Skill Pathway

Do You Suffer With Imposter Syndrome?

matthew_collison profile image Matthew Collison Updated on ・1 min read

If you don't have it:

What is something you tell sufferers that they might not already know that allows you to avoid it?

If you do have it:

What are your personal reason(s)? And then let the DEV community attempt to bury your doubts and give you supreme confidence™.

This one should be interesting...

Skill Pathway

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That is easily the most in-depth, properly articulated experience and solution to Impostor Syndrome we’ve ever seen. Not sure how it doesn’t have 1000+ saves! Thanks for sharing


Thank you! Feel free to share on your channels - I'm open to publishing elsewhere too if you have an outlet!

I'm planning a follow up.


I feel like this is a paradox. If i claim that I have impostor syndrome, do I really have impostor syndrome or am I just faking myself into believing that I have it? Or if I don't, does that mean I don't know that I have an impostor syndrome or I really don't have it?

Hmmm, Answer: 50% Yes, 50% No, 100% I don't know.

[EDIT: I don't know if I have Impostor Syndrome. I just don't want to claim I have one because I need someone professional who could confirm that I really do suffer from it.]


It’s really about self awareness - if you answer yes to this question you probably have it:

  • Do you feel worried you’re going to be “found out” as not being an “actual developer” by your peers?

It’s not much more complex than that - there are personal variations but that’s the main feeling. It’s prevalent in most industries though, it’s not unique to being a developer


You are an imposter till you become not an imposter.


There is no exact definition for a programmer. For example: declarative code can be a simple configuration file or a Haskell program. You could consider yourself to be programming when writing only HTML files, or when you program industrial logic controllers in some hardware description language.


I think its especially bad right now with people feeling like they don't belong due to the "everyone must code" agenda being pushed hard. The difference in skill between the old guard who studied for years before going into the job market and the newbies who just kinda ran into it is huge. This creates the illusion that people are imposters because they compare themselves to those who have been in the business for decades or because they as high level web developers compare themselves to low level developers.

Never forget the market is getting saturated to keep pay low (which may or may not be a good thing). So there are lots of beginners right now (and its fine to be a beginner) and the field is extremely broad. You don't need to concern yourself with all of it.


I did! I had it really bad. It was one of the key motivators for the podcast I started and I actually gave a talk on it earlier this year.

Talking about it is the first step to overcoming it.


Going to check your podcast out and the talk if it’s online!

That makes a lot of sense! It’s unfortunate that due to the types of thoughts it gives you, it’s natural to not want to talk about it. But once you do, it can feel like such a relief to hear people around you say they have similar thoughts or give you their perspective. It doesn’t always, but it can.

You could even anonymously submit something to dev - an in-depth confession about how you feel about it. This is such a supportive community!