If you are a developer, I will remind you of feelings that you will surely have experienced at some point in your career.
- You get completely lost when you are asked to work on a new project or perhaps you are asked to write a new feature where you don’t know the technology that other colleagues are talking about at all.
- Especially as a junior, when you were given code written by other developers, but you could not understand some of the syntax, words, or patterns used in the code to build the logic you began to feel full of doubts about being able to continue doing this work.
- When you attended a technology event where all the developers were asking questions, or having some discussion about the latest technology and some popular tools, you were silent because you had never heard of them, and you began to feel that your career was in jeopardy if you didn’t start getting up to speed with those technologies right away.
All the feelings and sensations I mentioned above are signs of Imposter Syndrome.
This is a fairly common feeling among developers, and unfortunately, it is not only juniors who face this problem, but also super seniors.
In an anonymous survey, it was found that 58 percent of employees working in M.A.A.N.G. companies (formerly F.A.A.N.G.) live with this syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a sign that you are doing something outside your comfort zone.
Before listing some ways to overcome this problem, first you need to understand that it is normal and that you are not alone. Most people are in the same position as you, and so quoting the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” DON’T PANIC, and don’t let them block you. Every developer likes to talk about the tools or technology they are working on, so the next person you talk to may not be aware of your skills and vice versa. Below we will list some solutions that will help you deal with imposter syndrome.
Get used to getting out of your comfort zone
Programming is a field where no one knows everything. Everyone in this field likes to share and talk about the technology they are working on or have explored. Everyone wants to learn some kind of technology, because no one wants to be a bad developer. Whether you are a beginner or an expert you have to understand that technology is a never-ending thing, so there will always be something to learn and you cannot learn everything. Accept that when you see someone’s expertise in a certain domain or technology it does not mean that he/she knows everything. They are like you, and they don’t know something either. Today all developers need help from StackOverflow or other resources so they are not alone with this feeling.
Get support from seniors
Talk to the senior person assigned to you, and ask for help when you don’t know how to do something. Whenever you get stuck in your code or need help figuring out some algorithm or design choice, ask the seniors (after all, it’s part of a senior’s job to train juniors). It doesn’t make you a stupid person
Keep track of your goals
As you enter the programming world and continue to learn, you begin to realize how far you’ve come. How you fixed your first bug, how you passed some interviews, how you dealt with a terrifying bug generated in production, how you learned new technologies or tools when you had to add some features in the product. These things will give you positivity and help you overcome the impostor syndrome.
A lot of developers suffer from imposter syndrome, but all they need is to understand that it is normal and they are not alone. Doubting your success and feeling like a bad programmer when you don’t know something is completely normal. Understand that it is impossible to always know everything. All that matters is that if you are curious, if you like challenges and if you are willing to learn then you are not an imposter.