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  • Bethany Williams

5 Ways You Can Combat Imposter Syndrome As A Software Engineer



Software engineering is a demanding field that requires constant learning. Working in the tech industry means you’ll inevitably face imposter syndrome at some point. This feeling of inadequacy tends to strike when you’re trying to accomplish something new or tackling a challenging project. Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where an individual doubts their own capabilities and thinks they’re not qualified for their role. It commonly occurs among individuals that are in positions of leadership, have recently been promoted, or are working on projects that involve handling confidential information. Unfortunately, it can also affect software engineers – especially those who are just starting out in their careers. If you find yourself constantly doubting your ability as an engineer, read on to learn how you can combat the imposter syndrome and continue growing as a professional:

Know Why You’re Feeling Like An Imposter

Before you can begin to tackle your imposter syndrome, you first need to understand where it’s coming from. There are several factors that can cause imposter syndrome among software engineers: new hires, lack of confidence, lack of experience, peer pressure, and more.

New Hires - If you’re a new hire, it’s normal to feel like you don’t fully understand your role or know as much about the company as your colleagues do. This can cause you to feel like you don’t belong. First-time engineers often feel like imposters because they’re unsure if they have the skills necessary to succeed in the role.

Lack of Confidence - Another common cause of imposter syndrome is a lack of confidence in your ability. If you don’t feel as though you have the skills you need to succeed at work, you may begin to feel like an imposter. You may even think that nobody else has doubts about their skills, but this is far from the truth. Everybody has doubts, and that’s totally normal. Just make sure you’re actively working on improving your skills so you can have more confidence in your abilities.

Lack of Experience - Some engineers may feel like imposters due to a lack of experience. If you’re in the early stages of your career, you may find yourself feeling like an imposter due to the lack of professional experience you have. Many professionals in the tech industry started out in a completely different field before switching to software engineering. If you’re a graduate student or recently graduated with a computer science degree, you may feel like an imposter because you don’t have enough experience to be a fully qualified engineer.

Peer Pressure - Peer pressure can also cause software engineers to feel like imposters. If you work in a competitive office environment, you may feel like an imposter if you don’t think you’re performing as well as your colleagues. Imposter syndrome is commonly seen in sports, but it also occurs in the tech industry. Some engineers feel like imposters because they’re not producing as much work as their colleagues, or they feel that they don’t have the same skill set.


Set Realistic Expectations

One way to combat imposter syndrome is to set realistic expectations for yourself. It’s important to remember that imposter syndrome is a completely normal feeling that’s common among engineers. If you find yourself experiencing imposter syndrome, try to remember that everyone has doubts about their work. You can help combat your imposter syndrome by setting realistic expectations for yourself and your work. It’s important to remember that imposter syndrome is a completely normal feeling that’s common among engineers. If you find yourself experiencing imposter syndrome, try to remember that everyone has doubts about their work. You can help combat your imposter syndrome by setting realistic expectations for yourself and your work.

Set Learning Goals

Another way to combat imposter syndrome is to set learning goals. If you’re feeling like an imposter, it’s important to remember that you don’t know everything there is to know about software engineering. You’re constantly learning new things and improving your skills. If you constantly learn new skills and put your knowledge to use in code, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities. Imposter syndrome is a great opportunity to set learning goals. What do you wish you knew but don’t? What do you wish you could master? What are your weaknesses? What are your blind spots? You might wish you understood a certain programming language better, or that you had more experience with managing a team. Whatever your goals are, make them a priority.

Celebrate Small Wins

Another way to combat imposter syndrome is to celebrate small wins. If you find yourself feeling like an imposter, you may notice that you have a lot of self-defeating thoughts. You may be constantly putting yourself down, or you may be thinking negatively about your work. These types of thoughts will only worsen your imposter syndrome. Instead of putting yourself down, try to focus on celebrating your small wins. It’s important to focus on the positives and celebrate your small wins. Hone in on what you’re doing right, and don’t dwell on the things that you think you’re doing wrong.

Talk To Colleagues & Mentors

Another way to fight imposter syndrome is to talk to your colleagues and mentors. If you feel like an imposter, you may be hesitant to reach out and ask for help. You may feel like you don’t deserve assistance or you don’t want to bother your colleagues with your questions. You may feel like imposter syndrome is holding you back, but it’s important not to let it. If you feel like you’re not progressing or you feel like you’re not being challenged enough, it’s important to talk to your manager or colleagues to discuss ways you can improve your situation. Ask your colleagues if you can pair program or attend a weekly engineering meeting so you can be more involved with your team. You may also want to consider attending a workshop or seminar where you can learn more about the industry and improve your skills.

Stay up to date on current tech trends

Another way to combat imposter syndrome is to stay up to date on current tech trends. If you’re feeling like an imposter, you may be hesitant to read industry articles or attend conferences because you don’t think you’ll learn anything new. Imposter syndrome can make you feel like you don’t belong, but that’s not true. You may feel like you don’t know as much about the latest trends as your colleagues do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything from reading articles and attending conferences. Read industry articles and don’t be afraid to ask other engineers what they think about a certain topic. You may not know everything there is to know about the industry, but you can always learn more.

Recognize the moments where you feel most confident

Another way to combat imposter syndrome is to recognize the moments where you feel most confident. If you find yourself struggling with imposter syndrome, it can be difficult to remember when you felt like the most genuine version of yourself. Imposter syndrome can make you feel like a fake, but it’s important not to dwell on those feelings. Instead, try to think back to a time when you felt like the most confident version of yourself. You may feel confident when you’re solving a difficult problem or when you’re working on a project you truly enjoy.

Take Breaks & Exercise

Another way to fight imposter syndrome is to take breaks and exercise. If you feel like an imposter, you may find yourself getting wrapped up in your work and spending too much time at the office. Imposter syndrome can make you feel like you need to constantly prove yourself and work as much as possible in order to be successful. However, this isn’t true. Working long hours with no breaks will only exacerbate your imposter syndrome. Try to take breaks every few hours so you can clear your head. You can also try exercising or engaging in other forms of physical activity. Exercising can help you feel more confident and boost your self-esteem. Working out can also help you destress, and you can use the time to think about what’s going well in your life and what you

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