Subhasish Dutta

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Developer (2)
For Developers

What Is Programmer Imposter Syndrome and How Can You Deal With It?

Programmer imposter syndrome is the feeling of self-doubt that developers experience, despite possessing the necessary skills and experience. Here’s how you can

What is programmer imposter syndrome? How can you deal with it? This blog post aims to help developers understand imposter syndrome and the steps they can take to overcome it.

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough as a developer? Do you feel incompetent in doing your job?  Whether you are fresher or experienced, there will come a point when you compare your performance to other developers. You may feel that it’s a matter of time before you are exposed as incompetent and shown the door. This fear can affect your productivity and slows down your career growth. If you have ever questioned your capabilities as a developer and wondered whether you’re qualified for your job, you are not alone. Many talented developers experience programmer imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Blind, as many as 58 percent of tech workers feel like impostors. What’s more, this number includes employees from tech giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and many others. If you are wondering what imposter syndrome is, why it is common to developers, and how to deal with it, you are at the right place. Keep reading to know ways to maintain good mental health as a software engineer or developer.

Table of Content:

How to overcome imposter syndrome as a developer?

What exactly is programmer imposter syndrome?

How does imposter syndrome affect developers?

  • They fear getting exposed as an imposter
  • Affects career growth
  • Dissatisfaction at work
  • Many developers quit their job

Why are developers prone to imposter syndrome?

How to recognize imposter syndrome?

How to deal with developer imposter syndrome?

  1. Accept that there is a problem
  2. Learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others
  4. Give yourself the credit you deserve
  5. Take support from seniors
  6. Develop an attitude of not giving up 

What exactly is programmer imposter syndrome?

Programmer or developer impostor syndrome is the feeling of self-doubt that many software developers experience, despite possessing excellent skills and several years of experience. This syndrome is prevalent in many high-skill industries, especially software development, due to high competition and new technologies. Moreover, the expectations of high performance while delivering high-quality software products on tight deadlines create pressure on developers. 

As a result, many developers start comparing themselves to their colleagues. They feel like they aren’t good enough and develop an inferiority complex. These developers fail to recognize their abilities and are unable to concentrate on their jobs. This further leads to insecurity and anxiety, adversely affecting developers’ confidence and motivation. This feeling is nothing but programmer imposter syndrome

 This syndrome is common among many developers, especially early in their careers. Recognizing these feelings early can help you to take effective steps to overcome them. 

How does imposter syndrome affect developers?

Imposter syndrome can adversely affect developers who have just started their careers or working in a highly competitive environment. Let’s look at how this syndrome impacts developers.

  • Fear of getting exposed as an imposter 

    Developers experiencing imposter syndrome may feel they are not as competent as their colleagues, despite having the same skills. They may also feel whatever they achieve is a result of luck rather than their abilities. This often leads to self-doubt and a fear of being caught as a “fraud.”
  • Affects career growth 

    Programmers battling imposter syndrome may lose self-confidence and the motivation to work. They shy away from taking on new challenges or opportunities because they fear failure and suffer from negative thoughts and emotions. As a result, the syndrome significantly impacts their career growth.
  • Dissatisfaction at work 

    Imposter syndrome causes anxiety and stress, and quite often, developers are unable to leave these feelings behind. In addition, these feelings often lead to a sense of dissatisfaction, and they are unable to concentrate on their work.
  • Many developers quit their job

    Developers suffering from this syndrome struggle to share their thoughts with others and hesitate to ask for help or guidance. They desperately look for a way to escape this situation. Quitting jobs seems to be the easiest option for many. 

Why are developers prone to imposter syndrome?

Software developers are prone to imposter syndrome due to the tough competition at work and the pressure to learn and adapt to new technologies. They work on projects with high stakes, which creates stress to perform at the highest level, leaving very little room for error.

Moreover, tight deadlines worsen the situation as they don’t have much time to solve complex coding problems. And so, many programmers develop feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt when they encounter a problem and don’t know how to solve it. They doubt their abilities and feel like a fraud. These factors contribute to imposter syndrome and many highly skilled developers are unable to shake off this feeling.

How to recognize imposter syndrome?

Recognizing imposter syndrome at an early stage can help you get rid of it with the right steps. 

Here are some signs that can help understand if you suffer from programmer imposter syndrome

  • Persistent feelings of not being fit for the job
  • A constant fear of getting exposed as a fraud
  • Fear of communicating with fellow developers as it may expose your knowledge gap
  • Unable to match your colleagues’ performance
  • Doubts that you made the wrong career choice

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. Different developers may notice other signs of imposter syndrome depending on factors like their work-life balance, mental health, and more.

How to deal with developer imposter syndrome? 

Programming is a highly rewarding career, but it comes with its own challenges. Programmer imposter syndrome is one of the most glaring ones. As you read above, almost 58 percent of software engineers struggle with this imposter syndrome

So you shouldn’t panic and get overwhelmed. Instead, you must focus on how to overcome it. Here are some solutions to help you deal with programmer imposter syndrome.

  1. Accept that you’re dealing with imposter syndrome

    Recognizing the problem is the first step toward finding a solution. The earlier you identify this syndrome, the sooner you can get over it. Many developers ignore the signs initially only to find themselves deep into the problem later. So be on the lookout for any of the programmer imposter signs discussed above.
  2. Learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable

    Here’s the thing: technology is never constant. And nobody’s an expert in every technology stack. The most successful developers are the ones who keep learning always and adapting to the changing industry needs.

    Maybe you have a colleague who is an expert in a language you know nothing about. Now this situation might may you uncomfortable. It may even make you believe you know nothing.

    However, the reality maybe be different. Your colleague may know nothing about a technology you are proficient in. So, instead of underestimating your potential, try venturing into unknown territories. Expand your skill set. 
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others 

    Constant comparisons often lead to programmer imposter syndrome. Many developers look down upon themselves thinking they have limited knowledge compared to others. But they forget that every developer is different and has different skill sets.

    So the next time you find yourself making such unhealthy comparisons, remember: you have worked hard and deserve to be where you are now. You don’t need to be the best to deserve your position but you can always learn and acquire the skills you don’t have now.
  4. Give yourself the credit you deserve

    Developers suffering from imposter syndrome often believe that their achievements are driven by luck and not skill. This is a negative approach that belittles your achievements and breaks your confidence. Whatever you have achieved in your professional life is because of your efforts, and you should take credit for your success. Be happy about your achievement and believe in your capability.
  5. Reach out to your seniors 

    Your seniors can be of help if you are suffering from imposter syndrome. It’s highly likely that they faced the same challenge as you back in their time. So don’t hesitate to bring up this topic with them if you’re comfortable enough to do so. Ask them questions. Reach out to them if you’re stuck with a code or need help finalizing a design. Remember, it is natural to stumble along the way when working on a new project. And asking for guidance only shows your willingness to learn and do better. 
  6. Develop a ‘never give up’ attitude 

    Success never comes easy and fast. It demands hard work, determination, discipline, and persistence. If there’s something you cannot do as a developer, that’s just all the more reason to go ahead and learn it. If you look back at your journey, you will realize you have worked hard to become a software developer. It was not easy, but you did it with flying colors. Cultivate self-compassion. Learn to believe in yourself. Reframe your failures as opportunities to grow. Focus on progress instead of aiming for perfection. 


Suffering from programmer impostor syndrome can be exhausting but remember, you’re not alone. The majority of developers experience this syndrome somewhere along the line in their careers. Keep Richard Branson’s brilliant quote in mind: “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” Believe in your capability, give yourself the credit you deserve, and allow yourself to grow.

If you’re a developer looking for a remote job that enables you to enjoy an excellent work-life balance and salary, try Turing. Turing developers earn higher than the market average in most countries and work with top US companies. Check out the Apply for Jobs page to know more. 

Join a network of the world's best developers and get long-term remote software jobs with better compensation and career growth.

Apply for Jobs

By Mar 17, 2023
Why Is Skill-Based Hiring Important for Software Development (1)
For Employers

Why is Skill-based Hiring Important for Software Development?

Skill-based hiring allows you to access a larger pool of developers and reduces hiring time, ensuring culture fit, high-quality hire, and higher retention.

What is the most important thing required to perform a particular task? It’s the skill to do the job, isn’t it? Skill-based hiring helps you choose the most suitable candidate for the job. As a result, many organizations are adopting this approach to hire the best talent. The time for conventional hiring methods like looking at the college and degree is over. Today, if you want o hire top talent, you must focus on skills. 

A CNBC report reveals Google, Apple, and many other tech companies don’t look for a college degree while hiring. They believe in hiring developers based on their abilities rather than their educational qualification. In addition, a Harvard Business Review found only 43 percent of the IT job postings by Accenture contained a degree requirement. Hiring software developers based on their skills is emerging to be the best way to build your development team. This blog post will discuss the importance of skill-based hiring in tech and how you can go about it. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What is skill-based hiring?

Difference between skill-based hiring and degree-based hiring in tech recruitment

Why is skill-based hiring important when employing developers?

  • Helps you assess a candidate’s true potential before hiring
  • Access a large talent pool
  • A more data-backed and equitable recruitment approach
  • Reduces time and cost of hiring
  • Promote diversity and build an excellent company culture
  • Drive business growth
  • Higher employee retention

5 steps to implement skill-based hiring in tech recruitment

  1. Understand your business requirements
  2. Write a clear job description
  3. Create the right recruitment funnel
  4. Use an AI-powered hiring tool
  5. Focus on skills at every stage of the recruitment process

So what should you keep in mind for skill-based hiring?

What is skill-based hiring?

As the name suggests, skill-based hiring is screening applicants based on their skills rather than their college degrees. These skills could be cognitive, physical, technical, or soft, based on the job requirements. The main purpose of this hiring method is to ensure the candidate has the skills needed to perform the assigned tasks. 

When hiring a developer, adopting the skill-based hiring approach means selecting them based on their skill and not rejecting them because they don’t have a college degree.

The best way to implement skill-based hiring in tech recruitment is to evaluate their programming and soft skills through a skill assessment. This helps recruiters choose candidates with the core expertise for the job and overcome hiring challenges like skill gaps in the traditional process. Moreover, hiring employees with the right skills reduces training time, ensures better productivity, and improves retention.

Skill-based hiring vs degree-based hiring in tech recruitment

By now, you have got some idea of skill-based vs. degree-based hiring; however, let’s dive more into this topic. Skill-based hiring focuses on the candidate’s abilities, whereas degree-based hiring emphasizes certificates. In a degree-based hiring process, recruiters look at the resumes and shortlist those that look the most convincing in terms of education and degrees. 

Look at the table below to better understand the key differences between the two. 

Skill-based hiring vs degree-based hiring

Skill-based hiring vs degree-based hiring

Did you know? A Statista report shows JavaScript is the most used programming language among developers as of 2022. However, many universities don’t teach the language in their computer science programs. 

If you follow degree-based hiring, you may end up hiring developers who are not skilled in JavaScript. On the other hand, if you focus on skill-based hiring, you will focus on the developers’ prowess in JavaScript and look at their past work instead of their college degrees and pick the best candidate accordingly. And thus, this approach helps you avoid mistakes while hiring software developers.

What are the advantages of skill-based hiring? 

Tech giants like Apple, Google, IBM, and others have adopted skill-based recruitment because it enables them to hire high-quality developers and lower recruiting costs. But it’s not just the big techs. Many companies—big and small, have switched to skill-based hiring across the globe. Let’s understand why.

  • Helps you assess a candidate’s true potential before hiring

    Evaluating a candidate’s skill is critical for hiring tech professionals. Skill assessments help you test a developer’s true potential to perform the responsibilities mentioned in the job description. With skill-based hiring, you can test a developer’s expertise in different tech stacks, like programming languages, frameworks, and soft skills.

    Moreover, every company has different requirements, and hiring someone based on their resume is not a great way to make a hiring decision. The skill-based hiring approach allows you to hire developers based on the job requirements rather than their degrees.
  • Grants access to a large talent pool

    Software development is a skill-based job, and anyone can acquire the skill without getting a college degree. A StackOverflow survey found that 56 percent of developers didn’t have a formal computer science degree, 69 percent of respondents were at least partially self-taught, and 13 percent were entirely self-taught.

    If you stick to hiring developers only with a college degree, you will miss out on a large talent pool. On the other hand, when you give preference to skill, you will attract more talent and increase your chances of finding the right fit for your company.
  • Brings in a more data-backed and equitable recruitment approach

    Several factors, including skillset, culturally fit, and individual values, determine a developer’s performance. Skill-based hiring requires hiring managers to use talent-matching tools and tactics to find the right candidate for an open position.

    These techniques are based on verified skills and data points that enable you to focus more on the technical and soft skills required for the job. Moreover, this recruitment approach significantly reduces hiring bias and gives every candidate an equal opportunity to land a job. It also removes the chances of hiring someone who obtained a fake degree using dubious methods.

    Also, read: 5 Tips to Become A Great Technical Hiring Manager
  • Reduces time and cost of hiring 

    Conventional hiring involves reviewing hundreds of resumes first and shortlisting candidates based on their degrees and the percentage they scored in their exams. You will often find candidates with fancy degrees who don’t have the right skillsets for the job. This not only makes the hiring process longer but also increases the hiring cost due to adding additional human resources.

    Skill-based hiring significantly reduces the hiring time, as it eliminates the candidates who lack the essential skills for the job. It ultimately reduces the recruitment cost. Moreover, when you hire developers based on their skills, you can save training costs, and they can work sooner.
  • Promote diversity and build an excellent company culture

    Diversity in the workplace is important in building a successful and thriving company. Skill-based hiring promotes diversity and gives you access to a larger talent pool. What’s more, diversity hiring helps your company get an edge over those who confine their recruitment within a particular geography or ethnicity. 

    Additionally, by emphasizing skills over college degrees, you can encourage applications from talented candidates who did not get a chance to earn a degree, thus creating a diverse workforce.
  • Drive business growth

    The success of a company significantly depends on its workforce. So, hiring suitable candidates is critical for every business, especially when hiring developers. You must be aware of the Eminent figures in technology industries like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg – all of them are college dropouts, but they went on to create thriving tech companies.

    Candidates with the right technical and soft skills aligned with your business objectives will be valuable assets to your company and drive business growth whether they have the degree.
  • Increases employee retention

    Skill-based hiring means candidates join jobs that fit their skill sets. Such employees are more motivated and enjoy the opportunity to showcase their expertise. What’s more, they tend to work longer than those who join the job but don’t enjoy it due to a lack of skills. According to LinkedIn data, employees without a traditional college degree stay in jobs 34 percent longer than those with a degree.

Five steps to implement skill-based hiring in tech recruitment

  1. Understand your business requirements

    Understanding your project requirements is the first step toward implementing skill-based hiring. The more clarity you have about your requirement, the better your chances of finding the right developers. For example, skilled front-end developers can build a website’s user interface, identify issues with the front end, and provide solutions to influence the design.

    They can also build a static website that is used to provide some information to the users. A front-end developer needs to be well-versed in technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Angular, React, jQuery, Ember, and others.

    On the other end, backend developers build and maintain the mechanisms to process data and perform actions on a website or application. They enable the server, application, and database to interact. Backend developers must have expertise in programming languages like JavaScript, Java C#, Python, PHP, Ruby, and others.
  2. Write a clear job description

    Once you know your requirements clearly, you know which skills to look for in the candidates. The next step is to write a good job posting with a clear job description that mentions the skills you are looking for and the developer’s day-to-day responsibilities.

    You can also mention the KPIs you expect the developer to meet in a month or quarter. This practice gives candidates more clarity on what is expected of them.
  3. Create the right recruitment funnel

    A recruitment funnel is a framework that helps you track every stage of hiring and improve the overall process. From attracting suitable candidates to hire, the funnel streamlines your hiring process and narrows down the candidate pool till you select one. When you implement skill-based hiring, your hiring funnel looks different than the traditional hiring process. It should include the following stages from the top.
    • Attract candidates toward the job opportunity
    • Making sure the job seekers applying for the jobs
    • Assessing their technical skills
    • Shortlisting candidates based on the skill assessment
    • Interviewing the candidates to find the best fit for the job
    • Making the offer and completing the hiring process

      Also, read: 10 Tips for Onboarding Remote Software Developers
  4. Use an AI-powered hiring tool

    Modern AI-powered hiring tools have transformed the hiring process. From applicant sourcing to finding employees with the right skills, these tools make the skill-based recruitment process easier and faster. You can customize your requirements according to the job demand.
  5. Focus on skills at every stage of the recruitment process

    As the name denotes, skill is one of the most important factors to consider in skill-based hiring. It is even more crucial when hiring developers. From conducting skill assessments to shortlisting candidates, you should focus on testing the relevant skills.

    Design your technical interview questions around skills and job requirements, and avoid emphasizing degrees. Besides, identify the candidate’s personality traits to find employees who fit naturally into your organization.

So, what should you keep in mind while implementing skill-based hiring?

The most important thing to consider while selecting developers is the skills they bring to the table. Do they have programming, problem-solving, and soft skills essential for your business? Are they culturally fit and have the right mindset? These things are more important than looking at the candidates’ degrees or educational qualifications. 

Adopting skill-based hiring allows you to find developers with the right skills, irrespective of their educational background. However, conducting skill assessments for a large number of applicants takes a lot of work. 

But Turing can help you with that. 

Turing helps you to hire developers purely based on skills within four days. Our AI-powered vetting process uses 20,000+ ML signals to ensure you find the most suitable talent for your business. Once you share your requirements, we will match the right developer according to your need. Moreover, you get a free two-week trial period to evaluate the developer’s performance before signing a long-term contract.

Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.

Hire Developers

By Feb 3, 2023