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Impostor syndrome and pressure

  • How do you deal with impostor syndrome when you are just starting your tech career?
  • Specially when your workplace already had a person from the same bootcamp you come from but with more coding experience and practice prior to starting the same position?
  • Since this person picked up things considerably fast at work. Hints of slow progress are pointed towards me. I feel their expectations have not been met.
  • What can one do about this? Apart from raising the issue?
  • I keep learning and applying my knowledge. Maybe I just need more practice and time?

Top comments (2)

ericathedev profile image
Erica Tanti

From my experience, comparing yourself to others is a dangerous road to go down. The best advice I've heard about this is that the only person you should compare yourself to us past you, and you should always try and be better than past you.

Also, remember that everyone is different and diverse teams are a strength! Instead of framing the problem as "the other person knows more than me and is better", take a moment to identify what it is that you are good at and what skills you bring to the table. Some examples might be:

  • Asking thought provoking questions
  • Documenting things which are unclear so the next person to follow in your footsteps can have an easier time
  • Focusing on code quality and tests etc

You can do it 💪. The fact that you care enough to ask this question shows me that that is true 🙂.

brandinchiu profile image
Brandin Chiu

... when you are just starting your tech career?

I've been doing this for a long time, and let me tell you, imposter syndrome does not go away.

If you let it, that thought can be really freeing, as opposed to crippling.

I can think of at least ten different things off the top of my head right now that if I was asked in an interview, I would be able to answer. I know there are hundreds more.

The most important thing you can do is accept that you can't know everything, and to remember that different people learn in different ways.

If you're concerned about your rate of progress, try something else. It might be that the legacy codebase you're picking up is not friendly for new readers, or maybe you're just more of a visual/conceptual learner and need someone to draw it out on a whiteboard before you can understand it.

None of these things say anything about your intelligence or competence.

If you need help, ask for it - but be sure you're asking the right questions. And if it take a little longer to pick this one thing up, that's okay. Maybe you'll pick up the next one faster.

It's okay to doubt yourself sometimes, as long as you don't let it discourage you from moving forward :)