I walked into an interview blind.
At the marketing agency, I thought we were going to be talking about writing.
I had a fresh degree in English literature and a year on my resume writing copy for enterprise software companies.
My interviewers saw my soul — the HTML, CSS, and computer science courses — my secret side projects, and my self-talk that I was not smart enough to be a professional. At this agency, developers decided they liked me enough to train me.
I walked out of the interview with an offer to start as a web developer intern. I packed my bags and moved immediately.
A few months turned into a few years, and I never had so much fun, growing from intern to full-time lead and perfecting my craft from project to project.
But when it came time to move on, something happened: I was scared.
When I went out into the world, outside of the safe haven of my agency, I struggled selling myself. Scathing technical interviews and massive lists of technical requirements scrambled my mind. In an instant, I was a beginner again, and the great investment I and others made had melted away in my mind to become a developer again.
This fear changed my path. I went back to writing — something I knew that I could confidently do.
And this is where I have remained.
Just last Fall, I was in the middle of taking yet another computer science course, wondering when I was going to finally reach the professional threshold in my mind.
During this time, I bought my first home with my partner of ten years. When I missed class on moving day, my professor mistook me for a freshly-graduated high school student. He told me I was in the real world now and warned me against slacking again.
I wondered what brought me here — to yet another class and to being 19 again.
When will I be good enough? I kept wondering. And then, it hit me: I am good enough right now.
That is why this year I have started Books on Code -- to renew myself as a developer, to soak in the world, and to contribute in a way I am uniquely qualified to do.
Imposter syndrome — that fear of never being able to earn our place or of not being smart enough — has been the most insidious blocker in my life.
I got here by others believing in me.
Now it’s time for me to believe in myself.
Thank you for reading this short post.
Let’s conquer imposter syndrome together.