I got earned a degree from Boston University in International Relations. After college, I decided to pursue a career in dancing and became a professional ballroom instructor. I hated it. I loved dancing, but I hated teaching. The people were nice, the studio was great, but teaching dance just wasn't my thing, and it's not for everyone. I didn't know what to do with my life, but I had to figure it out. My sister suggested I take a Girl Develop It class and start there.
I took my first class and fell in love with development. This was what I wanted to pursue as a career. I started applying for jobs so I can find somewhere where I can learn and improve. I had my first in person interview about 2 months into my journey. Afterwards, I did not receive an offer. I tried applying to other places and kept trying to learn new stuff, and kept being rejected and it was really hard on me.
Eventually, that first company that I had applied to, who initially rejected me, had contacted me again and asked if I would like to come in for another interview. I was wary, but I did because I really wanted to pursue this as my career. This time around I received an offer which I happily accepted.
After I gained some experience at my last job, I wanted to find the next challenge. Something that will expand my skillset and allow me to continue to grow. I spent over a year looking for something that was willing to take a look at my current available skills. I spent a lot of time and money trying to add to those skills, learning Angular and then learning React. My current role, I'm still surprised that I am here, among some incredibly smart developers. Every day, I still have to overcome imposter syndrome. Even when one of my coworkers tell me that they use my code test as a baseline for evaluating others who probably didn't know React beforehand. I overcome imposter syndrome when I'm working on something new that I have never seen before and have no idea where to even start.
I am so extremely lucky that my coworkers are so willing to answer all of my questions and don't try to make me feel stupid or feel like I should know these things. Sometimes they will use terms I don't know, because it's something you might pick up if you have more formal training, but they are ok with explaining it all because I'm ok with asking them when I don't know. I think it helps challenge them a little, too, to try to remember why they use these terms in general.
So, I might still be overcoming imposter syndrome and still doubt whether or not I belong where I am, there are days where I look back at where I started and how little I knew then and tell myself how far I've come.
My best advice I've ever given anyone who was looking to get into development (and I've told this to a fellow self taught developer) was to believe in yourself. When you introduce yourself, don't say you are an aspiring developer (or anything for that matter). You're not aspiring to do anything. You ARE a developer. You ARE a designer. You ARE doing this and no one can stop you.
Don't give up. There will be so many obstacles and things that will say no and they are so discouraging. Don't let it get you down. Keeping moving forward and find the next thing. There are so many companies that I had applied to previously, that looking back at it now, I'm glad I didn't get an offer from and didn't work for them. There is something out there that is definitely meant for you.
Be willing to always ask questions and learn something new. It's scary to ask a question and say you don't know something. But, also, it's ok to not know, the internet is a relatively new thing (it's still less than 10,000 days old!!!). It's constantly changing and growing (just like you). Something that is right today, might not going to be right tomorrow (our codebase is about 3 years old, that's younger than my own development career and it has changed so drastically since the beginning).
Keep at it. Don't give up.