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7 uncomfortable truths about being a developer.

tyaga001 profile image Ankur Tyagi Updated on ・3 min read

7 uncomfortable truths about being a developer.

A Thread... pic.twitter.com/VD2s9tlnKm

— Ankur💻🎧💪 (@TheAnkurTyagi) May 2, 2021

7 uncomfortable truths about being a developer.

1. We have an identity crisis.

I used to be confused about whether I should introduce myself as a developer, software engineer, front-end engineer, back-end engineer, full-stack engineer, a software engineer in a test, or just a freelancer.

The tech market is the market.
It doesn't care about who you are, as a developer.

-Which degree you hold
-What boot camp you completed
-Which Udemy course you did

It's hard-hitting for some devs initially.

Your emotional & mental state as a dev has a direct impact on your work

2. Most of us are in debt.

Newcomer's things all financial worries could just go out the window, Unfortunately, that isn’t the case

Be it:

  • home loan
  • car loan
  • education loan
  • personal loans

You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.

3. We all have imposter syndrome

Absolutely everybody wants to win as a dev

All developer feels different inside (less confident, less able, etc.) from how they infer other people to feel.

Most of us who struggle with imposter syndrome worry a lot about what others think of us.

For all the newbies or who want to enter the tech world, I would say:

"Begin by dreaming"

"If another developer has done it, there’s a good chance you can do it too".

You get what you focus on.

If you are continually thinking of all the things that can go wrong, they will.

4. As a senior developer, you are a celebrity, whether you like it or not.

Every word you share will be analyzed,
Your every action will be reproduced,
You'll set a new standard,
What you'll say on social media.

Think of how you speak, how you act and behave & share next time.

5. Being a developer is fucking hard

After days of early excitement of

  • First job
  • First boot camp
  • First Github PR merge

It's showtime, hell lot of frameworks that tech has will chase you.
At that point, there are only two things that will help.

  • Patience & Your dreams.

6. Fellow developer success will generate massive self-doubt, whether you like it or not.

"The worst enemy for a developer is self-doubt."

  • TheAnkurTyagi

Doubt kills more dreams of developers than failure ever will.

You are so much stronger than you realize.

7. People might mock you for going on an unconventional path.

Everyone will tell you, take the safe decision, walk down the safe path, choose the safe side but.

Developer's progress has always been driven by unconventional thinking.

Better to be wrong than be boring.

That's it for today & Thanks for reading.

I have recently written a book for developer growth & shared my 11+ years of experience.

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Discussion (54)

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hseritt profile image
Harlin Seritt • Edited

You stop having impostor syndrome when you have the realization that everything you're doing and going through is actually perfect for where you are in life. It can be your work or relationships or anything or finances. It doesn't matter. Everyone goes through the same. Think about it like this: you can't possibly know more than you actually know. Sounds elementary but it's amazing that we humans believe we should know more than we do, make more money than we do and be where we think we should be when right here is absolutely fine for this moment. Enjoy this moment and life takes care of itself.

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190245 profile image
Dave

I think your comment sums up what I wanted to say in reaction to the post.

Have I had moments of self doubt / impostor syndrome over the years? Sure. I guess I'm in the minority & fortunate that it's neither been daily or long lasting.

I was writing code as a kid. I was writing code (for a living) while at college. I've been writing in one language or another for 30+ years (sheesh that's scary). Can other people work faster, and write better code? Sure... but my bills have always been paid, and while they're busy writing code I've been the one talking to customers and/or Directors (or C-level) to explain things.

Self acceptance takes a little maturity, but that really is the key to a happy life (IMO).

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hseritt profile image
Harlin Seritt

"Self acceptance takes a little maturity, but that really is the key to a happy life (IMO)." Yes! Give yourself a hand for that comment! That is very nice! :-D

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author • Edited

In fact, many of the most successful people in the world have struggled with imposter syndrome. Though it is critical to understand that feeling like a fraud is not a requisite for success, many accomplished people struggle with it from time to time and achieve amazing things in spite of it. There is hope that you can overcome imposter syndrome.

Every time I go to a game I always have that fear of losing or a sense of failure. You always have that fear of losing but you always have that confidence of winning. You never want to come off the field thinking you could have done more or given more.

—Darren Lockyer

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado

Impostor syndrome is the purest form of self-sabotage

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pracoon profile image
Prasham Ashesh

"At any given point in time, you are doing what you want to be doing the most" its an empowering thought. Well said, Sir.

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hseritt profile image
Harlin Seritt

As though you chose it yourself but that can be too much for the mind to handle. So, best to keep it simple. :-) Thank you for your insight, Prasham :-)

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pracoon profile image
Prasham Ashesh

True Simplicity is the Key.

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hseritt profile image
Harlin Seritt

Ah beautifully said :-D

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abdullahdibas profile image
Abdullah Di'bas

Well said !

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ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

I spent most of my 20s burning myself out trying to prove myself better than everyone else around me and all it did was destroy my character until I reached a point where I wasn't comfortable with who I had become. I worshipped money and success above all else.

It finally occurred to me that the majority of people in the world are average and are incredibly happy to be so. There's always going to be developers smarter than myself. There's always going to be tasks I could have solved in a more elegant matter, but regardless of what happens, it is up to me to be happy with where I am at and grateful for the path I have chosen.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado

Glad to see you have recovered from that crash. Wish more newbies could see this comment. So many are brainwashed by hustle p0rn these days....

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nefomemes profile image
Nefomemes • Edited

Hustle pwn, what's that... Lemme check on Google... Oh, is that glorification of overwork?

remembers at what time I get to sleep when I'm coding

Oh, help me...

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hseritt profile image
Harlin Seritt

Hustle p0rn lol that's a good one :-D

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emmabostian profile image
Emma Bostian ✨

I find the "most of us are in debt" to be very US-centric! In Europe it's not so common to have consumer debt.

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

It's a case in India as well. Most of us bought flat on loans, Car loans, CC loans.

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leob profile image
leob

But is that specific to being a developer? Probably society is pushing people in general towards these unhealthy habits - the endless rat race of "more more more" ... doesn't have that much to do with being a developer.

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Agreed, It's mostly applicable to all human, we almost forget how to live a good life with fewer resources & always fighting for more & more in this rat race.

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leob profile image
leob

Exactly! Enjoying the moment and sometimes being contented with what you have is so important. Don't listen too much to people who are telling you what to do, or that you "should" have this or "should" do that. Sure they can advise, and then you thank them politely, next you make your own decision.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial • Edited

Great article and I think you nailed it on all 7 points there, have a ❤ and 🦄!

Minor typo in point 2 "Newcomer's things", I think it should be "Newcomers think that all financial worries will just go out the window".

As for how to introduce yourself, if it is a friend or family member I tend to go with "I build stuff for the web, I have no idea how computers work" so that I don't get asked how to set up someone's printer (as I have no idea!) 🤣🤣

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Thank you. 💙

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial

You are welcome....but you still haven't fixed the typo 🤣🤣

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perty profile image
Per Lundholm

Since everyone has the imposter syndrome, be generous with praising your fellow developers' work.

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tyaga001 profile image
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incrementis profile image
Akin C.

Hello Ankur Tyagi,

thank you for your article.
I'm glad that more and more developers are communicating the emotional hardships the job could bring.
This at least helps prepare yourself mentally for these types of difficulties.
In my opinion, it also creates an environment where other developers can communicate without shame these kind of issues when they arise.

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tyaga001 profile image
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leob profile image
leob

Could be me but I don't recognize a whole lot among these 7 points, there's scarcely anything that resonates with me ... anybody else have that same feeling? We're all different folks, I get sceptical the moment I see posts titled like "Every dev should ..." or similarly generic statements

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190245 profile image
Dave

I agree with you.

I've known people that have expressed similar sentiments to the original poster, but I've just never been in those shoes.

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leob profile image
leob

That's exactly my point - these things are presented as universal truths ("7 truths about being a developer"), but everyone's situation is different, that's why I say most of this doesn't resonate with me ... to a certain extent I don't even think these issues are specific to developers (especially the point about the personal debts)

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author • Edited

I respect your opinions but what I shared is not something just like that, I have seen this in my 11+ years of career & most of the developers have gone through or In fact, going on, Exceptional is always here, You can see other comments as well.

My main purpose to help fellow developers by sharing my experience.

I have been mentoring people for the last 4 years & came across so many mentees who feel all above points. hope this makes some sense.

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leob profile image
leob • Edited

It's all in the mind ... people are way too concerned about what others think of them, and feel that they need to bend over backwards and go out of their way just to please or to impress, and to conform to expectations ... most of it is "I have to do this or that because people say so, or expect me to" ... learn to ignore those pressures, chart your own course, and you'll be better off for it.

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manvendrask profile image
Manvendra Singh • Edited

I can't sleep in night if I haven't wrote any code or seeing one algorithm doing its work. I really feel uncomfortable if I don't touch my laptop keyboard any given day.

I don't know, I think I might be Ill. 🙄

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Take a break Manvendra. Don't ignore breaks please.

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jsgoose profile image
Jonathan Sexton

Great post - the impostor syndrome and the having envy over other developer's success really hit home for me. I'm always happy when I see other devs succeeding and doing well but no matter how well I do my brain says it's not enough.

I use both of those to propel me forward...fuel for my career :)

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jaguart profile image
Jeff

Interesting article - esp. the comments about self-doubt. I've worked with hundreds of developers in different languages, environments and industries over the last 30 years. I can honestly say that in all that time, I have only met around a dozen whom I would consider truly talented developers. They all constantly questioned themselves, and those around them - and had strong opinions, weakly held. The proof of their talent was evident in how readily their designs coped with rapid change. The happy person doesn't see any need for evolution. The unhappy person strives to improve - and finds that true accomplishment can lead to deeper satisfaction and happiness.

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shareef profile image
Mohammed Nadeem Shareef • Edited

I strongly agree with 4th point.

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allison profile image
Allison Walker

Yes, I thought that was very insightful as well.

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dualyticalchemy profile image
⚫️ nothingness negates itself

no black person has imposter syndrome. black people struggle under institutional barriers to equitable access and fundamental, systemic antiblack mechanism and mechanism-independent structures undermining the integrity of the social, aesthetic, psychic and natural processes of their identity formation and resource allocation

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mcube25 profile image
Muhammad Muhktar Musa

beautiful write up and true. permission to tweet number 6

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Thank you, Yes please go ahead & tweet.

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hminy572 profile image
hminy572

So true sadly

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piaomu profile image
Kasey Wahl

This is one of the few pieces I've read that talks about these sobering issues in a constructive light. Thanks for the insight and the mindful approach to these problems.

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tyaga001 profile image
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Kinanee Samson

Identity crisis eh, i really find it difficult what title to use in describing myself.

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silverdarling profile image
Silver Darling

None of those are especially "developer" related. They apply to most jobs.

Maybe these -

  • you will be confined to a chair staring at a screen for an inhumanely large period of your existence
  • you are an imposter, your got your current job pretending you knew something you didnt, your next job will depend on pretending you know something you dont
  • so you will never have a work day where you dont need to learn something
  • and you will never have a work day where you dont forget something you learned the day before
  • you will nurture fear and loathing of one or more big tech companies
  • you have a high probability of being on some spectrum
  • your mum will never understand what job you do
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varshneypragyan profile image
Pragyan Varshney

This is much needed, it will definitely help the likes of me.

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Thank you & welcome

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

Ah yes, debt, only 7 - 30 years to go, let's hope I stay in work and am not replaced by AI 😬

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bobbyronelkannan profile image
Bobby Ronel Kannan

Great article! Loved it !

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Thank you.

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tonyp profile image
Tony P

Thank you for sharing! This has helped me today! Much appreciated!

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Welcome Tony

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alejandro_winters profile image
Alejandro Winters

My first post and read. Thanks for the support!

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dni9 profile image
DNI9

Actually, I wanna know what should call myself if I do some frontend and backend stuff too? full stack developer or something?

Forem Open with the Forem app