Imposter Syndrome as a techie and how to tackle it
Have you ever had the feeling where you weren’t enough?
As a developer, I have felt imposter syndrome and this feeling that “I am not qualified enough to be in the technology sector”
Acknowledging when it’s happening
Sometimes there is this voice that appears in my heads that says “You’re not good enough to be in the technology field” or “you don’t have the ability to solve this debugging problem” or “this is too complicated for you to figure out”. When these moments kind of thoughts show up, that is what is called imposter syndrome.
This feeling that you are not good at the field that you are in.
Especially as a woman in technology, it has been even more predominant during times where I would be in a classroom and there were more males than females. It would many times feel as if Computer Science is a field meant for boys. Internally these types of feelings made me feel like a fraud.
As humans, we tend to strive for perfection and I have felt this too. If I am not “perfect” at something I’ll think I am not good enough.
I have also found moments where I felt dumb if I would have to go ask a person a question and would try to solve the problem on my own and continue to struggle because my ego got the best of me.
Steps to take to overcome this obstacle
What do I do to overcome these negative feelings? Naturally, I would get a hold of myself and be like, “Zahin, you have to pick your head up and keep trying, stay motivated” This is where the importance of mentors and family members come into play.
The mentors in my life have helped me stay motivated and determined in moments where I was feeling not enough.
In moments in the classroom where I was the only female, I would rather look at it as an opportunity. Being a female in technology meant that I would have better chances when applying to internships and job opportunities because many companies would want to increase diversity by including women and people of color. So I would pull myself together, making sure to use Google and Stack Overflow to solve my coding problems, along with help from professors and other students to solve the puzzles.
Another thing was not asking for help when I needed it. Many people struggle with this and internalize a lot of the problems that they have in the tech field. I learned that I love being a strong self-independent woman but sometimes, you just need the help of other teammates in order to produce the best results. Asking for help is okay and is something that should be more normalized.
Immersing myself in my own personal projects that I’m passionate about is also an important step. By watching Youtube videos I learn a lot and gain inspiration about how I should be working on the projects. Attending different hackathons throughout the years with the perspective that I am looking forward to learning something new has also helped me to overcome Imposter Syndrome.
Even though I may not be a perfect or skilled programmer since I haven’t been coding my entire life, it is the tenacity and willingness to learn that differentiates me from other people.
As a final note, Imposter Syndrome pops up here and there even in the present day but I change my mindset and think ways I can make my thoughts into opportunities.
By acknowledging that I am not a perfect human being.
Raising my hand when I need help.
Telling myself that you belong in the tech world no matter how daunting it may be.
If I can fight through imposter syndrome, so can you!