Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome is the mindset that you feel like a fraud in your field, thinking you aren’t as good as people might think you are. Most of the time though, people that suffer from imposter syndrome are well accomplished and may hold higher roles in their community. Around 70% of people will experience imposter syndrome in their lifetime. Citation:

As a student that as taken computer science courses, I can say I have experienced a light version of impostor syndrome. Before I took my Java 220 class, I heard that it was a course that multiple students had to retake because it was so difficult for them the first time. But 3/4 of the way through the course, I had held a constant A in the course, so I felt as if I shouldn’t have the grade I did, and that I was supposed to be struggling more with the assignments and material. I knew that there were many other smarter kids in the class than me that knew more about programming, so it should’ve been more apparent that I wasn’t as smart as them.

The article “Developer imposter syndrome: why you feel like a fake” talks about how programmers and software developers are more prone to suffering from imposter syndrome because there are so many ways and methods to go about programming, that one developer can’t know everything. This makes them feel insufficient because they feel bad about not knowing things that other people are familiar with. But programmers are constantly learning, so they can never know everything. Some tips this article discusses about combating developer imposter syndrome are embracing it (realizing that every developer is in the same boat, and knowing what you don’t know provides an opportunity to learn), keeping track of your achievements (have a portfolio of your progress and successes to remind yourself that you are constantly getting better, and that’s what makes a good programmer), and promoting teamwork and camaraderie ( creating an environment where you and your coworkers are going to each other for ideas and opinions so you can be reminded that they need help too, and that they aren’t better than you by knowing everything). After reading these tips, I understood the positive affects that they would have on someone, and that they would be quite helpful.

I had an idea that talking to other people not in your field about programming could help someone with developer imposter syndrome as well. You could gain confidence that your are quite intelligible about programming and developing when you are able to teach a beginner the methods and ways you have learned, because that means you know the information well, and it is easily understood by others.






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