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You are a software engineer

michael profile image Michael Lee πŸ• ・1 min read

A friend of mine is currently on the job hunt. He was sharing with me how hard it's been. I've been on the job hunt before as a software engineer and know how hard it could be. It is scary, can be demoralizing and imposter syndrome feels like it is at its peak.

As a way to encourage him, I've been thinking about truths that I feel could be said to him to help uplift him. The truths about him as a software engineer.

I wanted to share these truths here for him, for those who might also be in the job hunt and also for me, to serve as encouragement for someone who often battles with imposter syndrome.

You are extremely smart.

You create enormous value.

You can solve hard problems.

You understand complex things.

You are patient.

You deserve what you're being compensated and more.

You are not a coding monkey.

You make good contributions to your team.

You ask great questions.

You have the ability to do so much good.

You are creative.

You are resourceful.

You know enough.

You aren't defined by an interview.

You don't need to understand everything.

Your skills are highly desired.

You're doing a great job.

You are not an imposter.

You are a software engineer.

After I was done writing this list of truths, it reminded me of the Holstee manifesto. So I fired up Figma and also put together a poster-like version as well.

You are a software engineer poster

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michael profile

Michael Lee πŸ•

@michael

Maker of things, giver of high-fives πŸ–

Discussion

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Sometimes I look back on the systems I've built in the 8 years of my career, and seriously question the second truth on this list. Like… does did the "Personal Cause" creator I toiled over for a solid month at that one job make anyone's life easier? Was the stint I did at the car subscription service anything more than a way for to squeeze more money out of lessees while decimating the environment with more vehicles built only to be doomed to landfill? Could people have gotten by without the minor improvements I helped ship on that product management tool? Are there really no matters more pressing to humanity's future than these?

I don't mean to deduct anything from the message that you are not an imposter by saying this, I just wonder if … we value the right things, I guess.

 

Josh, this is a really good observation and I think one I will personally struggle with my entire career until I have full control over what gets built. Perhaps it's aligning ourselves with organizations or companies that align with our values. Perhaps it's giving of our time and energy to organizations that can't afford the talent.

I read a tweet yesterday of a story where the user had shared about a person getting started with their business on NextDoor. He hired the person, paid above asking price and took the time to build a quick site and publish it for them all for free. His reasoning was that he is a neighbor. In helping them win, the community itself will win. I know that's an assumption, but I like to think that even if the community itself doesn't win, that person starting the business probably felt enormously encouraged and more confident in their business adventure after that encounter.

Much to ponder and actually take action on. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I definitely didn't take your comment as a way of deducting my post πŸ™‚

 
 

Swastik, glad it was encouraging πŸ™‚. Thank you for the comment!