Virtually everyone in technology suffers from imposter syndrome. The feeling of not quite being good enough, smart enough, able enough. It sucks.
But you don’t need to feel that way! I’ve created a handy checklist. If you can do all (or even most) of the things on this list, you shouldn’t see yourself as a junior developer.
Yes yes, you still have a lot to learn.
But guess what? That’s ALWAYS true. Forever and ever. You’ll never run out of things to learn, because every night when you go to sleep somebody is busy inventing new things. So don’t sweat it.
- You’ve programmed in more than one language and have some opinions about why you like one vs the other.
- You’ve had to maintain your code and someone else’s on a live project for over 6 months.
- You’ve worked on a project you would call well run and orderly and as well as on one you wouldn’t. You can describe the differences.
- You can write a Dockerfile from scratch, or some equivalent technology around containers, devops, and deployment process.
- You can complete and ship a small project on your own without the help of other developers. This means reading a spec, talking to the product owner or user, and building something that works (not just doing a tutorial for a todo app).
- New developers have asked you for help and you were able to do so.
- You know the difference between a monolith, service oriented archicture, and microservices. You can describe the differences and advantages/disadvantages.
What do you think?
Let me know if you think I should change the list. Feel free to share as well. Let’s help end imposter syndrome together!
Brenn is an entrepreneur and digital nomad who loves good coffee, metal music, and takes a freedom-over-everything approach to life. He currently lives on a beach in Asia making more money than he can spend.
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