4 Years as a Web Developer - The hardest thing I’ve faced
Before we get to the topic today, I wanna share something really quick. I just received an offer letter to the new company I'm going to work for late last night. As I was reading and signing it, I reminisced about the last 4 years of my life and all the struggles and difficulties I went through to get where I am today. The one thing I've come to realize is this: Imposter Syndrome is fake. And you might be asking "What is Imposter Syndrome?". Well...
To put it simply, Imposter Syndrome is you doubting your own skills or talents and ability to succeed. Say for example you get hired as a web developer, and while you're working you think that you can't solve this problem, can't write that landing page, or can't fix bugs. You think that if you can't do any of this, you're afraid of what's going to happen. You're going to think they hired a developer when you're really not as good as they thought you would be. If you felt this, welcome to the club. Because every aspiring developer has experienced this, unless you're a child prodigy of course.
I can tell you that I've felt this, that's for sure. Now I'm pretty sure you're saying "Wait, what are you talking about? What do you mean Imposter Syndrome is fake?". What I mean is that in all the times I doubted myself and felt like I wasn't good enough, I was wrong. Imposter Syndrome was tricking me. It was giving me anxiety when I didn't need it and making me scared of something when there was nothing to be scared of.
When I was working at my mid-level job my manager would constantly ask me why I doubted myself so much. He'd go on to say that I have to believe in myself and that he hired me because he knows I have potential. It's because of him I tell people in my YouTube videos that they're better than they realize. But because of my stupid Imposter Syndrome back then, I still wouldnt fully believe what he was saying and think to myself that he doesn't know me as much as he thinks he does.
The thing is, he does know me. He watched my YouTube videos, and the one thing he asked me was why I'm so positive and confident in my videos, but in person I'm not. I would tell him that I just don't feel like I'm that good. And unfortunately, it was that thought that was slowing me down and hindering my growth as a developer and pushing forward to become better than I should've been. That's what held me back so much. I'm saying all this because when I look at how bad my Imposter Syndrome was, I go back to where it all started.
Back when I was working, there was someone who was going to a world-renowned college and was going to get his degree. And he would constantly ask how I got a job here when I don't even have a degree or don't even know that much code. What's more, this person would declare very loudly for everyone in the office to come see what he's built. While I was just there building basic things. I wouldn't go as far as to say this person intentionally did this to me, but it affected me in a way I didn't even realize: what he was doing was giving me severe Imposter Syndrome.
During that time I kept thinking if only I went to school, got a scholarship so I could afford to go to college, and got my Computer Science Degree. I remember thinking of all these things during that time, because I felt like I'll never catch up to that guy or be as good as him. All these things affected me tremendously. And the reason I'm sharing this is because he was right, I don't have a degree, but that doesn't mean I'm not capable of coding and coding well.
Looking back at all this I realized there was nothing wrong with me. This Imposter Syndrome I felt was nothing but my own thoughts holding me back. I lacked so much confidence that despite making videos to help other people, I forgot to give confidence to myself. That's why I want you guys to know that you're more capable than you realize. Don't ever allow someone, especially yourself, to tell you that you're not good and you won't make it.
Whether you're an aspiring developer or already a web developer, coding is so much easier than people think. The only thing that will hold you back is yourself and your thoughts. As they say, you are your own worst enemy. So believe in yourself and be confident in your abilities. Because when you do that, I guarantee you, you're going to do things you never even knew you can do.
Developer Relations Engineer @New Relic