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Cover image for Imposter Syndrome and Hero Worship: Why I Started a Podcast

Imposter Syndrome and Hero Worship: Why I Started a Podcast

Jacob Herrington (he/him)
generally mediocre
・2 min read

tl; dr Imposter syndrome stinks, and everyone deals with it. You can hear some incredible engineers talk about it.

There is perhaps no industry that talks about imposter syndrome quite so much as the software development industry.

We bring up imposter syndrome in blog posts and conference talks; we even build communities to help each other deal with the effects. Imposter syndrome seems to afflict every developer on this planet, at some point or another.

I think, to a degree, imposter syndrome will always be prevalent in software development (mostly because writing software is hard). However, I believe a lot of imposter syndrome is ultimately the result of misinformation.

An imposter

The first year of my career as a developer was one of the most challenging years of my life. I struggled endlessly. I felt imposter syndrome daily for twelve months, and I didn't know how to get help.

There is another epidemic the software industry deals with, that we don't talk about very much: Hero Worship.

Think about it. There are probably a handful of engineers that you hold in high esteem, above the rest.

A real image of Kent C. Dodds
For me, Hero Worship made the struggle even worse.

One of the things that made my imposter syndrome almost unbearable was the feeling that everyone around me seemed to know what they were doing. Everyone else seemed to have it together.

After surviving my first year in software development, and moving to a much healthier environment, I realized just how ubiquitous imposter syndrome has become (or maybe always was).

To help combat the disconnect between our communal imposter syndrome and hero worship, I started recording conversations with experienced and well-known engineers (heroes). I've made an effort to document both their methodologies for success and their failures.

I'm now going to start sharing the conversations I've been recording at https://www.devpath.fm. These recordings are also available on Spotify and a handful of podcast providers.

Going into 2019, I plan to release a new interview each week. The purpose of these interviews is not only to reveal the best methods for finding success in software development but also to shine a light on the struggles and failures that plague even the most heroic of engineers.

If you're dealing with imposter syndrome or just looking for advice on leveling up your career in this industry, feel free follow along. :)

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