Hi! My name is Sarah and I've only been seriously coding for a little over a year. I deal with Impostor syndrome, just as many other coding newbies do. I love to code. It's kind of taken over all my free time as of late. But despite this, I have this deep-seated anxiety over my coding abilities and I often look at everything I don't know, as opposed to what I do know.
I'm no expert on overcoming this by any means, I deal with it every day. BUT, I have picked up a few tips along the way that help me with the unease, and I'd like to share with others who might be feeling the same.
Code Every Single Day
Obviously life happens, but if you can, code every single day. Even just for an hour. This is why I started the #100DaysOfCode challenge. I needed to build the habit. Now that I'm almost done with my first round, I can safely say it's a cemented routine. In fact, I've been in kind of a "coding frenzy" as my husband so delicately put it yesterday.
See next post on learning to take a break ;)
I kind of look at my coding time as time to work on one of 3 categories: job prep (practicing interview algorithms, working on portfolio, etc.), course work (Udemy, Lynda, YouTube tutorials, etc.), and project work. I bounce between these categories depending on my mood but try to get some actual coding work in, rather than always just relying on tutorials to guide me through. I find I learn the most when I'm breaking things.
Support Fellow Developers
I might not be to the point where I can offer a lot of technical advice to my peers, but I can offer moral support and that's worth something. After joining the #100DaysOfCode, I was immediately blown away by how nice and supportive the coding community is. My follower numbers started to jump (much to my surprise) and I found that there were a lot of people in the same boat as me. So encourage others! You never know when you'll make someone's day by offering them some positive feedback or pushing them when discouraged.
Practice Interview Problems
I'm still on the hunt for my first dev job and have successfully made it through a few rounds of interviews, only to crash on the technical. I know a lot of you have been here. Sites like HackerRank and EdaBit have been an absolute lifesaver for me. Additionally, I picked up a whiteboard so I can practice problems at home. Like playing a game, if you don't practice it, you're probably gonna be pretty rusty.
Compare Your Journey To Your Own
Stop. comparing. yourself. to. other. people.
Those people had to start somewhere, just like you did. I often find myself looking at the feed of a developer whom I admire and noticing feelings of my own shortcomings starting to creep in. I think it's human nature to compare, but making yourself feel bad because you're not in the same place on your career path isn't helping anyone, especially you. If you sat down and wrote a list of everything you know compared to 1 year ago, I bet you'd be pretty amazed.
So work on telling your brain that you're awesome and are crushing it. This isn't a race and you're doing just fine.