Confidence and programming

Building a career in programming can be overwhelming at times. For me, I felt overwhelmed all the time.

To be honest there were several occasions where I truly thought I was dumb and coding just wasn’t for me. I’d see other devs who would just understand stuff and to me it seemed as though they were naturals, born programmers who were way smarter than I.

Self-doubt.. it kills dreams, ruins lives and holds you back from being a legend.

I’d go as far as saying self-doubt is a requirement to being great but only in moderation. I like to go with 90% confidence and 10% doubt. This keeps me on my toes and aware that there is always room to improve.

Here are some pointers to help you out. Some of these will produce results immediately whilst others take slightly longer.


  • Focus on the fundamentals of software and programming. You will thank me later. I’ll write another post on what these are.
  • Teach yourself the art of learning quickly
  • Believe in yourself and your capabilities
  • Build a solid foundation
  • Be your own person
  • Welcome constructive criticism with open arms
  • Learn from mistakes. Mistakes are good
  • Embrace failure. It is a stepping stone


  • Don’t compare yourself to others
  • Don’t worry about the latest JS library and other tech that keeps coming out (be aware of them but that’s enough at this point)
  • Don’t try and learn every language and framework out there. You will broaden your skill set with time. Id rather hire a programmer who has a strong understanding of the fundamentals and only knows 1 language as opposed to the programmer that knows them all
  • Don’t trash talk yourself
  • Don’t apologise for everything you do

One last thing. Our subconscious mind is wired to listen to our thoughts. Many times our thoughts describe how we feel about ourselves. People tend to see you the way you see yourself. Sooo..??

Think of yourself as a great programmer. Tell it to yourself, over and over and over..

Oh, one very last thing..

Form a good balance of confidence and modesty.

Photo by Jonathan Klok

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