Alin Rauta

The impostor syndrome and how to get rid of it

December 02, 2015

I have been learning how to program on my own for 7 months and all these months taught me that in the realm of programming the only constant is change.

This assertion correlated with my beginner state of programming level make me prone to the impostor syndrome. Every time I make some progress I have a feeling of accomplishment mixed with the fear of being a fraud. I feel like someone eventually will discover that everything I learnt so far is useless.

Two weeks ago I had my first programming interview. I have never been nervous before an interview, even though I prepared as well as I could. My performance was decent, but I could have done it better. Before every question I got the feeling that this will be the last question and the interviewer will find out I actually know nothing and he is wasting his time with me.

After the face to face interview, the home assignment part followed and I got an email with two assignments to solve in one week. I solved them and now I am waiting for an answer. During the solving part the nervousness appeared and once again I could have done it better.

The experience of my first programming interview is of paramount value because it taught me one important aspect of being a programmer. You cannot escape the impostor syndrome, but you can embrace it and endure the pain of the constant change. How can you embrace it? Quincy Larson, the founder ofFreeCodeCamp, has a very good piece of advice on this one: “Remember that you are not your code”.

It is very important to get the ego out of the equation and looking at programming like a craft and looking at yourself like a craftsman whose purpose is to make good art and to better his craft everyday.


Alin Rauta

Hi 👋. I'm a self-taught web developer and creator of content for demystifying & teaching Artificial Intelligence. You can follow me on Twitter