This week’s reading includes articles on imposter syndrome, career lessons, and writing more.

The Impostor’s Advantage is one of the most relatable articles I’ve read in a while. It is a recognition of the idea that impostor syndrome is not just real, but rampant. The author used it to their advantage:

That feeling of being an impostor is your subconscious telling you something: It’s saying you’re about to push yourself past your comfort zone and into the growth zone. Now when an opportunity shows up and impostor syndrome starts twitching in the pit of my stomach, that’s a sign I should jump at it! […]

Every project still started with the thought, “I have no idea what to do here.” But then I’d remind myself, “no one else does either.” [A senior developer’s] work is so valuable precisely because no one knows exactly what needs to be done. It’s ambiguous. And it requires people who can still push through the uncertainty and forge a path forward.

I love this. No one else knows what they’re doing is a lesson that I’ve learned over the last few months at work. This is great.

[Lessons learnt in year three as a software engineer][] by Shubheksha is exactly what it sounds like: some nuggets of advice for people in roughly my stage of their careers. Some highlights:

  • Marketing your work to the right people is a critical skill, almost moreso than doing the work itself
  • “Titles give you legitimacy, especially when you don’t enjoy the privilege of being assumed to be competent”
  • Sponsors can open doors for you, give you confidence, and help you progress much faster

This was great. I’ll have to pay more attention to this person’s blog!

Antifragile web development by Markus Oberlehner applies Nassim Taleb’s concept of “antifragility” to web development. One of the more straightforward examples is performance: “the best way to make our websites faster is to remove things.” Likewise, instead of adding abstractions, consider removing them.

The official, authorized list of legitimate reasons for deciding to become manager by Charity Majors reflects on the question “Why did you decide to become a manager?”

We are constantly being lectured about what the RIGHT reasons for going into management are, with aspersions cast upon anyone who dares enter the profession for any reasons that are not completely selfless.

But most people become managers “to compensate for org fuckery,” Majors writes, saying that when you become a manager you “acquire institutional power”—which can let you be involved in decisions, access new information, or set a coherent strategy.

How to write more with less stress by writing every day by Stevie Chancellor gives the advice to write something every day, because “sprint writing” before a deadline is … well, awful. We’ve all been there.

How do you write every day, you ask?

First, pick an amount of time that causes you no internal resistance. Zilch, nada, none. I want this to be so effortless that when you think of the time, you chuckle because it feels so comically short. Seriously, 5 to 10 minutes is plenty.

Set your timer.

Now start writing.

The goal is to write mediocre content, but to write it often. First drafts will always be bad, whether they’re written months in advance of a deadline or hours. So start somewhere, and let it flow.