Crossing technical and personal boundaries: New project nerves
A really interesting thought from Chris Toomey from Thoughtbot’s ‘The Bikeshed’ podcast, that really elegantly clarifies my own thinking on imposter syndrome, feelings of inadequacy, and the strive to deliver value to a broad range of contexts.
The work we do is purposefully somewhat challenging. We’re coming into organistions to try and help them, most often at sort of an inflection point - a point at which they’re struggling, either technically or process-wise. So there’s something we have to help with. It’s not always clear, or it may be that people are pointing at one thing but meaning something else and so there’s always some nerves.
Do I worry about not knowing the technical facets as much? The longer I do this, the longer I see that code is much the same across different frameworks and languages. I’ve got better at learning, I can do that more quickly, use existing knowledge. At the end of the day, the hard part, and the thing that we bring into the situation is not so much about the code, but the conversations - getting real pixels in front of users, and then mapping that back into the code. And THAT skillset is the same everywhere, and I know I have that foundation and I lean into that all the harder at the beginning of the project.
(Paraphrased and left out a couple of less-relevant sentences for brevity that related to pairing at Thoughtbot)
I really like the statements made here. I think I personally tend to concentrate too much on what is being brought to the table in technical skill, and not as much in the value that exists just from having an expert(s) guiding an organisation through something that they’re not necessarily well-equpped to handle on theier own.