The Impostor Syndrome

vineet192 profile image Vineet Kalghatgi ・2 min read

Developers are viewed by the society as mystical beings performing witchcraft on anything with a keyboard. If you are a developer or even remotely associated with computers, Movie and TV-studios will call you by that magic 6-letter word HACKER.

You may be depicted as someone who can :

  • Build a GUI interface using visual basic to track the killers IP address
  • Get the power back on from an outage by just typing on your keyboard
  • Go full on tag team with a fellow HACKER to type on the same keyboard at the same time to achieve Turbo Hacking.

Well all jokes aside, my point is that programmers are perceived as being extremely smart and when we find ourselves googling solutions or copy pasting snippets, its easy to fall into the trap of feeling like an impostor.

I would argue that just the mere action of looking up solutions does not make you any less of a developer, what is important is that you understand the structure and logical flow of whatever you're building. When you achieve that, everything else is just minor details.

If you think about it, googling solutions is no different than going through a book to find the answers, only you are doing it with a powerful search engine. In fact, it is more impressive that developers as a whole generally do not mug up solutions, rather they always figure it out albeit with some help from StackOverflow.

So if you ever find yourself feeling like an impostor or someone who does not know enough, know that as a developer, you have developed or are developing an implicit skill of understanding solutions rather than remembering them. Therefore it is fine if you forget how to read files in Java, or if its arr.size() or arr.length, whats important is the bigger picture of what you're trying to solve.

I understand that a deeper conversation can be had on this topic, but this was just my lighthearted take. So in closing I will leave this xkcd panel:


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Vineet Kalghatgi


Android and web dev with a love for all things software


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