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Juan Villela

On Struggle


A few weeks ago I read a blog post by Ash Furrow about normalizing struggle. Everything was spot on, but there were a few things that resonated more with my life. All too often I find myself doubting whether or not I’m capable of doing the job in this new career path I’ve set myself on. This is more commonly know as impostor syndrome. It’s something that is openly talked about in the junior development community. That’s great and all, but new developers can’t be the only ones dealing with this issues.

The start-up culture has brought these outlandish job postings (don’t at me). They ask for a “rockstar” developer who can code, design, sign, and speaks a couple languages. Oh, and you need some years of experience as well. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with finding specialized talent. But it has created — IMHO — a perception that developers are these grand masters of computer science. With no faults or struggles of their own.

Well, that’s no the case. Most of us don’t know everything. Which is why there’s plenty of online communities dedicated to asking and answering questions. Often times simple things that you think we’d all know. But we don’t always know them.

And that’s ok. This is all normal and quite common. We all struggle; we don’t exactly get a manual on how to do life. And no, not every parent prepares their kids successfully for being a grown up.

So yeah, it feels good to say this. And it feels even better to know there are others openly talking about this. I think communities like CodeNewbie do a great job at demystifying what being a developer really is. Their new podcast — Basecs — brings the basics of computer science to the masses. But moreover, it talks about how it’s not easy for everyone to learn these things. So they’re doing their best to make it accessible to everyone.

Maybe if all talk about this a little more, we’ll be able to feel more comfortable in our roles and do a better job. Maybe, I don’t know. Adulting can be hard. And there’s nothing wrong about that.