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Chicago Code Camp 2016 Keynote - Fear and Self-loathing in IT


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Many of us feel nervous or fearful about raising our voices or speaking our opinions out loud - whether at a conference, a business meeting, or even at a party surrounded by friends. We hesitate to join a populated lunch table, a lively conversation after a great session, or just be ourselves lest we be “found out” as someone who really doesn’t belong there or deserve to be there. If you’re wondering what Imposter Syndrome is, or how you would even know if it affects you, think about the following questions: • Do you feel like no matter how much you practice a new framework or language that you’ll just never be good enough to show off your skills? • Do you panic at the idea of asking a question when you don’t understand a new concept because everyone will think you have no idea what you’re doing? • Does the idea of sharing your experiences at a conference make you anxious, maybe even nauseated? • Are you constantly comparing yourselves to peers, friends, or event Twitter followers and feeling that you never stack up? If you answered yes to any (or maybe all) of these questions, you might be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. You may even recognize some of these behaviors in coworkers, friends, or the person sitting next to you. A surprising number of people feel the effects of Imposter Syndrome on a daily basis, and conferences can be an especially stressful trigger for them. Many of us are missing out on some great conversations and opportunities to learn some amazing things because of people’s fear of failure, but we can help! I’ll share some opportunities for us, as a community, to be awesome to one another, and not just at this conference - but it’s a great start.

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Chicago Code Camp 2016 Keynote - Fear and Self-loathing in IT

  1. 1. @chicagocodecamp
  2. 2. Who the heck am I? Twitter: @OakParkGirl
  3. 3. But who do I feel like most days?
  4. 4. Twitter: @OakParkGirl What the @!%&?
  5. 5. Twitter: @OakParkGirl
  6. 6. Twitter: @OakParkGirl
  7. 7. Twitter: @OakParkGirl
  8. 8. The Imposter Test: “When people praise me for something I’ve accomplished, I’m afraid I won’t be able to live up to their expectations of me in the future” “I’m afraid people important to me may find out that I’m not as capable as they think I am” “I rarely do a project or task as well as I’d like to do it” “I often compare my ability to those around me and think they may be more intelligent than I am”
  9. 9. IT Evangelist: 40 Graphic Designer: 74 Senior Developer: 67 Dietician: 69Agile coach: 77 Screen Printer: 73 Librarian: 71 Agile coach: 74 Interior Designer: 55 IT Director: 77 ALM Consultant: 87 Industrial Plumber: 54 SAHM: 39 Lawyer: 53 Freelance Writer: 30 IT Manager: 55 IT Consultant: 55 Scenic Painter: 71 SAHM: 52 Biology Teacher: 65 Network Administrator: 39 Audio Engineer: 67 Lawyer: 89 Management Consultant: 67 Senior Developer: 70 SAHM: 69 Academic Coach: 57 Kindergarten Teacher: 56
  10. 10. Researchers believe that up to 70% of people have felt the effects of impostor syndrome at some point
  11. 11. Fear is an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events.