Discussion on: Have you ever struggled with imposter syndrome? 👽

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Ron Newcomb

No, not really, in my entire 30+ years of writing code. I wrote code for the first time before I hit puberty by reading system manuals and trying stuff out to see what stuck. There was no internet when I started college, nowhere to read about what all the cool people had made in their free time when I was still learning basics. I could only compare myself to my classmates since that's all we could see.

Now that I'm older I know that no one can be an expert on everything, and most of us only grow to be "good enough" in whatever tech of the day our employers need, before we change jobs or tech stacks or whatever. There's not enough time in our lives to really learn that framework we use or whatever, so you only learn what you need when you need it, and so does everyone else.

One guy I knew spent a lot of his time really learning Flash. He's in management now, since angular/react is totally starting over and he just didn't have the fire in him to specialize again. Same for a C guy I used to know.

Being a dev means being a lifelong learner means always being new and a bit stupid in whatever you're coding in or for (like complicated finance stuff). You're never "done" learning, never get to say "ok I understand it all now so I feel better". The tech is thrown away eventually.

I think imposter syndrome is just feeling incorrectly about feeling stupid. I'd be much more worried about a dev who never felt stupid or behind. I DO feel stupid, on many occasions, but never an imposter. Half of competence is knowing that you don't know.