Would you want an "imposter" on your team?

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Inspired by a previous question on Dev...

In all my years of IT, it's felt like I've encountered two main types of people. "Imposters" and "Experts". Understand that the terms I'm using probably aren't what you might be thinking. In my use, here:

  • "Imposters" are as described in the linked-to question.
  • "Experts" are those people that feel that their shiny, new McCertification gives them license to tell you The Right Way™ to do things
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I think I’d rather work with someone who feels like an imposter than the expert you described here.

Though, there does exist a happy balance between the two and that’s who I really want to work with 🙂


I've found few people, over the years, that don't at least have occasional doubts. The people that have absolute certitude tend to have it because they don't know how much they don't know.


Yes, as others have said I prefer people who want to learn and realize their limitations. I’ve worked with very experienced people who know how to teach and collaborate in a helpful way, and elitists. It’s really more about mindset than skill level. Either way, there does need to be a commitment to quality and being open minded. I hold myself to the same standards!


Per your definitions, an "imposter" that's willing to try things is far superior to an "expert" who's stick in their ways.

Though, an unwilling imposter is just as unwelcome.

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Thomas H Jones II profile image
Been using UNIX since the late 80s; Linux since the mid-90s; virtualization since the early 2000s and spent the past few years working in the cloud space.