Impostor Syndrome: I'm a Bad Software Developer

Welcome to Episode Two of my weekly series! All software developers face impostor syndrome at least once in their life. It’s happened to me quite a few times. The best advice I can give is just own it. If you are worried about XYZ, be sure to prepare and go into it confidently, but willing to learn.


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I share and document my experiences on topics including computer science, software engineering, and iOS development. I’m a full-time Software Engineer and a part-time YouTuber & iOS developer. My hobbies outside of what’s been mentioned include surfing, snowboarding, hunting, fishing, and playing video games.

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25 Comments on “Impostor Syndrome: I'm a Bad Software Developer”

  1. "If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm". We need to just understand failure will happen in life no matter how prepared we are. But as long as we don't let it hold us back and more forward through the failure and take it as a lesson instead. All will be ok and we will be fine and successful in life.

  2. Awesome we have similar msi motherboard! I have z87-g45 ! Haha it's still going strong with bios updated and everything! Ha ?

  3. I really hate those rediculous job specs, can really kill ones confidence. From previous jobs I know you learn a lot on the job, and even had to train new guys with better qualifications.

  4. I don't believe in imposter syndrome. I tend to think that if you feel like that, you actually suck at your work, and you do suck if you are fresh out of college or getting your first real job at a company. Nothing wrong with that but thinking this is some magical problem that you don't deserve to experience or some shit like that is just the wrong way of looking at it. If you don't know squat about what you need to do, tell them that. Then work hard on getting better, improve from day to day. If they don't have time to teach the new employee anything then they suck too.

  5. You have a CS degree, and even you have impostor syndrome. I am trying to break into data science and deep learning, and my background is in economics. Impostor syndrome is a big problem for me. I hope it will go away once I get a job. It is terrific that a lot of people talk about it, it makes it easier to know other developers also struggle through it. Also, I was surprised to learn that a lot of high-level developers often search google for an answer and spend a lot of time reading docs. Before that, I thought senior developers keep everything in their head.

  6. I just released a site and boy do I feel like an imposter.

    The site is in beta, so not much is there yet. Plus its just me coding the thing (after a full day of work).

    I have no clue what I'm doing. Just letting the vision pull me forward. I guess that's all we have.

  7. It's as if this is James Franco is he were a Hill-billy who knew how to code and became a Youtuber.

  8. I have been having imposter syndrome my whole career… all 2 years of it. But my work ethic and experience outshines and if i feel i dont deserve to be where i am then i just need to look at what ive done

  9. I really like your videos man, but if i could suggest something, that would be to try to be more straight forward. Sometimes you take way too long to make your point. This video, for example, could easily be shrunk down 5/6 min without compromising any of the content. Anyway, just a heads up. Cheers

  10. I feel it as well quite a lot. Although I learned JS vanilla and jQuery pretty decent, I know how to build Angular, React and Vue component up to a certain degree and because I do not do programming as a full time job I feel like an impostor as well. And I think I will probably never get past it 😀

  11. I had a bit of this at my first job (back in 1996)… I just worked through it and kept learning and reading… and at some point I realized that not only was a contributor but I actually was spending a lot of time helping other team members.

  12. I've never had this problem but that's mostly because I started programming when i was 14 which makes my experience around 10-11 years (not non stop programming every day of course) but I always worked on something and in that time I picked up a lot of knowledge. So at my first web developer job I was quite shocked by how little some people actually know even if they have been working for 3-5 even 7+ years (school not included). I ended up mentoring people that had been working there for 3 years already, which I thought was ironic but very fun. I could see how they felt like they were stupid when I started explaining and showing them things they had no idea about. But I always made sure to remind them that I had already been there. Programming is a hard trade to pickup from school, you cant learn enough in school to be prepared for the real world.. It's not even remotely possible. You also cannot expect to become as good as some developers because understanding code, knowing what it does and how it works at the core level either just clicks or takes 10+ years for others to grasp and even then some still have no idea. But you can still be good, even great at developing. You just need to accept the fact that you will always feel like you don't know enough because there's always something new to learn or improve. If you started a job and you needed no mentoring and just could jump right into it, you are probably lying. My first developer job was only C++ work and that's the language I have most experience with, It took me a solid 6 months to get into how my company works with code, how people code etc. If this shit was easy, everyone would be doing it.

  13. Your video really helped me up feel better about myself 🙂
    I just graduated and I want to get a job as a software developer, but all the jobs ask for crazy things. Well, now I only need to be patient to find a job, eventually I will get it 🙂

  14. I recently went from doing maintenance in retail stores and just studying computer engineering in my free time to taking the lead on an ASIC design project (Both jobs at once). Impostor Syndrome hit me so so so hard.. took like a month of looking through their documentations and specs before i was able to chill and tell myself "bro, u got this".
    Now that i am almost done with that ASIC, im fading from my maintenance job and solidifying investors in my saas startup.
    I have never done business before, so its hitting me hard again randomly…
    My tip, RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH, then just do it, put something together, it may not be great, but you can iterate and improve. Looking up things you stumble on and just doing it will calm ur nerves over time.

    Also, ALWAYS make good documentation. It will help your mind ease and get confidence in what you doing.

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