Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

Kathryn Grayson Nanz on September 29, 2017

A brief note: This post has been adapted from the keynote presentation I gave at the 2017 LitmusLive Boston, London, and San Francisco conference... [Read Full]
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Thank you so much! I started coding about 2 years ago and always felt like I wasn't good enough. I expected myself to know everything by the end of year 1. As Bill Gates said "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years."
Just imagining how much I've learnt in the past year makes me proud. Imagining what I'll learn in the next 10 makes me ecstatic. There are still many days I feel like I'm not making it but then I read some blog like yours and it makes me realize what really matters.


Just started development a year or so ago, professionally, took up and learned too many things too fast. At a new company now with very experienced people in the field. A huge part of the article is what I feel almost all the time before approaching anyone.


This is a great piece, I totally agree that a big part of overcoming imposter syndrome is embracing the fact that we're in a field designed so most people will never know everything. That's really just a prerequisite to being a coder, since it requires having the drive and enthusiasm to keep learning.

That graph may make a great inspirational poster to many junior devs around here!



Thank you for posting this.

I concur, as long as you have the motivation to keep learning you will succeed and that in this industry there is an amazing support system. This is exactly what I needed to read. Before reading this piece, I didn't know that there was actually a name to what I was feeling.

Keep up the good work!


Thanks for posting this.

This quote helps me get through it a lot of the times.

"Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for."


This is one of the few articles I've seen on here that isn't mostly fluff or purely entertaining. I appreciate the effort you put into writing a quality article about something I feel almost all of us have experienced. Thank you!


Honestly I think imposter syndrome mostly stems from our culture. The vast majority of people emphasize humility at all costs, and being confident or proud of yourself is almost universally seen as a negative trait.

Because of this culture, when you're confident in yourself, people automatically start analyzing you and trying to find flaws and cut you down because, secretly, they feel inadequate themselves and they wish they were as confident as you.

Another effect is that people no longer know how to receive feedback. They won't accept praise because then they feel like they are bragging, but they won't accept criticism either, because then they feel attacked. It is a lose-lose situation for those who cannot break the cycle.


By constantly telling ourselves we shouldn’t or we can’t, we’re not doing anyone any favors – not ourselves, and certainly not the industry as a whole.

I really resonated with this! Thank you Kathryn


I read this whilst my wife was watching TV. I've been trying to explain to her the core concepts of Imposter Syndrome and I've never quite felt like i nailed the explanation. I asked her to pause as I read the odd sentence from your article to her, that perfectly articulated what I'm feeling.

I soon realised I was asking her to pause every paragraph :P You completely nailed the concept, and the feelings that we have with this syndrome. So I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to post this.

Definitely going to try and put your suggestions into play and work on building my own confidence.

Thank you!


Yay, I only answered that I code and I'm a developer, most I've been years. Feeling chuffed and nicely written. I think I should have that quiz on "speed dial" so to speak :)

ps, do we have a mentor ship type thing on here. I've basically spent my whole year and a half doing it solo, could be longer, I loose track of time, days, weeks, years lol


Great piece. This is me every single day since I moved from my iOS job to a .Net job ha! 😆


Thank you for this article I really need this, because I have a phone interview with one of the big companies next week. My Impostor Syndrome is on 10 right now.

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