Everything open source
May 16–17, 2016: Training & Tutorials
May 18–19, 2016: Conference
Austin, TX

Impostor syndrome and individual competence

Jessica Rose (FutureLearn)
2:40pm–3:20pm Wednesday, 05/18/2016
In Real Life
Location: Ballroom F Level: Non-technical
Tags: featured
Average rating: ****.
(4.95, 19 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should have a general understanding of the processes behind software development and some experience working in technical environments.


With the rapid development of new technologies and tools, working in the tech industry has quickly come to require lifelong learning to be successful. But to challenge ourselves and learn efficiently, we need to focus on level-appropriate input. To do this, we need to have a clear understanding of our current skill level.

Cognitive biases like impostor syndrome and the Dunning-Kruger effect make assessing our own skill level almost impossible. Jessica Rose examines the processes that our brains use to determine our skill level relative to our peers and explains how cognitive biases interrupt and distort our self assessments. Jessica explores how these biases impact wider work and personal interactions beyond skill assessment and looks at which individuals report being the most heavily impacted. Jessica then offers practical ways to mitigate the effect of cognitive biases on individual professional output, group dynamics of teams, working relationships between individuals, and communities.

Photo of Jessica Rose

Jessica Rose


Jessica Rose is a technical manager at FutureLearn, obsessed with fostering better access to technical education and meaningful work in technology. Jessica hosts the Pursuit Pocast, founded the Open Code meetup series and cofounded Trans*Code. She’s always interested in hearing more about great open source or educational projects, so come chat with her about what you’ve been working on.