July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

"You code like a sysadmin" - Impostor Syndrome for the modern developer

Wade Minter (Custom Communications)
11:30am–12:10pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Craft D135/136
Average rating: ****.
(4.56, 9 ratings)
Slides:   1-ZIP 

Prerequisite Knowledge

This talk is for anyone who has stopped themselves from developing something just because they didn't feel like they were talented enough to try.


Once upon a time, there was a sysadmin. They were quite happy running systems, writing the occasional Perl script, and certainly Not Being A Developer. Then one day, their friend said: “Hey, our Ruby-based proof of concept needs another developer. Can you code?” “Well, I can try!” was the response. Eight years later, that proof of concept had turned into a company employing over 50 people. But that sysadmin was still very insecure about what they had accomplished. Why?

In this session, you’ll discover lessons learned by a nontraditional programmer as they attempted fit into the modern software development world. We will cover projects both embarrassing and cool, shipped and unshipped, that blur the lines between good code and successful code.

While the push for software craftmanship is a laudable one, is there a place for developers with less than 100% code coverage on their tests? Can you fit into a development community where the luminaries are all much more skilled than you may ever be? How good do you need to be before you can ship something? How do you deal with other developers criticizing your work?

Knowing how to distinguish between bad, good enough, and great is a vital skill, and often we are too quick to evaluate our own ideas and abilities. If you have ever judged yourself and put a project on the shelf because of internal (or external) criticism of your abilities, you will likely learn something valuable in this session. You can do great things – trust yourself!

Photo of Wade Minter

Wade Minter

Custom Communications

H. Wade Minter is the CTO at AdWerx, which is bringing big-company online marketing to very small businesses. He is also the ring announcer for a professional wrestling federation. The two may be related.