Impostor syndrome describes a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is being needlessly insecure.

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The lack of posting this week is entirely related to the above quote. I spent the long weekend working on my pre-course work for HackReactor. It was awesome and fun and sometimes frustrating but I was powering through it. Then somewhere on Sunday, I got stuck. It was a stuckness of monumental proportions and looking back on it now I find it funny.

I have a method to my madness with coding. I add things, test them and add some more until I get stuck at a point where either I’m not sure how to implement something to make it do what I want or something I thought I’d implemented isn’t doing what I expected it to. Then I do a bunch of Googling, look at some examples, hack those examples to fit into my code and all is well again.

And that’s how it should have gone when I got stuck on Sunday. Instead I kept banging my head against the brick wall of stuckness, moving some code bits, rewording some code bits, and finally starting all over again in frustration. By Tuesday night as I had a Google Hangout date with my best friends, I was freaking out. Please keep in mind that I’d received this homework on Friday and I don’t have to finish it until I start school in November and at the point of my stuckness I was about half way through with all of it.

So yeah, the freak out was definitely unwarranted. I made it this far but I’m still worried I’m making a bad choice/going to be that one person in their program who doesn’t get a job/nobody will ever love me. You know normal fears.

It’s a day by day process telling myself I’m good enough. Today I finally came back to the thing I was stuck on and sorted out my issues in about an hour. Now I’m on to the last step, my best friend recursion.

  • The instructors at Hackbright said they still have impostor syndrome, so I guess we’d all better get used to it. You are doing a great job and I know you will get an awesome job after HR and I am excited out of my mind to help you make that happen.

    As for getting stuck, if googling it doesn’t work, try these things before banging your head against the wall:
    1. Ask John. He might know, and if he doesn’t, he might know who to ask.
    2. Ask Lynn or Rachel, the organizers of Pyladies SF. They are extremely helpful and non-intimidating.
    3. Post your code to an online forum and ask for help there. Here’s one:

    If you keep helping me with my impostor syndrome, I’ll try to help with yours. But as soon as you get to HR there will be great mentors who will be very good at helping you remember how awesome you are.

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