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Anna Wijetunga
Anna Wijetunga

Posted on

Imposter Syndrome: That Same Old Song

Imposter syndrome.

They say it's real and that everyone feels it, so don't dwell. Keep moving forward, you deserve to be here.

Oh boy. Somehow that is the hardest advice for me to follow.

Imposter syndrome looks and feels different for everyone, but here's what it is for me.

Just weeks post-graduation from Flatiron, I'd built my website locally (using Gatsby) and wanted to host it using Netlify.

According to Netlify's documentation, it's a gosh darn snap to deploy.

DELIGHTFUL.

I followed Netlify's steps (so easy!) and got to the final "click" to deploy.

All too soon, an error:

Build script returned non-zero exit code: 127

Sigh.

Pep talk time.

"Anna, we've been here before. Find the root of the problem and fix it!"

After a few light Google searches and glances through my deploy log, I took a direct flight to the land of imposter syndrome.

What even IS this error message? UGH I KNOW NOTHING. Yes, I tried both build commands, that's not it. Shoot, now my site's not loading locally. I AM NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS!

And folks, it happens that fast every time.

Hit a bump in the road, the thoughts roar.

Heaven knows I have no solution other than to plow through the noise and keep trying - which is exactly what I did - but it feels so terrible.

Here's how I deployed my website (you see? I knew you could do it).

The Situation

  • 14 tabs open (13 tabs too many)
  • 9 (covers face in shame) failed deployments
  • 3+ hours of effort
  • You better believe there was sweat

Most of those tabs had Stack Overflow questions loaded, and I also had a lil' Gatsby and Netlify documentation on the side.

The Process

Reading (so many) Stack Overflow q & a's did not give me the direct solution.

But.

It gave me context for where to look, which is REALLY HELPFUL.

A lot of people got the same error message but named other errors within the deploy log that I didn't have.

So, I combed through my deploy log, tried (really hard) to understand what I saw and found what could be the culprit.

yarn: command not found

This wasn't a clear "ah ha!" moment, but it sure was a clue.

I put my efforts there, and scoured those Stack Overflow q & a's again, this time focused on yarn.

Some folks updated their yarn version while others manually pushed their yarn.lock file.

I was shooting in the dark, but I tried everything and anything yarn related.

The last command did the trick.

Want to know what it was?

The Solution

Running yarn install fixed the issue.

Yup.

So many eye rolls, face palms, my gosh I can't believe it was THAT, and a heckuva lot of relief.

And I swiftly took a direct flight back to reality.

And yes, it happens that quickly.

Been there? Experienced that? Sure would love to hear about it. And, for what it's worth, you're not alone.

Top comments (15)

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aaronmccollum profile image
Aaron McCollum

"See those people? They spent 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 3-4 months learning one or two languages. You spend what? An hour a day?"

"There are people half your age that already know so much and build their own super nice webpages and games."

"There are people in your class that are having the easiest time doing the projects. You don't even know where to start."

"You have been completely left behind by the instructor. You should know what these lines of code mean. I bet everyone else is following."

"You don't have the type of brain to think logically and make sense of code."

Those are some of mine that I deal with. At least one or two of those a day. I keep plugging away though and try to do at least one new thing a day and still play around with what I do know. If it's super bad, I'll take a break and play Fallout or watch Parks & Rec reruns until I cool down.

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

Ugh, it's so real. I'm so grateful you shared this, Aaron, because it somehow makes it all feel less bad! I'm always sorry to hear ANYONE else is experiencing it but heavens, it's good to know someone understands :)

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aaronmccollum profile image
Aaron McCollum

Same! This morning I started getting upset because a simple function that I had learned a few weeks back was not working and I was like "of course it's not working for me. If I can't do this, how can I even go forward in the class?"

Turns out I misspelled querySelector as "quereySelector"...

...

...

A massive moment of satisfaction hit once the function worked haha. We just gotta keep plugging a way. One thing that keeps me going is the fact that this coding community is the most helpful, cheerful, and understanding group of people I've ever been around. That's huge. Helps me remember to keep my head up and continue trudging through.

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

OH MY GOSH spelling errors - happens to me all the stinkin' time. SO glad you pushed through that!!

YES, spot on! The community really is everything and it's awfully good to remember :)

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aaronmccollum profile image
Aaron McCollum

One thing that I think enhances the imposter syndrome is this: understanding HTML and CSS happened pretty fast for me. JS? Not so much. At least not at the pace of my class. I want JavaScript to happen just as fast - that quick satisfaction. Not getting that leads to frustration and many of those thoughts listed above.

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

Honest to goodness, I don't know ANYONE who picked up JavaScript quickly. But here's what I can tell ya. I spent 4 weeks on JavaScript and things really starting clicking week 4. And then learning React for the following 4 weeks was SO GOOD because it made JavaScript feel so organized. I do think JavaScript is tough! SO MANY VARIATIONS. So go easy on yourself, give it a bit more time, and try to ignore those nutty negative thoughts for now ;)

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aaronmccollum profile image
Aaron McCollum

Thanks so much! This is helpful. They just took down class quiz deadlines so I have the next few months to do it instead of a few weeks.

Same for you - keep your head up! You graduated from a top boot camp and that’s freakin awesome. Whenever imposter syndrome kicks in, remind yourself that you have already done a lot of cool things and a lot of hard things and you can most certainly tackle what comes next.

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

YOU STOP BEIN' SO ENCOURAGING! This is TOO MUCH, too kind! But ok, I'll keep it in mind :)

And I can say the same to you. You've already done SO much, with so much other stuff on your plate - and it would be so easy to put it all off for later. But you're pressing forward, and truly that's what counts. Proud of ya!

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tarise profile image
Nikki

All the time. It normally causes me to freeze my ambitions all together.

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

It's hard NOT to feel that!!

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

And, THANK YOU FOR SAYING SO!

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jwp profile image
John Peters

Nice that you solved it. Welcome to the obscure land of ridiculous error messages.

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

Laughin' and thank you! They are a bit ridiculous!

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jwp profile image
John Peters

Build script returned non-zero exit code: 127
We should all know that one, right?

Our new saying for 2020 :
No more ridiculous error messages! Please, Thank You

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annawijetunga profile image
Anna Wijetunga Author

D-Y-I-N' over here. Yes I guess we should all know about exit code 127, how dare we not.

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