Damien Breaux

It's Ok... - April 22, 2020

Hello Again

Last year I wrote a post about my feelings attending my first developer meetup and imposter syndrome. I'm now back with more of my feelings about being part of the larger developer community.

As always, thanks for reading.

Is it okay to just be a developer?

I want someone to tell me it's okay. It's okay that I don't code on weekends. It's okay that I don't dedicate all my free time to coding, it's okay I haven't built anything "cool", it's okay that being a developer isn't my single burning desire but rather my job (albeit a very fun one).

I feel there's implicit pressure to dedicate every waking moment of my day to programming in order to be a "real" dev. When I go to places like r/learnprogramming all I see are gatekeeping-esque statements to the effect of "You shouldn't try and be a developer if you're just in it for the money", but why not! The money is good in this field and if that's what drives someone to pursue it then go for it! (Obviously, don't let your capitalistic thirst leech your soul of every last drop of morality — looking at you, Bezos.)

I look at all the cool things that pop up on Hacker News or Dev.to and the fact that I don't contribute in the same way to the coding community does get me down. Even more so when I acknowledge that I don't even have the innate desire to start doing so.

I'm in these communities because I love to see what people are creating, I just hate the inevitable imposter syndrome that comes with the exposure to the incredible projects other developers undertake. I wish there were more posts out there that mention that it's okay to exclusively lurk Dev.to. It's okay if you haven't learned the new hotness in frameworks. It's okay to just be a dev 9-5, and that you are still a valid member of the community with experiences that matter, even though in your free time you'd rather sell turnips to raccoon children than read through a dense code textbook, watch another tutorial or make the next cool Chrome extension.


Written by Damien Breaux - I write code, pretend to blog, and watch too much YouTube

Damien Breaux © 2021