The Fraud Police are Coming: Work, Leadership, and Imposter Syndrome

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The Fraud Police are Coming: Work, Leadership, and Imposter Syndrome
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What is imposter syndrome? It's a failure to internalize your accomplishments. It's the nagging feeling you don't know enough, haven't done enough, don't have enough experience to do your job, land a new account, publish a new paper. It's feeling like a fraud and that you're about to be found out. The term was coined in a study by Pauline Rose Clance & Suzanne Imes in 1978 having to do with the habits and behaviors of high-achieving women, but it's recently become a hot topic in tech and career conversations - with good reason. Who does it affect? Originally a phenomenon studied among women in academic fields, studies (and anecdotal evidence) have shown it affects just about everyone. Sheryl Sandberg, Meryl Streep, and Maya Angelou have all commented about their own experiences with imposter syndrome. After we've asked, so have most of our friends and colleagues. We combine research with personal experience to provide the Big Six signs you might have imposter syndrome, so you can recognize the symptoms in yourself. How is it affecting me? Imposter syndrome can make us feel like we need to be super-people, adding and adding to our goals each day, with no end in sight. It means we might be less likely to raise our hands for new projects because we don't think we know enough. It might keep us from speaking up in meetings, seeking promotions, or talking at conferences. It can bring feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, fear, alienation, isolation, shame or despair. It can be paralyzing to a person's career. Does it get better? Thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect, the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don't know. When combined with the imposter syndrome associated with increasing achievements over time, it usually gets worse. But...there's good news. Through identifying specific components of imposter syndrome, you can sort out what's a real area for improvement and what's mostly anxiety. Dealing with imposter syndrome is often part of the price of doing new, exciting things. We can help you figure out to cope. This talk will also help you recognize imposter syndrome in friends, colleagues, and employees, and we'll help you think about how to best support them. (Hint: responding with compliments does more harm than good.) By the end of our talk, you'll to learn how you can leverage the feelings of imposter syndrome to become a better leader, colleague and human.
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thank you everyone for joining us for
the fraud police are coming work leadership and impostor syndrome for those of you who like Twitter like us here is all of our Twitter information you can find Amanda at captain Pollyanna me at babe from Thailand and we have a session hashtag which is Impostors unite so tweet away so how did we get here to be talking to all of you about imposter syndrome today it started with me getting mad on the internet I really enjoy reading career advice articles and I had been seeing a lot of them about impostor syndrome a couple years ago I read them and I read them and it wasn't that impostor syndrome didn't seem real to me it was that the advice didn't seem good and so I started talking to people I started tweeting about it I talked to Amanda about it and this was a couple of days before BarCamp filly in November and Amanda kind of strong-armed me into co-presenting a talk on impostor syndrome which I might add I did not want to give because I did not feel qualified to speak on the subject so we started talking last November as briana mentioned at a bar and i feel like we haven't stopped since I really learned a pot about impostor syndrome that night and identified really strongly with it I just dove in I learned as much as I could we read as much as we could between our conversation and bark and filly and when it came time to present we told people what we knew and then we sat back and waited for questions and we got a lot of people telling us stories then and throughout the rest of the past seven or eight months people that were feeling this way too and I just felt in Brianna I know feels that it's so important to talk about this so we're so excited to be having this conversation again today with you all right so to start what is impostor syndrome the term was coined in 1978 by pauline Rosecrans and suzanne iams who did the groundbreaking research on what impostor syndrome was they initially did a study among high achieving women and they defined it as a failure to internalize accomplishments it doesn't particularly sound meaningful the way that we like to describe it is the nagging feeling that you are over esteemed under qualified and on the verge of being found out as a fraud so we wanted to keep having this conversation because not everyone knows the term even though they might be feeling it so if you've already self-identified and you're in good company just look around you guess who else feels like an impostor this guy
Einstein was quoted as saying the exaggerated esteem in which my life work is held makes me feel very ill at ease I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler Maya Angelou said
I've written 11 books but each time I think oh they're going to find out now I've run a game on everybody and they're going to find me out now we have dirty
foster confident actress who's been in tons of movies when she won her first Academy Award she was quoted as saying she thought it was a fluke it was the same way when I walked out on the campus at Yale I thought everyone would find out they'd take the Oscar back they'd come to my house knocking on my door and say we meant that for someone else we meant that for Meryl Streep Meryl
Streep said I don't know how to act anyway so why am I doing this the point is that we've heard about impostor syndrome from people and basically every profession that we've talked to professors researchers programmers bankers real estate agents designers people in every stage of illustrious careers all of them share similar stories in fact some research shows that about 70% of people suffer from impostor
syndrome I personally think that might be an underestimate because this is 70% of people studied who admitted that they have symptoms of imposter syndrome when originally those studies were done imposter syndrome was thought to be a phenomenon that was present mostly in women high achieving academic women as Breanna mentioned as time has gone on it's clear that it affects people in every age race gender industry often it affects male imposters doubly because they're already feeling like an impostor in their role and then they feel like they shouldn't be having these feelings anyway so it's like imposter times too right there's that high achieving women in research that we talked about at the beginning and part of what was interesting about that and part of what led to more research being done among women exclusively was that part of the identification for imposter syndrome was rooted in gender roles but as time has gone on not only have we seen how this affects people from all genders but also how it affects people who are different minorities in whatever context they're a minority in for any of you with us so far you know the feelings you know you're not alone next up are some big indicators that you might relate to even if you haven't yet so we're going to talk about the big six and these are big six big factors that were identified by researchers so koku and alexander when they wrote the paper called the imposter phenomenon first of the big six is the imposter cycle and we've found out the
imposter cycle just take it in feel like the emojis speak louder than words but we'll go through the words anyway so it begins up here with a new project or task could be big or small can be a little exciting but what that excitement can immediately come anxiety self-doubt and worry creeping in so you have to begin and oftentimes you begin with furious over preparation for hours hours days upon days sometimes also procrastination also for hours or days upon days the thing is these two things can also come hand-in-hand they can both be happening simultaneously on the same day inevitably because you're smart and you're talented you accomplish the goal you achieve something and it's immediately a feeling of relief you're like okay it's done it's off my plate this is great I can move on but then you start getting feedback even if the feedback is overwhelmingly positive great feedback you're still in your head potentially discounting this feedback as either luck like I just got lucky this wasn't really meant to happen or it's over you're looking at the over preparation and thinking how you expended so much effort more effort than maybe your peers would have had to expend that if you'd spent more time in it it would have been even better but essentially it's bringing you back around to that increased sense of fraudulence the feelings of anxiety and self-doubt so as a case study for the imposter cycle I like to use our own talks on impostor syndrome I apologize at how many this is I hope everybody has had enough caffeine to deal with us but starting off in the new project or task I'm going to start off with the talk the version of this talk that we did in January at Panama in another room in this very building because the BarCamp talk was such a last-minute ordeal but for that one we had a good two months that we knew what we were up against and so the anxiety and the self-doubt and the worry all started to come into play as soon as we felt that there might be some expectations as for the quality of our imposter syndrome talk there had been some people at the off-the-cuff one we did at bar camp but for those of you who have not been to a bar camp expectations tend to be relatively low it's a an unconference where you decide what the programming is the day of and so it's very casual in terms of giving talks this was going to be an actual talk that people came just to see so naturally we jumped straight in to the procrastination / / preparation phase for me that looked like going through my college alumni jstor account and looking at every single possible thing I could find on imposter syndrome imposters impostor phenomenon and every variation thereof and then also watching a lot of Parks and Rec and West Wing I was also doing that this weekend if you look at my Instagram my Twitter feeds you'll see this cycle wonderfully Illustrated like many people I switch back and forth between the procrastinate and the over preparation one very very frequently you may have experienced this yourself then after the talk that was the accomplishment people said we did a pretty good job at it and I just discounted the feedback on that right there people enjoyed it not said we did a pretty good job on it and then we felt a little bit of anxiety about how when if it was just because people never heard of impostor syndrome before and it was their introduction of the concept and after that you were rewarded with another project or task usually one that's slightly heavier or slightly more difficult than the task before it in this case here we are here alright so
number two of the big six and they're all much shorter after the first one I assure you the need to be special or the very best this manifestation of imposter syndrome is the one that keeps you as a big fish in a small pond or where you focus on other people's perceptions of you rather than your own perception of how hard you worked the next is the quest to be superhuman and I know many of you may know this but our expectations of ourselves are often a lot greater than the people around us half of us our colleagues our friends our loved ones even our bosses with our jobs we often set these really aggressive sometimes unrealistic sometimes superhuman yes goals for us and at home we often double these expectations trying to tick a hundred things off of our to-do list and get more to that later the quest to always be doing more and the eventual burnout leaves us feeling like a fake if I were really good at my job I could handle all of this and even though this might be too much fear of failure who has heard the phrase fail fast before anybody ever noticed how they really under self sucks to fail we talk a lot about failing fast and failing big but falling on your face sucks especially when you're constantly rewarded for doing well on a task by having to perform on a larger and larger stage or in front of more people and this also leads into fearing success which is something that we'll talk about in a little bit more next is the denial of confidence or the discounting of praise when we describe our accomplishments with words like just or merely or only or minimizing them and when we're complimented under work and praised for our skills and we say well it could have been better or you see I just got lucky or thanks but we're feeling fraudulent and thinking that discounting this praise is making us more humble and if we just accepted it it might feel like cheating unfortunately you're also telling the person praising you that they're wrong and that's not great either the last of the big six is here and guilt about success this manifests in a few different ways one of them is not wanting to become successful in case you fail which is tied to number four there's also guilt about success that's related to did I deserve this should I have been the one to get this and also create distance when you're spending time with people who are close to you who didn't succeed in the same way that you did you see this sometimes with first-generation college students where there's some distance that's created between them and the rest of their family so did anybody identify with any of those big six and they might not raise your hand because you wanted to see what everybody else was gonna do all right so what we're
going to do is we're gonna take about 30 seconds to sit here and if one of them rang through you or all of them rang trigger you and take a minute to write down or make a note of one thing that you would like to do that feeling like an impostor has been holding you back from assuming you've all written down the one thing that you feel like impostor syndrome is holding you back from will get into the next topic which is it gets better right and we have some news that may not be easy to hear but it might might make sense to some of you who are further along in your career and who may have experienced these feelings for a while and that is the more that you know the less you think you know and Briana will explain more so some of you
may have heard of the dunning-kruger effect and this is kind of what this is about Dunning Kruger Dunning and Kruger did research on perceived competence levels basically here's an illustration than by Jessica Hagee from this is indexed that shows the more education you have about a given subject the more you know and also the more education that you get on a given subject the more you know you don't know so when you're starting to
learn something new you might think that you're a rock star immediately an example of this that comes to mind for me is the first time I sat down and tried to learn some HTML and I remember the feeling when I got something to say hello world on a page that I made and I was so proud like I can make so many websites hundreds of websites a day and then I tried to do I don't know anything else right so like once you have that initial understanding you feel great and then you start to realize how much you don't know and wonderfully the Gulf gets bigger the more experience you get so if you feel like an imposter right now it's only going to get worse from here I am sorry and another wonderful illustration
from this index that displays the difference between dunning-kruger and the imposter syndrome with dunning-kruger you think that you're really great and you're not and with the imposter syndrome you think that you're really bad and you're great and it's really hard to know what the difference between those two things are we're gonna work on so if you're thinking how does
this affect me and I sense you're feeling you might know already we talked about being super human and trying to be super human and we often have high expectations and low levels of forgiveness for ourselves we work long hours we miss out on sleep and sometimes fun and enjoyment because we're trying to do all the things we feel like
failing when we can't do it all in fact I found a copy of Rihanna's to-do list I hope she doesn't mind if I share it
it's not actually mine I didn't write this Sara pro-growth is wonderful with 95 things I should do every day according to the Internet including such important highways such as where smart professional outfit carefully selected from capsule wardrobe shower make sure water temperature isn't too hot I think meditate is on here about three different times and if you are anything like me and really really loved looking at articles on the internet that tell you everything you're doing wrong about your life this might be a narrative that you have running in your head pretty frequently particularly when we're looking at a culture of life hacks and 12 things that real leaders do before breakfast and so the end result of that is the people with impostor syndrome are less likely to raise their hands this is according to some research from birth away and a number of research partners that people who have impostor syndrome in the workplace less likely to volunteer for projects that fall outside their job description there are less and less likely to take on new things and they're less likely to participate in a way that is beneficial for the organization but not for them and as an individual employee and Breanna and I were lucky enough to hear a related talk by the very brilliant Amy Cuddy and she gave a TED talk about presence she just published a book by the same name and she talks about how our posture affects our mentality and the more space we take up bigger that we are the better that we feel and the more confident and present we are the opposite can happen if we don't feel confident and we're trying to almost go within ourselves and shrink away making us even less likely to participate to put ourselves in situations where we might not know everything and agree on us it more less likely to raise our hands and so what is that wind up feeling like self-doubt you're less likely to start new things like I said you're less likely to take on new projects and you're not very good at evaluating your own performance anxiety I think we've all felt something like this the feeling of is it all gonna come crashing down what if I can't pull it off tomorrow here a failure and fear of success and the feeling of isolation and this seems to be big in some of the people that we've talked to that didn't really know imposter syndrome was so common it's the feeling that no one else feels this way that you're all alone everyone else seems confident knows what they're talking about and that the people around you and your peers are smarter than you shame this is a big one for bren?? Brown if anyone else has a similar favorite researcher storyteller the only one I know of but feeling embarrassed not to know things feeling like your work wouldn't stand up if somebody who actually knew what they were talking about where to look at it and then last there's despair which seems like a really heavy word but it's that feeling of there's no way this is going to get better and I'll never catch up to my peers and I'm stuck feeling this way always in short we have some solutions all right so like I mentioned at the beginning of this talk when I first started reading about impostor syndrome there was some common advice about it that didn't sit right with me and the number one most common impostor syndrome advice I saw was this fake it till you make it I really dislike fake it till you make it and here's why fake it till you make it relies on dishonesty and it doesn't address the core issues related to imposter syndrome the whole concept of fake it till you make it it's fine to get you in the door but then you get there and maybe you learn the thing that you're supposed to learn or you pick up the school you're supposed to up and then you're rewarded in some way with a promotion or you take on more responsibility and then you have to fake that thing and what you wind up in is a perpetual fakeness fakeness cycle and when does it end so instead think about what you value and what the kind of place that you want to be in values man and I came up with five values of our own the first one is curiosity curiosity is fundamentally incompatible with fake it till you make it fake it till you make it assumes you have to act like you know everything and curiosity encourages you to ask questions and motivation motivation is what gets us up in the morning it's what drives us to make things better whether that means by helping people or solving problems and your motivation is fueled by passion I think we can all identify that as a value that we have growth if you're already acting like you're at where you want to be then how are you going to actually get there humility and this may seem like a contradiction since I know I've been talking about accepting praise and owning your accomplishments you can do these things and still be humble humility is valued because it means you're not being egotistical or vain or conceited or as I'd like to put it a bragging jerk face and number five empathy you can't hear somebody if you're too busy focused on what other people are thinking of you all right so when you look at this list of five values what you see is that it's not about what you know it's not about specific languages it's not about any kind of itemized checklist that you could possibly address this is about how you think and the kind of person that you are and we talked before about the six ways that you could be experiencing impostor syndrome and what we wanted to go into next are the ways that you can leverage these feelings for good and we present
to you not just the big six but the manageable not that bad six so the first was the imposter cycle which you remember was that long journey of
experiences that lead to one another that we kind of get stuck in and the way around that is to name it just stopping
the cycle is all about recognizing that you're in it if you can anticipate your next move or reaction you can intervene on your own behalf reversing negative feelings and self-talk can be tough but you can take this opportunity to feel empathy for yourself and those around you who may be in the same boat and may be feeling the same things that you're feeling this is one that can be really helpful if you do the same task multiple times as well you get to learn what your own cycle is you know about three days ago getting ready for this talk I knew that while I felt fine at the time that within the next twelve to eighteen hours I was going to start freaking out and I did and then I watched CJ Cregg on the west wing and calm down my touchstone so
number two the need to be special or the very best the instead would like to
offer you there is no very best there is no single best Python programmer in the world I can assure you there is no single best anything in the world and in any kind of situation where you see somebody who is supposed to be the best at anything it's not the only way to measure the best at that thing this may sound cliche but you are awesome and you don't have to be number one in anything because there is no number one in anything be proud to be counted among your talented and intelligent and wonderful Pierce and you can lift each other up but you can't lift each other up if your constant trying to one-up each others accomplishments we talked about the
quest to be superhuman and trying to do everything under the Sun everything that we think we should be doing well our remedy for this is to stop just to stop you have to stop holding yourself to unrealistic expectations prioritize the
important things assess actual knowledge gaps that you may have and start learning things that can help you but pick one thing at a time choose one thing that you could start learning today or tomorrow that could help you get better at your job but try not to set those goals for yourself where you're trying to do 10 things at once you're not boiling the ocean you don't have to do everything and setting small goals for yourself is important and also being able to forgive yourself when you don't achieve all of your goals so you don't have to do 95 things a day even if the internet says you should alright
fear failure redefine failure this is a
huge one obviously all successful people have failed we talk about this all the time but taking your failures as a failure of the thing that you did and not a failure your failure of you as a person is extremely important for addressing impostor syndrome and this is something that almost everyone I know has to remind themselves of constantly
the next is the denial of competence and discounting praise and we don't want to get caught up in this sometimes it's okay to just say thank you it's easy to
tell yourself you're being humble or you just got lucky but if you worked hard accept the compliments if you're criticized you can take it in stride but if you're getting a compliment remember you have to give the compliment give her the respect that they deserve and remember that their point of view about your skills has value internalize the accomplishment and recognize that your skills your dry and your talent are what got you here
and finally fear and guilt about success
for one thing get out of your own way just acknowledge that success can be scary that while that is scary thing you can motivate inspire and kick-start your friends and colleagues towards success by displaying your own don't feel guilt for beating out others for awards or promotions it doesn't mean to be ruthless it means accept that with the responsibility that it comes with when you are recognized for doing something when you get a promotion recognize that as an opportunity to lead and to help other people achieve success know that this the success and that one instance can be a great reminder for the future and then help bring other people to success with you there's so much at
stake for us as a culture of increasingly educated talented and skilled people most of whom don't know how great they are for those who come after us we need to embrace our inner imposters and talk nicely to them about how we're growing and becoming better and about how far we've already come remember that you deserve to be where you are to go where you're going next and help others gain confidence by sharing your knowledge we're living in a world where smart and empathetic people are self-selecting out of opportunities it's important on an individual level but we also know that representation matters we are motivated to succeed when people who look like us and face challenges similar to our own succeed before we do leadership doesn't have to come from the top so at this point we'd like everybody to take a look at whatever you wrote down a few minutes ago we hear a lot the phrase what would you do if you knew you could not fail it's an unrealistic viewpoint and we're not asking anyone that but we are asking you to consider what is important enough to you that it's worth going through all of this stuff that we just talked about we'd like to end the regular part of the presentation with this wonderful quote by Kelly sue Taconic who's a comic book writer heroes don't limit themselves to the fights they know they can win so thank you all for joining us and now we'd like to take a few minutes if anybody would like to share any of the things that impostor syndrome might have been holding them back from or an example of experiencing impostor syndrome in your own workplaces or personal lives thank you so much thank you first of all I want to thank you a lot
to say this out loud it's a is it's it was really great but I have a question for you because what about the fear that you're so ignorant about something that you can't actually realize how bad you are at it because I think what you guys are talking about here it actually assumes that you can realize that maybe you're bad at something but what about if you don't have that knowledge that's a really excellent question one thing that we originally had actually as a part of our slides and we couldn't quite get it to work in was about the importance of both asking better questions and providing better answers and this is not a thing that's specifically for one individual to do but one thing that I have seen is people have questions about something they are a really elementary understanding they ask the question they person they ask the question of says oh you don't know that already or oh you they haven't covered that with you or oh how did you not figure that out yet and so on the flip side of that for anybody who's concerned about feeling like they don't know enough to be sure that you're providing answers in a way that you would want to hear them but in terms of knowing how much you know I would recommend really getting amerce nakum unity of peers and helping each other that was great thank you Thanks anyone else if you don't have any questions we'd love to hear if you wanted to share your experience or anything that resonated with you about impostor syndrome or anything with the topic that you're experiencing at work or at home sure uh so last year I did a talk at a PI Gotham for the first time and after they accepted my proposal that's when it all like came crashing for because I was like Who am I to go and talk to a bunch of people that probably are whole hell of a lot smarter than I have and know a lot more about this stuff oh it's really cool especially in like the Django community I'm sure you guys can appreciate this is like the the community was super supportive and like everybody is like really positive and so to your point you know there's definitely some risk to it but especially if anybody more specifically if anybody's thinking about or hesitating about doing a talk it's like especially in this community like go for it you'll be fine promise that's great thank you for that and something we would heard of that I'd like to share is we were talking about this before we came in here today one of the things that Amy Cuddy spoke about in her talk about presence was when she gives a talk one of the primary things that she does to feel comfortable is to trust her audience so going into a presentation or to talk with the knowledge that on the whole people are good people and they want to listen to what you have to say and they're they are curious and they are empathetic and I think the Django community is a really good example of a place where you can trust your audience I always have an issue where I feel if I'm not the best at something I'm automatically the worst at something which always gets in my way and to prove that a little bit I was using the wrong hashtag through the entire talk and then I got there oh my god this is horrible so will you please forgive me also there are two ways to spell impostor and I didn't clarify which one we're using at the beginning so that might be my fault gonna go it's kind of nerve-wracking this mic um I I guess I got a comment because you know starting out not having ever been hired in the tech field but really liking it you know you go online try to get help and we've already had talks on this and everything but you know you might write in to Stack Exchange a question and then somebody writes back and it's like go steady or like before you like why not study this we we ask a question so it's really hard because like you really don't know much but I feel like now I've realized that if I I'm just focusing on what I want to do I'm doing projects that I like and I'm so curious about them that it just doesn't matter as much anymore and all that's kind of going away and I feel like I'm just following my heart like that's why I'm here it's kind of it's kind of cool but you guys are awesome by the way I mean like this is a cool place to be so thank you um I would like to share kind of two different varieties of this that I see myself one is I don't think I knew has to bite with laziness I'd like it when things work and they work well and I want to get to that point immediately and I know this about myself something I struggled with my entire life since I was a teenager probably before but you know nobody pays attention when you're eight but in trying to deal with that and trying to make sure that I don't slip into that kind of well laziness I almost get into kind of like I feel like an inverse fractal you know not the kind that goes out and gets more detailed because you can see it's bigger but the kind that keeps going inwards you know infinitely you know and and that's really hard because it's a matter of unlike the examples that you gave in your talk where you know people will put in 12-hour days because you know oh I have to get this done to prove something because they will get it done sometimes I find myself not getting it done you know I'm putting in those 12-hour days and it's not getting done because it's not perfect or you know the other thing in the open-source community is you know like the last fella just mentioned is that we tend to be rather ruthless not necessarily the Drago community but you know in the open-source community with new people you know we get on their cases about you know well you've read all those man pages didn't you go but you read the docs and read that you know 400 pages of documentation and understand everything perfectly the first time because you know there are probably a few of us that can do that and most of us can't but it's also - is is kind of recognizing one's pardon the term in her asshole because we feel that with ourselves we're like I haven't done enough groundwork to ask that question yet or I'm good I went I want to fix this thing in this particular project but this is absolutely not up to the standards of the project you know the people in the project and you know you don't even give them the opportunity to tell you this is garbage you know you just kind of you know flog yourself into that and ultimately you know in six months you'll have the perfect patch set but in the meantime you know it's still broken so anyway I just want to I'd imagine that's not unrelated to the number of web developers I know who don't have their own personal websites thank you so much for this talk I really appreciate that you came at it from the perspective of like knowing that we all occasionally or maybe frequently have this imposter syndrome and we and how to sort of address that within ourselves but I also feel like I often find myself in a different position which is that I often find that I am in a group you know whether that's in a workspace or with my friends where I actually feel like I have a fair amount of confidence and I feel like sometimes people around me have less confidence than you know that they deserve and I would I would love to
hear if you have thoughts on how you create environments like conferences or workspaces or even like how you deal with it in your social groups you know how you create places that support people who are experiencing some imposter syndrome yeah I think we touched on that a little bit when we were talking about succeeding and how when you succeed you're not only benefitting yourself and the work that you've done but you're able to inspire others and it goes back to what Brianna was saying before about giving good answers when people ask you questions and not being the guy or the girl who says oh you should have read that in the documentation or oh you should know that already or why haven't you learned that but being the person that answers questions in a really helpful way and in a way that can build people's confidence and pointing people in the direction of resources that they might not know about that can help them build their knowledge and continue to grow as developers and as people and being able to kind of be supportive to your close network so that when you're introduced to someone or you speak with someone outside of the network at a conference like this that you feel like you have this and being supportive and in being empathetic and in answering people in a clear way it helps them but also default to checking in with people to make sure that they have the necessary baseline knowledge for whatever conversation you're about to have I know that one thing that has made me feel like an impostor several times several is an understatement many many times in the past is being part of a conversation and then realizing about two minutes into it that I don't know what's happening and twenty minutes into it that I haven't known what's happening the entire time and then there's also the assumption that I know it's other people think I know what's going on and then it's thanks for the question thank you I am I want to do my sharing person so I am a minute I work in IC for a university and I haven't completed a formal education and that is terrifying it's terrifying to say to a large group of people this is the second time I've heard your talk and it is the second time I've had this chance to share this with a large group of people and it feels it felt better the first time I'm hoping it makes me feel a little bit better this time so I just want to say thank you for you know giving this talk I some I think you might have been the one and this talk to say I don't know exactly where I heard this but I'm reminded that the the people who hired me are confident they are knew this about me before they hired me throughout my career and are confident and my ability to do my job and I have to remember that when I'm you know doing my job because otherwise I I'm terrified so thank you thank you guys for your speech it really resonated with me kind of like I'm sorry to know your your name but like like he's saying I'm self-taught too and kind of when you first started out you kind of don't think you're a programmer and you get to be too expert at like all these things and I guess just more comment like if you're reading stuff and just doing it even though it's just like following the examples are still programmer don't don't not call yourself one cuz you don't think you have a skill level you're you're getting there so thank you yeah that's definitely important thank you so much there was a survey going around recently and this is terrible it should not be saying this into a microphone cuz I have no citation information for this whatsoever but there was a large survey of developers I can't remember where it came from it's 48 percent I believe of developers in the survey where did not have any kind of computer science degree which is not surprising anecdotally but I've spoken to so many programmers that feel like it's just them if they don't have a degree or they don't have one in kansai high so I guess I just kinda wanted to come down and speak even though like I'm freaking out right now cuz I just cuz I didn't notice a whole lot of well at least this gendered female coming down so I kinda wanted to represent I just wanted to share that um I'm actually a sysadmin I'm not a developer so that's like number one and like I don't even know what I'm doing here oh but like it's also a very traditionally male-dominated just like programming as I assume but the whole Nick Nick beard vibe is very you know strong and so so that even so even just admitting that I've that I feel like an imposter a lot of times makes me feel like that's something like this is gonna have like really bad repercussions for me in the workplace I actually work at Wharton here so there's probably a lot of people in this room that I'm like afraid to find my supervisors not here thank goodness so no one telling him that I have no idea what I'm doing my job every day but like that's what I feel like and there's probably people in this room who think I'm an idiot too about you either but like that's that's sort of the general thought process that like I guess goes through my head every day and I have to try and I've read about impostor syndrome on the internet and I kind of try to remember with myself and go through these steps but it's like it's the process every day I've gotta wake up and remember even if you think you're an idiot you're the only idiot still doing this job so you've got I like you know I thought one of the most interesting things you said was that people with impostor syndrome and you know who you are don't raise their hand it's much easier to be smart if you set the agenda so if you have someone who's giving you a coding exam and they want to rebalance a red-black tree or something like that and you Bailey remember that from way back when you're gonna look like the fool it's the person who's asking the questions who has a lot of power so if you put yourself into position where you keep your hands down you're never the person asking the question so I think the counterintuitive part of the solution is to be the person who stands up and talks know the more you hide the worse it is better to stand up and give it a shot and even if you get shot down first time learn from that and get up again and again and again until the hill trips down that's great hi so in about 45 minutes I'm going to be standing there and I'm going to be giving a talk and I'm feeling pretty imposter about it right now what did you guys do to psych yourselves up for this one thinking back to an hour from now I think a lot of what we have tried to keep in mind and what we we've told people actually as we've had these conversations for the past seven or eight months is that you're a set of knowledge your set of skills is different from anyone else in this room and there's I want to say it's like a Venn diagram or close to a Venn diagram that people think of or that that has been seen when thinking of imposter syndrome and it was what everyone else knows and what I know being a very small part of that but in reality what someone else knows and what you know may have overlap but you still have a lot to provide and a lot to offer so trying not to go into a presentation or a talk thinking that your audience knows everything you're already about to say and they're not going to be learning anything and they're going to be judging you and they're going to be you know sitting there doing something else in reality like people are here and people are gonna be at your talk because they want to hear what you have to say and you know things that they don't know yet and you're gonna be able to impart information on them that is new and that's exciting and that will potentially inspire them to do something great also the layout of this room is terrifying as a speaker but the people are really nice all right thank you everyone for joining us