Take Your Shots
I wasn't a developer.
I didn't have experience.
I didn't have clients.
I didn't have a degree, much less one tech-related.
Yet, there I was in an interview for a job as a web developer with a company I had no business applying for. They were a division of a large media company. They had real, big clients. And I was looking for a career change.
After I got the email asking to speak for an initial interview, I was sure they'd pass. After I did the initial live-coding challenge I was sure they'd pass (I barely wrote any code - I largely talked about the code I would write but time was up before I got too far along with the actual code). After my second technical interview, I thought they'd pass. After they invited me into the office and I spent nearly half that day speaking with the entire team (including all the non-technical departments), I was sure they'd pass.
But they didn't.
Instead, they offered me my first web development job.
I've since moved on but I've been a developer now for over five years, so I suppose it wasn't a fluke.
I have no doubt I benefited from some sort of privilege that likely wouldn't have been afforded to someone else. But I largely believe I put myself in that room to begin with.
I was the one who stayed up till 3am every night reading blogs and books and watching screencasts to learn how to build websites after working all day at my job at a call center and taking care of my infant daughter. It was the dopey little side projects that I had put together in my "portfolio" (the dinky single-page site I built that dynamically pulled in my Github repos and Dribbble - lol - shots) that convinced them I could actually be someone worth talking to.
I had applied to other places and been turned down for development jobs. And I thought the application I was submitting that eventually led to my first development job was a joke. These folks were legit and I wasn't. Until I was.
You're better than you think you are.
Take your shots. You'll make more of them than you think.