I was doing some research as part of the process for interviewing new candidates for a position at my day job today – as ever my first reference is an article (now slightly dated) by Chris Coyier on the topic. I have used this as a base for many interviews in the past, it’s really simple and aids in quickly disqualifying chancers. I had to go search for the article and spotted this one (5 Questions with Paul Irish) among the search results – again … a bit of a golden oldie. That ultimately led me to another (old) A List Apart article that just resonated with me, given my current frame of mind, new(ish) position and the fact that I have received two job offers in the last two days alone … there’s also a tonne of front-end gigs out there currently; which just reminded me again that there is absolutely no call for sticking it out if you’re not feeling it at your current job … it deals with a lot of factors, but mainly (for me) the topic of impostor syndrome.
Know what you do not know
I think that the development fraternity has only really started taking front-end development seriously in the last few years – navigate your way to any job board or pop open LinkedIn and you will find hundreds of front-end positions avalaible … developers are hard to come by, good ones even more so; yet the salaries are still lagging behind and, to earn the big money, you more-or-less have to be an all-rounder or a full stack jockey … there-in my problem.
This kind of thinking seeps into everything thing you do and is very counter productive – it affects your confidence when interviewing and you undoubtedly keep expecting to be caught out … to be found to be the impostor that your are – and it’s bullshit! Complete and utter horse shit, I tell you.
You’ve made it
The very fact that you are expecting compensation in line with what your *programmer* buddies/peers/colleagues are earning (and probably have been for some time) bears testament to the fact that your talent has already been recognised and that you have earned your spot in the big league. You are a specialist with niche skills, just like any other serious developer out there – in fact: more often than not, programmers (even very senior “tech luminaries” I have worked for) have absolutely no interest and no inkling of what front-end development entails … it bugs them that there is something that seems so simple that they fail to grasp – so their stock defence is to devalue what you bring to the table.
Starve your troll
The sooner you realise your value, the less anxiety there is to feed to your troll, the less the little fucker bugs you and the better your confidence and performance.
It’s OK to ask to be paid fairly and to decide what you think is fair – it’s your choice to accept or not … it’s absolutely OK to not know everything and there are way too many disciplines for you to have a handle on all of them – name your price and admit to the chinks in your armor up-front; what’s the worst that can happen? You may not land this gig, but you may land the next or the one thereafter – the trick is not to compromise … more often than not, you will find that the rest of the world is not really out to get you or to expose you as a fraud – this is all very new for them too … they will catch up.
Stick to your guns, swing for the fence, go find the job you deserve – happiness breeds happiness … trolls’ diets rarely include happiness.