I have been fascinated by code ever since the good ol' Myspace days! When I figured out that there were patterns and sequences in the markup to my profile page that I could learn to manipulate, I was hooked. I took a Java class in high school which opened my eyes, because I learned that not only could I change the way things looked on my screen, I could tell the computer exactly what I wanted it to do within my program.
When I had to pick a major in college, I was torn between graphic design and computer science. I have always been a visual person, and the calculus and other mathematical requirements for a CompSci degree scared me, so I picked the former. While I loved learning how to design, there was always a little voice in the back of my head that said, what if?
Fast forward to four years into my professional design career. Leaving my short-lived stint in print design behind, I found my passion lay in designing websites. I work at a smaller company, and departments work closely together. I found myself jealous of the front-end developers that I began to work with. They were actually building the sites! I remembered how much I loved to tinker with code and felt the pull to start learning again. It didn't take long for my very observant and supportive manager to realize my latent love for coding and help me pursue a new path in my career; one in which I could both design AND build websites.
Many of my new skills are learned on the job from my fellow devs, the majority of whom either went to school for programming or have been doing this for many years. It's easy to pigeonhole myself into the "newb" spot, since I have only been doing front-end development for about a year now. However, I have come to realize that the "newb" spot is tricky because it can sometimes be an excuse for me. "I can't learn that, it's too hard! I just don't have enough experience to try that! There's no way I can help out on that project!"
While I certainly know I'm going to continue to struggle in my first few years, I have come to realize that the only way to progress onward and learn as much as I can is to say YES to as many of these challenges as I can, and accepting that I may fail or have to ask for help, but in the end, I will have learned something. I had a coworker ask me for help with a Flexbox bug in IE the other day, a dev with years of experience. My first instinct was to say "I'm not sure, ask one of the other front-end devs," but I swallowed my fear, thought about it, and realized I DID know the answer! I was able to help him out and felt like I was truly starting to believe in myself and my abilities.
Believe in your abilities, believe in your strength, believe in your intelligence. It's so much easier said than done, but it makes such a difference in how quickly and confidently you learn and move forward. Remember how far you've come, and how much strength comes from knowing that. Know that asking for help makes you strong, not weak, and most senior devs enjoy helping you work through problem solving. Pay it forward with other devs who need your help, even helping to solve the smallest problem can mean everything to someone.