...I wanted a job that exercised my mind every day while also having fun doing it.
After doing some web development in simple HTML/CSS, I wanted to try out programming. I hit a few walls at first, though: I quite liked C++, decided to study Computer Science at university, got smacked in the face with Java, decided programming wasn't my thing, then discovered Ruby and never looked back.
This is important - it's not just about 'coding'. Before all that, it's about finding a language that you agree with. I know many potential programmers who quit before their career took off simply because they were introduced to the wrong programming language and it didn't suit their style.
My advice for newcomers would be to play around with a few languages at first before you settle on one, because once you've settled and you're still learning the ropes it's quite difficult to convince yourself to switch to another language's syntax. It feels like admitting defeat.
The last thing we need is for people to quit the game before they've even started Level 1.
...a bunch of different things, really - the best part about tech is that it's constantly evolving; there's always new things to learn and experiment with.
I'm a full-time Ruby developer, but any developer knows that they're not limited to their specialization. So I might also play around with Backbone.js, Python - whatever catches my fancy at the time.
The next thing I'm going to hack around with is going to be the Arduino and microcontrollers to push the limits on how much I can automate my humble apartment.
I also recently found out about Alexa Skills, so I'm really excited to play with that soon too. Honestly, the list of things I want to do is exhausting.
...every single new day in tech. Seriously, I don't know why anyone would go into any other field. Whether you're a developer, a security consultant, devops... whatever, we're all going to have an amazing time.
...don't isolate yourself. It can seem a bit weird being in a field so heavily dominated by men but once you look past that, you realize that we're all in this together: we all just want technology to better our societies.
So dive in, mix with the community, attend the hackathons and the lightning talks and whatever else - every new woman that gets involved in tech is one more piece of the puzzle we need to fix this gender gap.