Celebrate Your Expert: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
If you were asked “In what areas are you an expert,” how would you answer? Would you answer at all? If your friends, colleagues, and peers were asked about your expertise, would the answer change? That word ‘expert’ gets in our way. Our self-modesty blocks self-assessment of our talents. It damages our self-worth. It leads to imposter syndrome. Break out of the cycle. Learn to acknowledge, accept, and own your talents. Let’s celebrate our expert.
Jay is a software consultant, international speaker, and founder of Arana Software. He has been developing on the web since 1995, when the Blink tag lured him away from Visual Basic 3. Through his collaboration and contributions to software development, he has been recognized as a Microsoft Regional Director, an ASPInsider, and as a seven-time Microsoft MVP. Recognizing that the bottleneck to great software is a developer’s time, Jay focuses on frameworks, modules, tools, and practices that make developers stronger, fitter, happier, and more productive.
In the media, writing software is often portrayed as a solo endeavor. While many modern software systems begin as the work of one person, building and scaling them cannot be done by “lone wolf” developers. We need to collaborate with other developers as well as those in different roles and in concentric rings of responsibility and influence around the core product team. These socio-technical systems can be difficult to navigate.
Mob programming is a technique for collaborative software development where “all the brilliant people work on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and on the same computer.” I have had the opportunity to work primarily in mobs for the past six years and before that for years in pairs. I have observed that this has led to higher internal and external quality which has led to more maintainable code which has led to consistent delivery sooner. Either way, by sharing my experiences with mob programming, I’ll point to principles underlying the practices that will help you along your own collaboration journey.
Mike Clement is a husband, father of four, and currently VP of Engineering at Emmersion Learning. Mike believes we work best when we are working together and that there are no best practices—only better and worse ones depending on the context. Some leading practices Mike is passionate about are Test Driven Development, Pair and Mob Programming, User Story Mapping, Domain Driven Design and Open Space Technology. Passionate about raising the bar of technical excellence in the software development community, Mike is a founder and organizer of Software Crafters Atlanta, the Software Crafters Unconference, and the Lean+Agile Atlanta Unconference. Find out more about Mike on his blog and on Twitter at @mdclement.