The Villain That All Upcoming Developers Need to Battle

By Samantha Anderson

Last Updated: June 5th 2024

The biggest challenge all developers face

How to prepare for the biggest challenge every developer faces

Finally—you finally got the data passed and the app is working.

You were always interested in technology and wanted to transition into a career in software development.

Maybe you remember feeling intimidated by the thought of starting from scratch and worried you wouldn't have been able to keep up with those who had more experience.

Despite your fears, you took the leap and enrolled in a coding bootcamp.

You learned the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you realized that you had a knack for problem-solving and enjoyed the challenge of writing code.

You persevered despite initial difficulties and became more confident in your abilities with each project you completed.

Even as you continued to improve and impressed your instructors, you still experienced moments of self-doubt and felt like an impostor.

Did you ever ask yourself "Will my lack of prior experience in computer science hold me back from landing a job in the field?"

BUT, with the support of your peers and instructors, you pushed through those doubts and eventually you landed a job as a junior web developer.

You've come a long way from:

<div id="demo"></div>
document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = "Hello World!";

The new position reinforces your skills and allows continued growth as a coder.

At this point you might think *whew*, I have my first job so now imposter syndrome is behind me.


Not so fast.

Unfortunately, imposter syndrome will rear its head at unexpected moments throughout anyone's career and doesn’t discriminate between a newbie or a seasoned 15+ year professional.

To put a concrete definition behind it, impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where a person feels like a fraud and fears being exposed despite evidence of their competence.

In the example we started with, someone may feel like an impostor despite having the technical skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in their job.

You may fear that your colleagues will discover that you are not as competent as you seem, even though you have been successful in your projects and received positive feedback from your boss, clients, or peers.

This self-doubt and insecurity can lead to stress and decreased job satisfaction.

So if you're feeling insecure about your skills as a developer, let me tell you 5 things that can help you battle imposter syndrome.

How to battle imposter syndrome as an upcoming web developer:

  1. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere. It's natural to feel like you don't know enough or that you don't belong, but it's important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

    Don't compare yourself to others who may have more experience – focus on your own progress and celebrate your achievements.

    Do NOT compare the beginning of your journey to someone else’s middle or end of their career journey. The only comparison you are allowed to make is from where you started to where you are now.

    It is actually quite awe-inspiring (and comical) to look back on your very first HTML project vs a recent full stack project. You will be quickly reminded how much you DO know and skilled you are!
  2. Seek feedback from others. Ask for feedback from colleagues, mentors, or classmates to get a better sense of your strengths and areas for improvement. Receiving positive feedback can help boost your confidence and remind you of your capabilities.
  3. Embrace the learning process. Instead of feeling like you should already know everything, embrace the fact that you are constantly learning and improving. It's okay to not know everything – in fact, it's expected. Focus on the progress you are making and the new things you are learning.
  4. Seek support from others. Don't be afraid to seek support from others, such as colleagues, loved ones, or even a therapist, if you are struggling with self-doubt. Talking about your feelings and getting advice from others can be very helpful. Getting outside of your own head can help end unproductive thought loops.
  5. Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and try not to be too hard on yourself. Remember that it's normal to make mistakes and that everyone has bad days. Practice self-compassion and try to focus on your strengths and the progress you are making.

Remember that feeling like an imposter or struggling with self-doubt is a normal part of the learning process.

When you join Nucamp you are integrated into a supportive community of students, instructors, and alumni that you have access to throughout your journey.

By seeking support and practicing self-compassion, you can overcome these feelings and become a confident developer.


Samantha Anderson

Marketing Manager

Part Illustrator, part Graphic Designer, and part Digital Marketer—with a sprinkle of sales savvy and a dash of empathy. I'm all about using my creativity to craft captivating stories through both illustration and writing. When I'm not at my computer, you'll find me drawing nature inspired patterns and portraits on my other favorite screen: my iPad. To keep myself inspired (and to get away from my slight tech addiction) I garden, golf, and go on nature walks with my dog and cat leading the way.