Coding is undoubtedly rewarding.
On the best days, I grow exponentially and achieve more than I thought I was capable of.
On the worst days, when my brain has been left somewhere, there are still rewards to be found in small tasks or a spot of therapeutic refactoring!
The people make it rewarding too.
I love the rapport with team mates, the humour and creativity, the knowledge sharing and the mutual support.
I love feeling like a part of the wider community, being inspired by others, discovering new ideas through their passions and adding my own small contributions to try and give back (or pay it forward).
It all gives me a sense of purposeful belonging and encourages me to grow.
Let your experiences help you to become the positive example that someone else needs.
I have had a very fortunate journey. As an undergrad, my peer group was unusually diverse which led to a culture of inclusivity and shared insight.
I've worked in dev teams where the women outnumbered the men and in teams where I was the only female. I've never felt that my gender defined me and I feel blessed that my experiences have been so positive.
We are all individuals though and gender aside, we all have traits that can make us feel different to the crowd.
Our experiences of feeling different can help us to develop empathy towards others and help us step up to become the mentor/colleague/friend that we would love to have ourselves.
We're all human and we all have our insecurities. Keep being you, be brave, be inclusive and be the positive example that someone else needs.