re: Share Your Experiences with Impostor Syndrome VIEW POST


I quit university at some point without finishing my masters degree. So I was looking for a job. I found some and sent out a couple of applications and got invited to a trial day. The task was to write an interpreter for some self defined tags (them defined it, not me) for a html enrichment. So basically to write a compiler. That was one of the last things I did in university so I wrote that whole thing (lexer, parser, syntax tree, code generator) within six hours. I was hired and everybody seemed to have high expectations of me. There was this e-commerce platform we are using and I had never heard of it and had to learn how it worked and how I could use it. So I didn't know where the expectations where coming from. I was like an apprentice.
To make things 'worse' I was one of two people who had already used git in project and they recently switched, so everybody was coming with questions to me because the other person was stuck in meetings more often than not.
Suddenly (after 6 weeks or so) I was in meetings to decide our git usage strategy together with the teamleads and the CTO...
I was just out of university and this was my first job. I had so much to learn and was already helping forming decisions for processes that are still that way 3 years later.
Also 6 months in I was invited to be a silent listener at phone interviews and also to give my opinion on a person having the trial day.

I kind of caught up to my reputation. I am still the guy everyone asks if they have an issue with git, but I realized, that is ok to say "that is a very specific question. Let me think and google a little bit and I come back to you". Usually that works quite well. Sometimes I just give a hint on what to type into google.
I learned a lot in the beginning about the framework we are using and now know my way around it and can answer questions about it.
I went to seminars about clean code and tdd, so I am one of the people who is driving that topic.

If somebody wants advice to overcome this feeling of high expectations vs. feeling like a noob, here are my five cents: It is ok to don't know shit about specific products/platforms/frameworks. Keep in mind what you know. You know your tools, your programming language and your algorithms. Eventually you self perception will catch up with the expectations (in your head).

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