Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a Software Developer

Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

Everyone starts out in life with high expectations concerning the unknown. We were willing to try out new things, adventure, dare, and know for sure that we may fail or succeed. This applies to every industry, and is especially true as software engineers. With lots of advancements in frameworks, paradigms, and science in general, some folks think that they are not good enough since they can’t meet up to ALL the latest shinning software.

That is not true, and it’s definitely not the whole story. We learn our fears. Something in your thinking and perception has got to change. And that is knowing that you are ‘capable beyond measure’.

The journey to overcome imposter syndrome is a daily, consistent discipline that may seem slow, boring and ineffective. However, I have itemized some points that has helped me in my journey with tech.

It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. But it definitely would be useful in your approach to dealing with bugs that limit our productivity as engineers.

Never compare your journey to someone else

It is not, and has never been a wise thing to do because you will always find someone that is better than you, which will lead to insecurity, or find someone you are better than, which leads to pride. Whichever way, is a lose lose game. From experience, my imposter moments have always come when i compare with others. Take your learning process one day at a time, and you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve gone in a short time.

Develop Community-based Learning

Learning tends to be better when it takes place in a community of like minded individuals. Self-taught developer use to be a thing, which is still relevant, but learning in a group is better. This is the best because your co-learners will cover the gaps in your knowledge base. You can join study groups on Facebook, Discord and other social app. Or create one if don’t find any that meets your unique style.

Know that there are no “experts”

The creator of Python programming language was asked if he considers himself a master at the language. He replied, “What’s a master? I am surprised by Python all the time”. Your goal should not to become a master. It is unattainable. Rather focus on problem solving with the basics of what you know. Your proficiency will emanate through practice.

Learn something new daily

Buildings are built one block at a time. Never let a day go by without adding to your repertoire of knowledge — no matter how small. These small changes are what would lead to significant improvements.

Attempt “difficult” challenges

Difficult is relative. Our brains are naturally wired to protect us from attempting unknown situations. Such attempt may be likened to swimming uphill. That’s how grit is developed, and true growth is accomplished. Platforms like Codewars and leetcode are filled with challenges that improve your code muscles. As you attempt more and more challenges, it becomes a norm when you encounter new problems.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Go make a difference in the world by overcoming that imposter syndrome.





I'm a software engineer, writer, and love to teach

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Goodnews Oguguo

Goodnews Oguguo

I'm a software engineer, writer, and love to teach

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