• Ashley Feese

The inevitable Imposter Syndrome: You are guaranteed to experience it.

“I’m not ready to be a developer”

“Am I smart enough to do this?”

“How do the others know so much?”

“Am I ever going to learn this?”

“I feel stuck, does that mean I’ll get fired?”

Sound familiar? Those questions you are asking could be compared to… let’s say…arrows lit on fire, trying to impede on your knowledge expansion. Snuff them out as much as you can because if you are willing, then you are already a step ahead of where you need to be. Self-doubt is one of the hardest feelings to push aside but to be successful, you will need to push through and not let those arrows burn down your self-worth.

Fake news vs Actuality

“You can never assume you are the smartest person in the room in every topic. There isn’t enough time in this world to be an expert at everything” (Zach, 2020). The key is to not focus on what you assume the others might be capable of and how little YOU think you know. The key is to focus on the reality of your current knowledge threshold and how you can utilize the tools and knowledge of others you interact with, to better yourself as well as those around you.

Plan it out

Try not to think about tackling it all at once. List your tasks, attempt one at a time before thinking about the other, even if that one item in progress ties into the rest of your code. Segment it out and you will find that you are slowly refining your organization skills while gaining patience. Talk about winning!

2 Hour Timer

Set a timer for two hours and really give your all at an attempt. If it is not in your favor after two hours, take a break and come back later.

Also, avoid becoming the satellite in a debug orbit…

In one specific experience while testing, I spent a few hours trying to debug one error (happens all too commonly, actually). My methods included switching blocks of code with one another, commenting out different lines, entering/deleting pieces, all while getting different errors. I felt like my mind was running in circles with trying to figure out one small piece that I ended up just needing to delete. My point being to avoid spending too much time on one thing and time block yourself to maximize your potential. Think about the 2 Hour Timer guideline and see how it benefits you to implement it!

Burnout is real – take breaks

In most cases (outside of your organization’s deadlines, of course), the issue may not need to be figured out immediately. Save your sanity and step away – get outside, run in place, play a game, do what helps you recharge your energy and mind.

A harsh reality: Imposter syndrome also never goes away! Once you have found your groove, you will continue to experience the ebb and flow of development, just like many aspects of life. It is not just a cliché – embrace all of it. Seriously, because you will be grateful you did.

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