Conquering Impostor Syndrome in the Open Source Community
"I have no idea what I'm doing."
"I don't belong here."
"Everyone else is smarter than me."
When you're new to any field, particularly a rapidly evolving, ever-changing one, it's normal to experience feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt. However, for many of us, these feelings continue well beyond the beginner phase, even after we've become successful in our careers. The persistence of self-doubt and fear of being discovered as a fraud despite evidence of achievement and success is known as impostor syndrome; and although it can happen to anyone, it most commonly afflicts high-achieving women, minorities, and other groups that are more likely to feel as if they don't belong.
As female web developers and a female tech director, we will share some of our own struggles and strategies to overcome impostor syndrome, such as:
- Getting comfortable with making mistakes on your way to success.
- Finding your own voice and support networks within the community.
- Recognizing your ability to contribute, whether it's code, presentations, or mentorship, no matter what your job title is or what level you're at.
- Advancing your career, whether it's within your current company or when you're job hunting.
Heather Rodriguez (Engineer at CivicActions), Kat Kuhl (Director of Technology at CHIEF), and Sarah Thrasher (Senior Front-end Developer at Acquia) have previously presented this session at BADCamp and NYC Camp.