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A special case of Impostor Syndrome

sorinmarta profile image Sorin Marta ・1 min read

Being a programmer isn't as easy as they say on the internet. And probably everyone here can approve that.

Even if we love what we do as programmers, sometimes we are not as happy as we should be. A good reason for that is the Impostor Syndrome, that's a common problem for the developers who just started their way into the industry.

But first, what's up with this syndrome? Is it a mental problem or something?

Basically not, it's just a bad impression that we develop about ourselves. We under-estimate ourselves and we think that this isn't our place and we are not a good fit for this job.

Usually, that's just in our mind, and we have to get over it in order to be a good programmer. But still, it might be a huge problem in our process of learning.

Ok, in an another way of speaking let's see what Wikipedia says about it:

"Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud"."

Ok, what's the special case?

Well... in my case, it doesn't really go away. I already have a few years of coding already, but still... I have moments when I feel like an impostor.

And that's probably not just me, probably a lot of people got the same problem as I do but they don't talk about it.

Probably in my case it became more intensive since we started Tadamus.

Those moments are really hard to pass, and if you are not a strong one it might make you stop.

What can be done?

Nothing, ignore it. Keep on your track, work for your passion and for your future. Keep building awesome things or start building even more awesome things.

Keep in mind that you are unique in your own way and whatever happens with your life, it was meant to happen and it will bring progress in one way or another.

Keep your head up and be prepared for that opportunity that's going to come!

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Discussion

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When it's "my turn" to believe that I'm a fraud, I tell myself that even if I were that bad of a developer, someone would have complained already! A harsh IM message, an endless code review on gitlab, an awkward meeting with your manager to give you a fair warning...

What if they don't complain? Then either they have nothing against you or they are phonies. Haters gonna hate.

What if I get a bad review? Well, that's a fair warning. I got a couple of fair warnings and that's all. It happens, and it gets better. Many amazing people were a bit hard to control by management and HR, you'll be fine.

What if they just fire me without a prior fair warning? Really? With that kind of management, sooner or later something low would have happened. It's worth jumping out for your own sake then.

What if I really feel day-in-day-out that I don't cut it? Think deeply if what you do is motivating. Not as your favorite langauge but as a whole. Are you on low-end libraries while you wanted to build APIs instead? Are you doing B2B while you expected more B2C? Maybe something is wrong there and you're missing some motivation.

In either case I see no reason to panic. We all suck at first and the we all manage to suck slightly less over time. Programming is hard guys! There's only a handful of ways that the code will actually do what you want, while every other way the code would provoke a catastrophic mess. So yes, it is hard, no wonder we worry from time to time.