If I'm being honest? I needed a better paying job. But...that isn't to say I wasn't also passionate about it! But the industry I had been working in just wasn't cutting it. Long hours, back breaking labour and little recognition. Ok ok, I know some people will jokingly go "And you thought coding would be better?" har har. But seriously...it is. I get respected for doing my work! For learning new things (Ok that part is the best in my opinion!), and I can support myself, be independent and live relatively stress free. All while building some pretty awesome things! It's not too shabby!
My lack of confidence. I had been lagging behind in promoting my work. I gave up a number of times, and you know something? I have no one to blame but me! I decided to start promoting my accomplishments more and the work I do (back end work just gets no respect! No respect I tells ya! Insert Rodney Dangerfield tie yank here...). And because I go out of my way to make myself more visible I'm leveling up in ways I couldn't have foreseen! So heed my advice! Toot your horn! Be proud of all you accomplish...and don't forget to lift others up too just in case they're feeling low! You'll both end up the better for it!
My tenacity and research kung-fu. I don't know everything. I'll never know everything. But dammit I'll turn over every rock and resource and find things people think are un-findable!
Let us speak! Seriously. I have a tremendously supportive workplace. Not one of my co-workers would deliberately hold me or any of my non-binary etc colleagues back. With a loving BUT...boy they sure do like to talk eh? I get it. When you've been the source of all knowledge in your field for many a year it's probably habit to talk over some people. It's not always done with malice. But sometimes, those of us with non-traditional backgrounds, or newer perspectives have something to add! We're wrong or don't have all the information a lot of the times, but there have been enough that I've pointed out something that was overlooked and it ended up being a really important piece of the puzzle that I know it's super important to let everyone have a say. Not to say that everyone's knowledge is equal. But we grow and learn if we feel like we're safe and heard! So...next time you're in a sprint planning meeting or trying to sort out a bug...ask your juniors/non-binary/anyone who you think doesn't get a say what they think! You might be surprised and...they might learn something! :D