Take the quiz
There’s a certain sense of calm you get from knowing with certainty you’ll fail at something. When I jumped into Codeacademy’s “Am I a Real Developer?” quiz, I had no fear.
I’m not a developer. I thought I knew what result I would receive. But I love quizzes, so I dove in immediately.
In only a few questions, the quiz covered all the bases when it comes to the expansive definition of “developer”.
One of the questions asked, “Are you a chemical that is used to develop photographs?”
Definitely earned some giggles. Though I’ve taken an informal coding class and have some basic knowledge, I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify as a “real” developer.
I got a much better result than I was expecting, though. After answering no to all seven questions, the quiz told me, “No worries, it’s ok to not be a developer.” It went on to say, “even if you’re not a developer, don’t let people take you down a peg by defining for you what you know yourself to be.” So sweet.
It was genuinely nice to hear that though.
Although I’m interested in learning more about web developing, it feels like a club I’m not cool enough to enter. I get too embarrassed to talk about code with people because I’m worried they’ll think I’m trying to make myself sound more experienced. In my head, since I don’t already know how to build a website or app from scratch, I’m not allowed to be interested in coding.
No to the lies
Of course this isn’t true, but imposter syndrome hits me hard sometimes, even in low to no-stakes situations.
I feel like since I’m not a complete expert in coding, I can’t express any interest without appearing like a fraud.
Even though I completely geek out about all the magical elements of coding, the mystique surrounding the skill has held me back.
The force awakens
Luckily, the quiz reawakened my interest. Part of my results also included a link to Codeacademy’s free resources. I clicked that link button so fast my computer got dizzy. Instead of continuing to write this article in a timely fashion, I took a detour to coding town.
Codeacademy’s approach made the process of learning feel so much more accessible and low-stakes.
I was willing to take a chance on their site because they drew me in with a welcoming attitude in the quiz. The setup was simple, actually free, and I didn’t have to sign up for anything or link my Facebook.
Out of curiosity, I retook the quiz and answered yes to everything just to see what would happen.
There wasn’t a link to Codeacademy, but I did have the option to tweet, surrounded by sparkle emojis “woo, I’m a certified REAL developer.” This kind of validation might seem silly, but it’s important to be reminded to not take everything super seriously.
Take a stab at it
Imposter syndrome thrives on self-doubt and a culture that glamorizes achievement-based self-worth.
It would be ridiculous to say someone isn’t a developer just because they haven’t crafted a wildly popular app or website.
You might not be the best at something, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically disqualified from existing in or pursuing a particular field of interest.
Try not to put so much pressure on yourself to live up to your colleagues and friends. But if you’re still feeling like a fraud, there are plenty of resources like Codeacademy you can use to give yourself a skills boost.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Sometimes taking a little initiative to learn is the best way to fight imposter syndrome.” quote=”Sometimes taking a little initiative is the best step to feeling better about yourself.”]
Healthier attitudes towards defining success and more open conversations about job insecurities can help lessen the effects of imposter syndrome.