortunately, it turns out that taking the past week off was a good idea. Two very important events happened recently and it has been nice to stop for a while to savour the moment. I'd like to share them with you.
First class graduate
My proudest moment these past few weeks has been graduating from Bournemouth University with first class honours, the highest award that I could've received.
I'm so chuffed to receive a first, it really makes the past 3 years of university life feel worthwhile. Now don't get me wrong, I would've been happy with any award (it's all about the experience, after all) but graduating is all the sweeter when you know you did the best you could do.
My final year work at university consisted of the production of Rawkets, a multiplayer HTML5 game, as well as the research and writing of my dissertation on Twitter sentiment analysis. To this day I still don't know how I managed to do all of that on top of writing a book and interviewing for Mozilla at the same time, and still come out the other end with a first!
I have to say that it's feels weird now that university life is officially over. I've been working at Mozilla for nearly 6 months and have well and truly settled into real life. The independence is exhilarating, even simple things like renting my own place and not relying on student loans any longer.
In all seriousness, I'm over the moon to have even been nominated by everyday Web-folk for such an award. Winning the thing wasn't important, it was just the icing on the cake really. Plus it means people now have to refer to me as Rob Hawkes BA(Hons) — Brilliant Newcomer 2011, which is nice.
So thank you to everyone of the 125,000 people who took part, especially those who nominated and voted for me. I really really appreciate it. Everything I've done in this industry over the past 13 years I've done to help, educate, and involve others. Hell, it's why I enjoy working at Mozilla so much! Knowing that this work has been noticed is not a requirement for me but it's certainly a very nice feeling indeed.
Lastly, I'd like to give a quick shout-out to my fellow Brilliant Newcomer nominees, Harry Roberts and Lea Verou. I've said it before, and I know it's cheesy, but they're both brilliant newcomers to me. Check 'em out!