Walking into a buzzing Manhattan office on my first day, I was just as intimidated as the first job I was hired for. I was surrounded by some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and somehow they all seemed to know each other. Weird how that works.
I had ten years of experience, a skill set that’s a perfect match for the company I had been just hired for. Still, I felt under qualified and intimidated by the other senior developers at this prestigious agency.
Looking back, I completely understand why I felt that way. These developers have not only been working several years in the current development stack, they’re also familiar with the company policies and culture. They’ve been the driving factor in decisions made throughout the years, and know the ins and outs of the projects they’re working on.
The years of experience and previous projects I’ve acquired over the years are hard to measure against the existing developers already intertwined in an ecosystem.
I’ve learned over the years that a fresh take can help bring life to a development team. New strategies and ideas are welcome, and your experience should be valued because every developer understands the value of taking a different approach. You’ve run into and solved problems previously that should be voiced.
Senior developers got their experience from working alongside other developers. The ability to learn is a cornerstone in the development community, and it doesn’t end after a title change. Developers that are open to learn not only become better developers, they help cultivate a healthy environment for other developers to grow.
So ask questions, raise red flags and have faith in your experience. Whether you just finished a coding boot camp or have spent several years in senior level positions, your input and experience should be valued.
Imposter syndrome doesn’t ever go away, but you should remember to have faith in your experience.
Everyone’s Googling answers, so remember to give yourself some grace.
You weren’t hired to know everything.