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How I overcame “imposter syndrome” and became a 10x engineer


There are times in my programming career when I actually feel like the Avatar,the master of all JavaScript frameworks. This experience generally occurs immediately after I solve a particularly difficult problem or assist a colleague in doing so. It’s thrilling and, honestly, a bit empowering. Early in my career, I wasn’t as confident, which is absolutely normal. Genuine, long-lasting confidence stems from expertise, not the transient bravado sometimes seen on social media.

If you believe differently you can debate among yourselves on Twitter, but in my own experience and conversations with newer engineers, feelings of inadequacy are frequently caused by a true lack of experiences. What’s the solution? Spend time honing your skills.

Rethinking Imposter Syndrome

Recently, I encountered a blunt tweet that sparked my thoughts: “You spent 6 months in a boot camp learning HTML, CSS, and JS and built a couple of basic websites. If you feel like an imposter, it’s because you are one, brother.” Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Perhaps for some. However, rather than dismissing these feelings outright, we should address them constructively. Feeling like an imposter doesn’t always signal a lack of skill; sometimes, it’s just frustration or a need for more practice. We need to move beyond self-diagnosing with trendy terms and focus on real growth.

Cultivating Confidence by confronting skill issues

There are no shortcuts to gaining true expertise—put in your 10,000 hours. It took me a year into my professional career before I stopped second-guessing every decision. Initially, I was the “do it for the plot” guy, but faced with ongoing challenges, I decided to take proactive steps. I stayed late, tackled difficult problems, and gradually, I improved and began receiving positive feedback.

However, a critical insight occurred when I discovered that I was extremely reliant on external affirmation. True progress entailed reflecting on my experience and becoming my own biggest fan. Even now, I grimace when I look back at code from six months ago, but it does not take away from how highly I regard myself as an engineer, instead I see it as an indicator of continuous learning and progress.

When It’s More Than Just Skill Issues

If you’ve put in the work and know you’re competent but still feel inadequate, it might be time to consider therapy. Persistent feelings of not being good enough, despite evidence to the contrary, can be a sign of deeper issues that professional help can address effectively.

Conclusion: Embracing the Journey of Continuous Learning

The adventure of programming, like life, is never-ending. We learn from every obstacle, improve from every mistake, and should never be afraid to seek assistance—whether from mentors, peers, or experts. Accept your growth route with patience and perseverance, and remember that every master was once a novice. In this ever-changing digital ecosystem, let us go forward as learners and instructors as well as coders.