Ryan Bigg on Imposter Syndrome and Becoming a Senior Developer
January 04, 2019
I recently had the opportunity to talk with one of my heroes, Ryan Bigg, aka radar.
We talked in-depth about Ryan’s personal experiences with imposter syndrome, which he feels the effects of even today. Coming from a developer with over a decade of experience this quote stuck with me:
I have it [imposter syndrome], maybe not on a daily basis, but a weekly basis? Sure.
Ryan’s honesty is so refreshing because it helps to clear the misconception that veteran engineers have this whole imposter syndrome thing figured out. In reality, pretty much everyone doubts their abilities or value at some point or another. That doesn’t make you a lousy engineer; Ryan is living proof.
Another thing we spent quite a bit of time on was learning to work on a team. Ryan’s job now is to provide leadership and mentorship to a cohort of junior developers at Culture Amp (which sounds like a really cool job), but there was a time when he didn’t value the team dynamic.
Ryan admitted that even today, he struggles with being reactive. This is ironic because he is well respected as a mentor and teacher. It just goes to show, being aware of your struggles is conducive to overcoming them.
Regardless, let’s try to follow Ryan’s example and be honest about imposter syndrome and our shortcomings.