I began my post collegiate career as an IT Manager at an advertising agency. As someone who earned a B.A. in English but was also fascinated with computers, this was a dream job for me. One of the most helpful pieces of advice I received from my first manager was that this was a three year job, max. Organizing IT and internal tech services needed to be tackled, and after that, my job would not necessarily be needed. I was eager to get started, but after nine months, I found it hard to be the 'my computer is not working, fix it' guy when I was surrounded by extraordinarily talented people who were making this amazing work that people were actually seeing in the outside world. I used work and home study to start learning Objective-C, and eventually entered into a one-week Objective-C Bootcamp course offered by the Big Nerd Ranch. I started production on a client project, my first: an iPad app.
The development of the app really introduced me to the Imposter Syndrome; what was I doing, I was just the IT guy. This was not helped by the year-long production of the app, or the fact that while searching for a file in our file system that I was asked to find, I accidentally found my unused termination paper from the previous summer. After completing the app, I felt accomplished, like I had finally reached my dream job when I was asked to fully transition to a web development position in the agency.
If there is one problem that I've found by finding a position where I'm surrounding by insanely talented and experienced coworkers (who am I kidding, friends), it's that I will never be the most talented person in the room. This can lead to a relapse of Imposter Syndrome. A sometimes daily introspection and evaluation of my progress reminds me that my coworkers have taught me how to be a developer, how and how not to solve problems, that it's OK to not have the best answer, that talking out ideas with someone that understands or has solved a problem before can lead to better answers, and that imposter or not, if I consistently do my best and learn from the mistakes I make I will continue to get better.
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