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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What helps build developer confidence?

How do you build personal confidence, how do you lend confidence to others?

Top comments (43)

cristinaruth profile image
Cristina Ruth
  • Try something even if it's hard.
  • Celebrate that you did it! 🙌
  • Remember to celebrate your small wins.
  • Be kind to yourself and be your own personal cheerleader, especially through failures.
  • Remember to appreciate and thank others so they can appreciate themselves.
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Celebrate that you did it! 🙌

@jess 's weekly wins threads are great for that 😄

tacomanick profile image
Nick Shattuck

I actually just looked at an old project I built last term at school, and while it isn't much to gauk at professionally, it reminds me that at one point, I never thought I could build it. Now I am writing code that connects to a SQL database, designing GUIs, and writing Java with the confidence that I can do this.
When I try to instill confidence in others, I like to learn what they know by getting them to explain to me what they're stuck on. My purpose is to show them that they likely understand more than they think they do but aren't progressing because they're stuck thinking they'll never progress. It usually gets the gears turning in their minds or at least gives them some pep talk.

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Ben Halpern

Looking back on old things is a big big big one for me. Just thinking about where I used to be and how far I've come since then is always a big one.

mabla0531 profile image
Matthew Bland

One main thing I realized one day when I was struggling with learning c++ data structures is how long I went practicing c++ without even knowing what a pointer was (this was junior high and early high school). It's interesting to realize how easy the concept is and yet how hard I thought it was back then.

andrekelvin profile image

Totally agree

swarupkm profile image
Swarup Kumar Mahapatra • Edited

Accepting the fact that "Its ok to not know everything" and "I can learn it and do it" gives me confidence.
Pretty sure it does to others too

jsn1nj4 profile image
Elliot Derhay • Edited

That first one is a big relief if you feel overwhelmed (especially since there are always new things coming out that suddenly get hyped up as "the future of X development"). It really is ok to not know everything. Heck, it's ok to use (and like using) a toolset that's a popular subject of ridicule.

florincornea profile image
Cornea Florin

For me is setting up personal small goals and small achievements daily, for example building some html/css stuff in codepen and so on. Let's just be serious, at work we can't have&work on projects that we like, and in time that is going to kill our creativity and personal confidence.

By doing small(and very small) projects i managed to increase my confidence, my skills and i increased the difficulty of my goals

E.G from this small card design to a small app for gradients

And the good part is that you loose confidence again, you can start over with the small goals

Worked for me :D

blakefurvus profile image
Blake Furvus

Don't over think. It makes you and your program ugly and sad. Also your team mates get mad if you think over something this much.

"Simple" is the key.
JDIS (Just Do It Stupid) principle bruh, we need to follow that.

jrohatiner profile image

I build my confidence by practicing writing code (especially something I'm new at). I also get a new perspective on things like 'imposter syndrome' from the awesome people I follow on twitter.

Mentoring helps build confidence in other programmers and in me, too. Communication, especially about how to ask the right questions, sharing tools, resources - that's what I try to do.

kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 

Watching someone more senior than you make a simple mistake, surely helps the imposter syndrome... and is a good reminder that everyone makes mistakes.

Looking at old code, also, almost a breadcrumb learning path!

Low crash ratings 🥰

missamarakay profile image
Amara Graham

I really enjoy building the confidence of others. This is how I shape my developer relations program and advocacy work that I do. Talks, tutorials, blogs, etc. should distill complex information down to a digestible level without dumbing it down. I often introduce new language or jargon to folks first so that they can learn how to "speak the language" before trying to write code. From there I help them scope out small, manageable tasks. Confidence is easier to find with a sense of completion. Then you celebrate the completion and move to the next task.

thebouv profile image
Anthony Bouvier

I let my team work in a blameless environment.

I protect them from outside forces trying to circumvent this and point fingers. I'll take the blame personally if it makes the outside force feel better about their own bad habits, but then I'll quickly set them straight on it, regardless of their title or hierarchy.

I code review and encourage peer review. And I coach them on removing hubris and attachment to their creations, and taking feedback positively as just another challenge to smash.

So that gives them freedom to try things, fail, iterate, succeed, and celebrate. And if anyone tries to interfere with the environment I've set up, I get loud. :D

richardeschloss profile image
Richard Schloss

Applauding the simple things, I think. Sometimes I gain a new perspective from someone else's code. When I see someone do something in an elegant way, even if it's only 1 line of code, I like to applaud the fact that it only took 1 line of code to do the job.

dana94 profile image
Dana Ottaviani

I try to lend confidence by giving kudos when a developer has helped me out in the past. It reminds them that they are a great part of the team and that they are valued.

I try to build personal confidence by trying new things. Helping others with their tech issues helps too.

fly profile image

Ironically it was how I accepted that I'm terrible at developing which provided the turning point. Not fake modesty, a true acceptance that I suck. Sure most of my sentences start with 'I may be wrong' but it gave me the confidence to say... pretty much anything... because I may be wrong and I'm fine with it :)

buphmin profile image

Repetition and practice is how I build confidence. I heard once that you need to do something 10,000 times to master it. When you have solved a problem many times then solving it and similar problems will come naturally.

Helping others is harder but showing others ways to do things without belittling them could help. Confidence is an individual state and cannot be given, only nurtured in my opinion.

mattorb profile image
Matt Smith • Edited

When it comes tackling things that I might not have immediate confidence in, I try to remind myself that often trying something, even if it is wrong, is the best way to learn whether I need to try something else. The sooner that course correction can be made, the easier it is to build confidence.

When it comes to code, I try to build tight feedback cycles into everything I do. I find the more I can get into the habit of making a small change and quickly seeing the result of that, the better my development cadence and therefore the easier it is to gain confidence in a path.

To lend confidence to others, I try to encourage both of the aforementioned things: fail fast to learn quickly and find ways to make feedback loops tighter.

silentsudo profile image
Ashish Agre

Let other developers write something first what he thinks is correct based on his knowledge. Then follow a 1-1 code review and suggest if there are any changes. If at very first we start commanding do this or that, otherwise a general human tendency would trigger and he might feel as if he knew nothing.

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