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Search - "imposter syndrome is forever"
It seems like every other day I run into some post/tweet/article about people whining about having the imposter syndrome. It seems like no other profession (except maybe acting) is filled with people like this.
Well lemme answer that question for you lot.
YES YOU ARE A BLOODY IMPOSTER.
There. I said it. BUT.
Know that you're already a step up from those clowns that talk a lot but say nothing of substance.
You're better than the rockstar dev that "understands" the entire codebase because s/he is the freaking moron that created that convoluted nonsensical pile of shit in the first place.
You're better than that person who thinks knowing nothing is fine. It's just a job and a pay cheque.
The main question is, what the flying fuck are you going to do about being an imposter? Whine about it on twtr/fb/medium? HOW ABOUT YOU GO LEARN SOMETHING BEYOND FRAMEWORKS OR MAKING DUMB CRUD WEBSITES WITH COLOR CHANGING BUTTONS.
Computers are hard. Did you expect to spend 1 year studying random things and waltz into the field as a fucking expert? FUCK YOU. How about you let a "doctor" who taught himself medicine for 1 year do your open heart surgery?
Learn how a godamn computer actually works. Do you expect your doctors and surgeons to be ignorant of how the body works? If you aspire to be a professional WHY THE FUCK DO YOU STAY AT THE SURFACE.
Go learn about Compilers, complete projects with low level languages like C / Rust (protip: stay away from C++, Java doesn't count), read up on CPU architecture, to name a few topics.
Then, after learning how your computers work, you can start learning functional programming and appreciate the tradeoffs it makes. Or go learn AI/ML/DS. But preferably not before.
Basically, it's fine if you were never formally taught. Get yourself schooled, quit bitching, and be patient. It's ok to be stupid, but it's not ok to stay stupid forever.
Most days, I feel pretty good about my skill and contributions, but I still sometimes worry that I might be the cog with the terrible code that all my coworkers rant about.1
!rant Week 82
Eastern philosophy has made me better at programming. I'm not much of a metaphysics guy, but abstract space breeds creativity. I find that programming and zen are alike, wholeness enveloped by nothingness. A new programming language is being an infant to a foreign universe, without any means to make sense of things. Only through your own references can you make sense of this new stimuli. That nascent feeling, being a baby, is an amazing thing. Programming is probably the most humbling task I've ever endured. We all know the feelings of imposter syndrome, and yet they seem distant when a new solution is just burgeoning. Rehabilitation refers to social programs as programming. Criminals spend all day, "programming" in most institutions. Programming as a word becomes a meditation for change. So life and programming then, are forever in twined. And my experience of being humbled as a programmer has helped me in life. And my experiences being humbled by life, have made me a better programmer.
Is looking up the answers a good way to learn?
I started with free code camp a while back and always just looked up the answers and reverse engineered them when running into trouble. If I didn’t get it I’d look up a few videos on the idea.
But recently I started at a boot camp and after I asked they greatly discouraged me from doing this but I don’t see an alternative. I could just spent hours trying to guess the right answer and maybe eventually get the right one, but then my head is full of wrong answers and it takes forever. It feels like reinventing the wheel every time. I’m scared when I get further on in the bootcamp I won’t be able to find the answers online and I’ll be directionless.
Is this just imposter syndrome or am I cheating? Everyone I’ve asked said looking up what to do is part of the job.2