I remember trying a few MS-DOS games on a friend's computer that his dad used for a software job in the early 90s. I was immediately in awe, not even at just the games but even at the command prompt. A few positive influences in my life introduced me to QBASIC, C++ and pointers and before I knew it I was coding random insult generators in QBASIC in 6th grade for fun.
From there, it became a way for me to change my life for the better and propel myself from poverty. I knew there were so many opportunities that computer science provided, but also that I could improve other's lives with technology.
Mostly client work since I launched my data analytics consultancy. My clients range from Fortune 500 biotech companies to market research startups. I always have a few side projects though, one of which is www.musicroamer.com, which is an interactive way to find new music. I will be launching another project soon that applies the same MusicRoamer concept but to food!
Teaching others about the possibilities that open up when you put in the time and effort to learn a new skill. I love seeing the excitement in students' faces when they understand a concept or are able to apply it in their day to day work. If I can change my life for the better, I truly believe anyone can. It takes a lot of hard work, a little luck and a few positive role models.
Everyone feels like an imposter at times. This is not limited to women in computer science. This is a rapidly changing industry with a seemingly infinite amount of tech to keep up with. Know your strengths, be confident, ask for that raise (bring data), and continue being a badass. Speak up and be heard.