Fear not if you experience this feeling, it's a common emotion for many developers...even experienced developers!
The life of a software engineer, whether you are a junior or a senior developer can at times, be overwhelming.
You might feel this way because you can't solve a bug or you make a mistake at work. Typically Imposter Syndrome is a tough feeling to get rid of, you feel inadequate and your confidence in your ability as a developer is shaken. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed.
However, some people might not know this can become serious and lead to more distraught feelings building up inside us developers.
So don’t fret if you are currently feeling like this, you have others who have experienced the same thing alongside yourself.
Feeling overwhelmed can be an issue, but if we let this feeling keep expanding further it can evolve into what is known as ‘Imposter Syndrome’. For those people who are not able to easily pick themselves up or have confidence issues, this problem becomes a large internal struggle.
Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which people cast uncertainty on their success and achievements and continue to have a perpetual feeling that they will be looked at as a fraud or imposter, hence the name.
As a result of this, many people end up undermining themselves and override any feelings of success and instead turn them into feelings of failure.
There can be many reasons we face Imposter syndrome. As I mentioned earlier, we can become overwhelmed with the workload you’re given and expected to know.
One thing to note is that being a developer is a lot of work and is very challenging. The technologies we work with here are always advancing, whether there are updates to new frameworks or newly created technologies to learn. This field has the requirement that we are always learning and are up to date with our knowledge of the newest technologies.
Another potential reason is that you may have colleagues or friends who know much more than you and you feel as if you can never catch up or become a top-tier developer.
Personally, I have also had the feeling where I thought I was never going to be good enough to catch up to people around me.
I have met people and have close friends who are incredibly smart and talented in this line of work and have indeed compared them to myself, which brought my confidence in my own skills down. Things that would take me longer to understand would come instantly to them. I had thought that my talent is nothing compared to theirs and I would never be able to catch up.
Everyone has different methods of dealing with these issues, here I would like to discuss a few ideas I think are useful and can help others
Think about where you were a year ago.
- What did you learn and achieve in the past year?
Look back and recap your experiences, it can give you a chance to be proud of yourself for the new things you have learned. Don’t compare your achievements to anyone else. Whether yours is a small accomplishment, it is still classified as an accomplishment that you put in the effort to make and will add on to your career in the long run.
IMPORTANT: Please never compare yourself to someone else! 🙏🙏
Even developers who are at a level much higher than yourself can have this feeling as well. If you ask your friend or mentors, you may be surprised if they have also been through what you’re going through.
One person can’t know everything and as such, we developers will never completely know everything. Don’t let this be the reason you stop learning and keep at it at your own pace.
If it all becomes too overwhelming, a good idea is to take some time off. Away from the keyboard and away from the code.
Spend time with family, close friends or go on a trip somewhere. Come back feeling refreshed and hopefully with a more positive mindset. Who knows, something could give you a newfound inspiration and motivation during your time off.
I would like to finish this with a few words personally from myself to my fellow developers out there. If you are facing any of what I have mentioned above, please stay confident in yourself. There will always be new technologies emerging and there will always be better developers than you out there. However, intelligence is not fixed.
Be proud of your past achievements (large or minuscule) and compete against yourself. Become the best developer you can possibly be and keep growing. I’m sure you all are as passionate as I am, so I implore you to keep going and don’t give up on your goals. Keep learning new things, improve your development skills, gain experience and reach new heights! Our skills can and will only keep increasing from where we are now. 🔥🔥
Share this post if you know someone who is going through the Imposter Syndrome phase to help them out 😄