The imposter syndrome is a common ‘syndrome’ faced by many, especially in the tech industry where changes are a constant, and lagging behind meant being certain death.

Or so I had thought.

Working professionally as a Front-End Developer, the need to constantly keep up with the latest technologies has become tiring. With the plethora of shiny new web frameworks coming out faster than I can even understand them, I struggle with picking what to focus on.

I remember applying for a developer position at a tech company once, and completely flopped the technical interview. I left the interview knowing I wouldn’t have gotten the job, but more importantly, I felt terrible. There were technical questions I couldn’t answer as I didn’t know how to answer them, or have no prior knowledge of the subject at all.

The interviewers were kind enough to explain certain concepts, which I could understand but not explain in detail. A lot of the questions asked were for a popular JS framework, which I didn’t have much experience in as the learning curve for it was too steep.

Even though I graduated with a Bachelor of Information Technology, and have a couple of years in the development field, I felt like an imposter. I didn’t know how to get out of the imposter mindset, and it was only recently that a tweet by Jen Myers when it all made sense.

Devs complain constantly about how hard CSS is and yet the people who are good at it are constantly valued lower.— Jen Myers

It resonated with me. Working in a digital design studio, the focus on user experience is naturally more than say knowing what Javascript Promises are, or doing a Binary Search Tree Check. Yet, in the tech industry, the focus on being able to write JS code seems the triumph over say writing great HTML and CSS.

I love CSS, I love playing with SVGs and animating them, or building interactions that delight the user. Are these not as important as being able to write JS? Are these tasks meant to be left to the designer just because it requires more aesthetic ability? Are we not in the industry to solve problems?

This devaluation of skills within the tech industry has to stop, and it has to start with us respecting the value of work we produce as artisans in the web ecosystem. We are here to solve problems, not compare who has more skills.


Mandy Michael has a great post ‘Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript?’ which I very much agree on.