re: I'm the maintainer of Babel, ask me anything! VIEW POST


A bit personal, but... Does someone with your accomplishments not have to worry about "imposter syndrome" at all?

Have you ever had someone explain how babel really works and what it's for before discovering who you are?

--Do web-programmers behave differently towards you--once they do?



I think when you are learning new things, you discover how much you don't know and it may give the feeling of "imposter syndrome". I remember reading a post about it (maybe someone remembers) that a lot of us don't actually have imposter syndrome but it's something else.

There are different levels of progression: maybe it's first issue/comment, first PR, first publish, first repo, etc and the next thing always seems so overwhelming. It's helpful to remember that it just means you are learning more. I think I just have a confidence issue, starting from knowing nothing doesn't mean you are unqualified, if you are there than someone wanted you to be. Like feeling nervous about giving a talk or even attending TC39. Everyone has different things to bring to the table, we shouldn't have to live up to the stereotype of what we think a developer or whatever is, it's just an average/typical thing that doesn't describe the diversity of people and their journey to where they are today.

I try to put my efforts into getting others involved in the project: it's the part of open source I appreciate the most (the people part), it is in my interest to make sure I don't become the only person involved and to make make all of our efforts as a team better, and it brings in different ways of thinking. We've tried many kinds of efforts like participating in Rails Girls Summer of Code and Google Summer of Code, talking with various companies, joining meetups, etc. Of course I'd like to be able to spend full time doing these efforts because none of this community effort is usually what you would be paid to do at a company given it isn't as direct a benefit

Have you ever had someone explain how babel really works and what it's for before discovering who you are?

Yeah that happens haha. It's kind of like how people are mean to your online (twitter/github) because they don't understand it's a person behind the username/project. Once they know you everything changes. I think it's like how open source can be a victim of it's own success: being a popular project doesn't do anything to help the sustainability of the project and only increases the burden. The same small amount of people are helping improve it while more and more people are using/consuming it, and it creates this cycle of burnout in maintainers. People think that Babel is a company, that I work at Facebook or Google, or various other things because of their assumptions.


wow... awsome. Lots of food for thought. thanks, Henry!

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