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Jeannie Nguyen
Jeannie Nguyen

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How to Deal With Imposter Syndrome

When I first started writing code, none of it felt like it was good enough for me to consider myself a developer. When I started my first job at a big company, it didn't feel like I belonged there. I thought every other developer was smarter and more talented that I was.

One of the biggest problems with imposter syndrome is that it never really goes away. Since software development never stops evolving, there will always be more that I don't know.

I've come to realize that when I'm working on something that's outside of my comfort zone, that's when imposter syndrome creeps up on me. After almost two years of coding, here's how I've been dealing with imposter syndrome:

  1. Remember that it's okay to feel like this as long as you're learning, growing, and contributing.
  2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It means that you're working on something outside your comfort zone and you're learning.
  3. Adopt a growth mindset. Acknowledging that you don't know everything means you're willing to improve your skills, which is far better than believing you know it all. Take on new opportunities and challenge yourself.
  4. It's okay to ask for help! No individual developer knows everything. Talk to your seniors and ask questions when you don't understand something.
  5. Keep track of your accomplishments. Being able to reflect on your successes will remind you of how far you've come. That goal isn't to be perfect, or even the best, just a little bit better every day.
  6. Write down your career goals. By knowing what you want to do down the line, you're setting yourself up for success. Knowing what you want will help you plan out the steps to get there.

Imposter syndrome is very much still a thing for me. Instead of fighting it, I've learned to embrace it. Feeling imposter syndrome is just a reminder that I'm learning something new and expanding my knowledge and skills as a developer.

Hope this helps! If you have other ways of dealing with imposter syndrome, share them below in the comments!

Top comments (3)

rickluevanos profile image
Ricardo Luevanos

Thanks for sharing this Jeannie! Imposter syndrome is still a thing for me as well, it comes and goes and I learned to work with that. Learning to be uncomfortable with discomfort is definitely part of the solution!

jeannienguyen profile image
Jeannie Nguyen

Thanks for reading, Ricardo! It's good to know that imposter syndrome is something to work with instead of trying to avoid.

kateh profile image
Kate (she/her)

Heya! I just came across your post after posting some reflections myself from the first two years in my career-- sounds like we're at very similar place in our careers!!

I 100% resonate with all of this. When I first started, I remember feeling overwhelmed by how much I didn't know, but I've come to accept that that's super normal. Dealing with ambiguity is a huge part of software development!