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Discussion on: How do you handle lack of self-confidence and career-numbing doubt?

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cschmitz81 profile image
CS • Edited on

A couple of things.

First, understand that you are only part of what makes you a successful dev, your team is the rest. If you've only had one programming job there's a chance that you weren't growing well because you weren't working at a place that properly encourages growth of jr devs. It's not to say that the place you worked at was bad necessarily, but if the development of jr devs is not a priority for the company then it could stunt your growth.

Another thing you can do to boost your confidence is to work on small things in your personal time to gain quick wins and focus your learning. When I say small, I mean small. Something that you think you could tackle in an afternoon or over lunch. Those small wins can def be a confidence booster and can help you build up your skill set.

The last thing I would say could sound discouraging but it's 100% not meant to be: make sure programming is what you really want to do. Really, the real advise is: make sure insert any job here is what you really want to do. It programming isn't really your thing and you're feeling pressured into doing it by peers or society, don't be afraid to try to do something else. This is coming from personal experience. When I first got out of college it took me six years of doing other jobs before I realized development was what I wanted to do. I probably could have figured it out sooner but I felt pressured (mainly from my boss at the time) to keep doing the job that was grinding me down. Eventually I got a development job and I've been happy ever since.

I'm def not trying to tell you to not program if that's what you really want to do. I'm just saying it's really easy to get stuck in a job that you don't really like so make sure you really enjoy what you're doing.

If you've only worked at one place and you really do want to be a developer, I'd say switch your scenery, work on things that will give you small quick wins and build your skill, find people who can help you on your way, and keep at it. Everyone grinds at first, you just have to keep at it.