...an opportunity came up for job that was half localization management (something I knew well) and half QA (a brand new skillset). I learned everything as I went, trying to find mentors or to get a more experienced colleague hired to learn from. I now have a great mentor in the company, a learning plan for the next couple months, and real chances of upping my game from manual to automated testing over the course of the next year!
...I got a few great opportunities. A friend of mine was running a Clojure workshop for women and non-binary folks and invited me. A colleague saw me struggling to manually test a feature and helped me write a script to make it easier. It's still not a big part of my day, but if it turns out to be something I enjoy, I'll get there.
...some of my impostor syndrome. I've been a tester for a bit over a year and still feel like I know nothing. But you know what? I'm planning a blog post, preparing a meetup series, and speaking up in meetings. Even if I'm still "faking it til I make it", I still feel great for trying.
...the fact that my friend and I are going to be hosting a series of meetups, Quality People Berlin, for all those who work in QA, QE, and similar fields. Follow us on Twitter at @QPBerlin and join the Meetup group!
...be your own hype squad. If you don't tell people that you're doing great stuff, they simply won't know. So tweet about that workshop you attended, show colleagues the cool code you wrote, offer to give the talk you gave at that conference to your team at work. Cheerlead for yourself! (Credit for the wisdom goes fully to @emilyagras and her ClojureBridge talk.)
...listen compassionately and believe us when we say something feels more difficult for us because of our gender. If you were raised believing girls can't do Math or that they shouldn't work at all, period, you'll struggle more than peers who don't have that mental baggage—even if you work in the most feminist of companies. So support us through it and help us believe we can do all that you can do :)