I’m talking about natural ability here. I work with a couple guys that seem so much better at solving problems than I am that it makes me doubt whether I could work somewhere else because - when I compare myself to them - I don’t feel very smart or naturally good at IT and coding type things.
I’ve been asking myself the same thing. I’m currently in the job search with a portfolio of projects. I’ve talked with developers who can look at code and figure out a bug fairly quickly while it would have taken me hours to do the same. It makes me think wonder if I am really cut out for this line of work.
The best thing is just worry about yourself and how you are unique or stand out. But most people deal with this variation of imposter syndrome. I know a person who is a freshman taking Abstract Algebra and I had a tough time with Calc 3. I was feeling like, “man I’m a dummy”, “will I fail computer science since I’m not as smart as him?” So, I asked him, how are you so smart/good at math? He replied, “I just really love math and have been doing it a long time” (passion + time spent).
In summary, there is always someone smarter, taller, more attractive, more athletically inclined, a better coder than you. But that’s fine and it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful as well and have a great career , if you put in the work.
One of my fav quotes: Please read it all, it’s worth it
"The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right?
You’re not going to out-work me. It’s such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.” - Will Smith
If you go through the various “can I do it” and “what if I’m not good at X” type questions on the forum you will see a trend: the members of the community who are professional or experienced developers say over and over that “natural ability” isn’t a real barrier. Some people have a stronger background that means they’re further ahead on building the skills that you need, but no one can’t be good at this. It isn’t about some special kind of intelligence. It’s about interest and curiosity and dedication and endurance.
as @ArielLeslie said its about dedication, endurance, and grit. I consider grit to be somewhat of a natural ability, but I don’t consider it an ability, its more of an atitude.
The only way you know if you are ready is you go out and try. Employers don’t really know until they hire you fully, if you can do or can’t do the job. Yes they can screen candidates with questions, problems, or other tests of skill and knowledge, but none of it really matters that much when it comes to actual work. (Like how you work within the existing team)
I don’t know what “natural ability” entitles, maybe it allows you to learn faster, maybe it allows you to read faster, maybe it allows you to stay up later with less sleep and function fine the next day. But this doesn’t give you “better dev skills” unless they are applied correctly. Regardless of your natural ability, you can be a good developer if you put in the time and effort, even if your “natural ability” sucks, it just means your going to have to work harder to keep up, this is grit. This isn’t the sort of thing where there is a hard line of making it or breaking it due to natural ability. If you work hard, you can “become the go-to guy”.
I always go back to what one of my teachers said during class one day.
Have fun, go out and don’t think about school. But remember, every second your doing that, there is another person spending that time studying, learning, improving themselves. It’s not what your given, its what you give to yourself that matters.
If you don’t feel comfortable, then go out and keep working on it. As other’s said before, there always will be the feeling of “I don’t feel good enough” (The impostor syndrome), and the only solution is to keep working on it, and testing yourself.
I wasn’t the go-to guy until I ended up being the go-to guy because I put in the time grinding through thousands of issues. Now if someone runs into an issue, they come to me. Not because of any natural ability, but because I probably saw it before, and spent hours debugging, googling, cursing, and finding the solution. It didn’t take any natural ability, it just took grit, and at the end of the day that’s what matters the most.
The only natural ability of a human is to eat and poop. Just observe a new baby.
The rest is learned by training and repetition.