On getting there

A short post today, based on a realization I had earlier this week at CocoaHeads.

Like many, I often suffer from impostor syndrome. It hits when I’m tackling something new that I thought built on previous knowledge, leaving me feeling a bit bewildered, and undermining my confidence in having mastered lesser matters.

Usually, I take a walk and come back to the problem with a clearer head, and will work my way through it.

Given that I’ve always worked as a solo developer, with no formal computer science or software engineering background, I’ve always felt a bit iffy about my programming chops. I do my best to emulate what I see, but sometimes can’t shake the feeling that the code I write is amateur and inelegant.

I look back at old code and think it’s garbage. This should probably be seen as an indicator that I’m progressing, but it sometimes just reinforces the “you’re a hack” feelings.

But Tuesday, looking at some of the code presented in the demos, I realized that people were writing code the same way I would have written it. Maybe some stylistic differences, sure, but generally, it turns out that I’m at a point where my approach to writing code is getting there.

I guess the point is that, eventually, you get there. A year ago, if I had to show code to someone, I would have been making all manner of apologies for it. While I’m still pretty far from mastery, it’s reassuring to see the improvement.

So, you know. Just keep swimming.