If anyone’s struggling with coding, or just learning something difficult, this post might give you some sort of weird hope.
I can code in a few languages and I have studied computer science, so why when people tell me I’m an awesome developer, do I have the feeling they’re wrong? I usually will respond with something like:
“I’m not great, I’ve just been sat here doing it for longer… you could do it too.”
Funnily enough, those that tell me I’m good are never actually the developers. That brings me to a section in Julie Zhuo’s article titled “The Imposter Syndrome” which really resonated with me. She writes about a time when she was learning to code, and everyone in her class discussed how long a programming assignment took them. The majority said a few hours at most, and then Julie writes how long it took her:
“Twenty hours. That was how long the assignment took me.
I’m not great at this, you think. Do I really belong here?”
That was exactly how it was for me. I’m surprisingly bad at maths and programming never came easy compared to my course mates — I was constantly studying that year with no social life, tormented by “hello world” and system.out.println() (the very basics of Java), not to mention bonus Pythagoras questions. I thought I was done with maths at high school, and that programming was meant to be drawing shapes on a screen (not typing into a black and white terminal!).