Before becoming a professional software developer, I  have this habit that I write programs as an exercise. I would find lots of sample programs that I can replicate. It felt so good that I’m able to make a clone those programs myself with a bit of “googling” here and there of course. But when I go online and see how far back I am with my college batch mates, I suddenly feel inferior. They’ve been posting about cool apps they’ve made, a project they have finished and a lot more. I can’t help but compare myself with them.

If the same is happening to you, you may have been underestimating your own skill and overestimate others. Look around you and have a feel of are you actually as good as your co-workers or you’re not entirely sure and only feels that way? It’s either a self-confidence issue or you just need to improve and do a better job at writing codes or programming.

I am an Operations Manager  and have interviewed a lot of programmers. From their CV’s and during interviews, a lot of applicants would say they know exactly what is asked and expected of them and even give real-life scenarios how they did it only to find out that they don’t know sh*t and only planned to learn about the job as they go along.

While learning from the job is generally acceptable, what some companies look for are those who have the foundation skills of the requirements to do the job. There is a term called “Imposter Syndrome”. Wikipedia describe it as: 

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. ” 

Imposter Syndrome – Wikipedia

I imagine that this is a feeling not everyone wants to feel. It’s the same as “Fake it ‘til you make it” but how until how long are you going to “fake it”? Mental Floss has an article entirely about this:  

 8 “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” Strategies Backed by Science

What Can You Do About It?

Develop a plan personally and follow through it. As much as you can, don’t think about others and their personal plans. That’s theirs. You have yours. This plan should include improving yourself every day, get better at programming and writing codes and a whole lot more that will make you a better person than yesterday. One step at a time.

Always make to time practice. Focus, understand then practice. As boring as it may seem but repetition is the key to getting from being a decent programmer to a great programmer.

Learn continuously. Only by this you can be a better version of yourself. You can search the web, read books and even ask others who you know is an expert in the subject matter. Having a teacher or a mentor that you can learn from is one sure-fire way to improve yourself but do not forget that your success level is based on your plan, not on others.

How about you? What do you do to avoid comparing yourself to others? Let us know in the comments.

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