Welcome! I'm Heidi Newton
I'm a programmer, writer, and computer science education enthusiast currently residing in Sydney, Australia. While I was born in and lived in New Zealand for most of my life, I moved to Sydney at the start of March 2019 with my parter James and our 2 cats, Shadow and Mowgly.
Before we moved to Sydney, James and I both worked for a company called Code Avengers, which makes online courses teaching people first learning computer science and programming. You can look here at a list of the courses I've developed if you're interested.
In addition to my work at Code Avengers, I previously worked on the Computer Science Field Guide and did a software engineering internship at Google Sydney.
I went to the University of Canterbury and studied Computer Science for 4 years, completing both a Bachelor of Science and a Postgraduate Diploma of Science. After that, I still wasn't sick of studying so went on to do a Master of Science at Victora University of Wellington. My thesis is in the area of autonomous mental development, and involved developing a really complex learning algorithm. I plan to release this algorithm on github once I've had a chance to clean the code. In the mean time, you can read my thesis.
It was actually the Google Intership I did back in 2014 that was the catalyst for moving to Sydney as I loved the city and so took James on a holiday there in 2018. To cut a long story short, he also loved it, and so applied for jobs in Sydney soon after and accepted an offer with Canva. We think the cats have finally forgiven us for putting them on a plane. A little known fact is that you don't need to put cats in quarantine when bringing them from New Zealand to Australia. That definitely made things easier!
In my spare time I do a lot of Python programming and algorithms for fun, and you can often see me competing on Leetcode, SPOJ, etc inorder to learn new algorithms and techniques. My current goal is to get into round 3 of the Google Code Jam in 2020. I intend to share a few of the coolest algorithms I learn about on my blog, along the way. In primary school, my favorite things to do were writing and participate in math competitions. Some things just never change.
Aside from programming and math, I also love the outdoors and bird watching with James. Well, Shadow and Mowgly also like bird watching (all 4 of us share a hobby!), however I suspect that might be for a different reason. Both New Zealand and Sydney are amazing places for nature walks.