My Imposter’s not syndrome journey.
As an entry-level engineer, it’s almost given that you will feel inadequate most of the time. Sometimes your best never feels good enough. They call this bad boy Imposter’s Syndrome, but today we will tell him to go to hell.
I remember the first time I got a full-time software engineering job, novice straight out of college, Summa Cum Laude honours in Computer science on my belt. I really felt like I am the real deal, little did I know that all that academic hullabaloo will be of little to no use in ushering me into my career.
Fast forward, first day on the job, I get this shiny new MacBook Pro, (honestly this was the first time unboxing a new gadget). I was so elated and couldn’t wait to switch on that baby, unboxing was an awesome experience but remember it just doesn’t end there. After all the euphoria had died down, it was time to start contributing to the codebase. At that moment I knew.
I didn’t know how to use a Mac, so much for a first hurdle right, not knowing how to use the work tool. Secondly git was alien to me, I had only but used bitbucket 2 years prior to clone some projects, as such the only git command I knew was git clone blah blah, not bad for an entry level junior dev right.
That day had the most WTF moments in my entire life. With the help of more senior members of the team, I managed to navigate the first day without being fired, the first day turned into the first week, first week, into first month, first month into first year (just fyi I was not fired) .
I don't even want to talk about my first merge / pull request, the earth did me bad that day, I wonder why it didn't dare swallow me after seeing those comments.
5 years later, I am writing this article in a gloomy Parisian apartment, not because I love writing but its just so hot around this time of the year and I have nothing else to do. There is no better way to waste my life than sit here and make you feel better right?. Anyway, now that I have been doing this software engineering thing for a while now, has any of those feelings I had as a junior dev changed?
No I still feel like I will be fired tomorrowTinashe Makuti
There you guessed it, I still think i don’t know shit, every morning as I get into that metro train, I feel like
“here we go again Tinashe, aren’t you ashamed of showing up with your empty head“. But you know what, i keep showing up anyway, i am still working on that platform used by more than 15 million people and my manager says I am doing an excellent job.
The aim of this rant, is to show you that you are not alone, even those who you think are more seasoned engineers have a lot of WTF moments. There is nothing as normal as having Imposter’s Syndrome, never let it get the best of you, keep showing up, relax, breathe and code. I will end this with a tweet from one of the most senior engineers I know.
Passe une bonne journée