Download CV

Relax, Breathe and Code, Screw Impostor’s not Syndrome

May 21, 2022

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 tomorrow

Tinashe 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

Posted in Development, Software Engineering
Related Posts
20 Comments
  • Pamela Masendeke

    This is so good! Refreshing, raw, witty, and still conveys the message!😊

    12:00 pm May 21, 2022 Reply
  • Emmanuel

    It was really nice to read this as I can relate as well on some points. Thanks for sharing Tinashe !

    8:46 pm May 21, 2022 Reply
    • Thanks mate, it’s always a relief knowing that you not alone.

      10:43 am May 22, 2022 Reply
    • Kwanele Ruth Ndhlovu

      Very relatable, navigating the first day without getting fired got me in stitches 🤣🤣🤣

      8:41 pm May 22, 2022 Reply
    • Mesah

      Thanks for this read Tinashe, and for sharing your journey. I was laughing reading it, but the important part of it all is to show up and put in the work. Looking forward to more of these reads. Keep shining bro

      8:35 am May 23, 2022 Reply
      • 🙏🙏 thank you Mesah, more is coming bro.

        9:05 am May 23, 2022 Reply
  • Tatmush

    Encouraged 🥺

    8:43 am May 22, 2022 Reply
  • Sean

    Definitely encouraging , better to accept and move on in order to grow more.

    1:42 pm May 22, 2022 Reply
  • Efe Ejemudaro

    This is so relatable a story. Every morning I go to work thinking how these people have not figured out I’m a fraud yet.
    It’s always a relief to know you are not alone.

    P.S. I love the raw writing as well. Thank you for sharing this.

    6:13 pm May 22, 2022 Reply
    • Thank you mate. We just got to keep showing up.

      7:00 pm May 22, 2022 Reply
  • Brenda

    Tinashe excellent job🤩. Thé mémes got me cracking up 😂. Also you have said it raw, most of us feel like we not good enough. Maybe we should change🙂

    10:11 pm May 22, 2022 Reply
    • 😅 thank you Brenda, we should know that those who hired us, did so because they know that we are good enough.

      7:38 am May 23, 2022 Reply
  • Solo

    Very relatable. Just got a new Graduate Training job in Control and Instrumentation. There is a lot I don’t know, so much to learn but I just take it day by day…. Hope I survive.

    5:23 am May 23, 2022 Reply
    • Hey Solo, trust me on this you will not just survive but you will thrive.

      7:35 am May 23, 2022 Reply
  • Leon Muzire

    I can relate to the feeling. Thanks for this piece its so motivating for juniors to push and do more everyday, giving up is never an option

    7:44 am May 24, 2022 Reply
  • Manyoni

    This was a nice read, so Relatable Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing;worse in a foreign land. But one thing about me I will always show up with a bag of Godfidence.

    7:16 pm May 25, 2022 Reply
  • Rabchit

    Amazing read. Felt better after going through this and now compelled to go through all your posts. Thanks

    10:16 pm June 26, 2022 Reply
Write a comment