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A Conversation About Imposter Syndrome

Ricardo Luevanos
Maker of software products and a builder of teams. Director of Engineering @⚡ We're hiring! Helping developers rise via The Rising Dev newsletter.
・1 min read

The topic of Imposter Syndrome, especially as it relates to software engineering careers, is a prominent and repeated one. And for good reason, it's something many of us struggle with, some of us more than others.

Some Questions For You

  • How often do you deal with Imposter Syndrome?
  • What tactics have you tried when dealing with it?
  • What have you learned about how IS affect you?

Share your answers in the comments section if u like 🙂

A Recommendation

I recently had a great conversation with @_MarkSnyder_ on his podcast Building Better Software Teams. The topic was about Dealing with Imposter Syndrome.

Give it a listen, let me know what you think.

I'll be tackling similar topics on my newsletter, The Rising Dev - Subscribe Here.

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Discussion (3)

ozone72 profile image
Orin Fletcher

I went to a coding bootcamp and had no idea what impostor syndrome was. When I finished the program and started looking around at what I could do, I realized I had been in a bubble, and that I had no idea how to talk to engineers and professionals in tech. I could rip out some keystrokes and Google like a champ, but that's not really the job... Hit me like a piano from heaven - I was clearly a fraud and wasted all this money and effort just to prove it.
I went back a year later for a post-grad support meeting with a mentor. Impostor syndrome was the first thing brought up, followed by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. To be honest, I was pretty angry. I kind of felt like I had stumbled into a cultivated mental illness that nobody told me about yet it was affecting my everyday life. So after a year of crippling self-esteem issues, I found out it was a thing. Not cool. This was early 2015. Since then its become a heavy topic of conversation in my tech town. I feel that this should be the FIRST thing brought up in these types of programs.
Thanks for talking about this.

rickluevanos profile image
Ricardo Luevanos Author

Wow! That's quite the journey Orin, thank you for sharing your experience. And I acknowledge your resolve in pushing through it.

I agree with you, Imposter Syndrome should be talked about earlier in careers and education programs. Honestly, I think mental health should be something we all get an education on when we are young.

I'm still running into senior engineers and managers who have dealt with this and thought they were alone. I'm happy it's talked about more now than it was before - still needs to be a bigger part of our career conversations and overall growth in my opinion.

Thanks so much for sharing your story!

rickluevanos profile image
Ricardo Luevanos Author

I'll start.

Personally, I’ve dealt with Imposter Syndrome off and on throughout my entire career (20+ years in software). It can creep in with varying degrees of intensity on a monthly basis.

I’ve done my own research and found a few tactics that helped. I also worked with a coach on dealing with it. My goal isn’t always to rid myself of Imposter Syndrome, but to limit it from slowing me down - I’ve gotten better at that. In the podcast I linked to above I share some of my tactics in more detail. We are all different, what works for me might not work for you, but it’s always worth trying.

I’ve learned that Imposter Syndrome is a cycle, at least for me. And I’ve learned that it can be an indicator that I’m not working within my style - my optimal mode of working. This unlocked a ton of insight for me.