My name is Kelly and I am a developer. A business owner. An entrepreneur. A forever learner.
But one of the things I'm most proud of is turning a hobby that started nearly 18 years ago into the career of my dreams.
I don't want to make this post about my journey because it has been shared before, but here's the short version. I taught myself to code at 11 because I wanted to make my own guild on Neopets. Neopets turned into MySpace layouts, which turned into building my first client website (I was paid a t-shirt), and I freelanced all through undergrad and grad school. I lasted 9 months in a "real job" before going full-time freelance, which turned into building an agency.
Okay, now we're all caught up!
So why do I write this post for International Women's Day?
It's for the women who thought they couldn't do it. The women who think they're too late to get started at this point.
Let's dispel some rumors here.
I'm not technically-minded, so I wouldn't do well.
Development is art. Sure, there's some math and a lot of logic involved, but in this career we spend our days creatively solving problems. Creating something new.
I'm already [some age], so it's too late to get started now.
My dad just learned how to code in Ruby on Rails. He just helped me build a Shopify app that will be submitted for approval next month. He's not in his 20s or 30s, or even his 40s. (Sorry, Dad.) He can absolutely start a new career in development at his age, and so can you.
I'm always going to be behind.
Okay, this one's sort of true. We're all behind! That's the beauty of a career in development. There's always something new to learn, and you'll always meet people who have the answers you seek to the questions that are holding you back. There will always be room for improvement.
I'm not good enough.
Yes you are. You are fully capable of having a flourishing career as a developer. I believe in you. This community believes in you.
Let me help you. Let this amazing community help you. Support you. Teach you. But remember: you can absolutely do this. If you want it, the development community is here to help you get it.
I'm proud of being a woman in tech in 2019, and this community is why I code.