Nearly twenty years ago, through a combination of luck, hard work and a good amount of self-salesmanship, I broke into the software industry with no formal training or experience. I wrote device drivers and other kernel software, I built and led teams, and I delivered highly visible features as part of the best UNIX operating system on the market. And for most of that time, I thought of myself as a fake.
As a self-taught engineer working in teams of elite, well-educated peers, it took me many years to realize that I’m actually very good at the job, and the near-constant self-doubt and fear of failure was something known as imposter syndrome. Over time, I began to realize the toll that it took on my life, feeling like I needed to put more hours in and be more on top of breaking trends than all of my peers. In this quick session, I hope to share my experience and observations, as well the strategies I now employ to keep the stress at bay.