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Impostor Syndrome in tech

Impostor Syndrome in tech

Talking at #HumanOps about impostor syndrome in operations (and security).

Bea Hughes

June 30, 2016
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  1. Impostor Syndrome in tech
    (someone can do this talk better than me)
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 1

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  2. Who's this clown? 2
    » Infrastructure security at Etsy.
    » Operations engineer at Puppet.
    » Worked at some startups and some not so startups.
    » Owns a lot of black t-shirts.
    2 https://twitter.com/skullmandible/status/411281851131523072
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 2

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  3. I work at Etsy
    Antisocial Construct Zine by EricSobelArt
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 3

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  4. Impostor syndrome!
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 4

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  5. Impostor syndrome is when high-
    achieving individuals are marked by
    an inability to internalise their
    accomplishments & a persistent fear of
    being exposed as a "fraud"
    — clinical psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance & Suzanne A.
    Imes
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 5

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  6. Am I even qualified to give this talk?
    — Me, earlier today, proving that I probably am.
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 6

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  7. "But everyone has this, no?"
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 7

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  8. OCD
    vs.
    Actually liking things
    to be tidy
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 8

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  9. Exemplum!
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 9

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  10. @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 10

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  11. "I am going to be discovered and
    fired..."
    — Me, then.
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 11

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  12. THIS IS FUCKING DEPRESSING
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 12

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  13. It makes it real hard to
    do good work
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 13

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  14. Which then just
    perpetuates itself
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 14

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  15. Which leads to
    burnout...
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 15

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  16. @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 16

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  17. Reality vs. Perception of others
    From https://billwatt.org/the-imposter-syndrome/
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 17

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  18. STORY TIME
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 18

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  19. @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 19

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  20. HOLY SHIT WE HAVE
    DIFFERENCE
    EXPERIENCES
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 20

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  21. (Best (worst) stock photo ever?)
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 21

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  22. Impostor syndrome
    can be a sign that
    you're about to learn
    awesome things.
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 22

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  23. It can be a sign you
    have a lot of
    knowledge to share
    too!
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 23

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  24. Straw poll
    How many people have you heard
    of getting fired due to knowing
    nothing?
    How many people have you heard
    of having impostor syndrome?
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 24

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  25. So why do our brains
    make this trade off?
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 25

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  26. Ego?
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 26

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  27. Did I mention I work in security?
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 27

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  28. "well don't think of yourself as an
    imposter, think of yourself as not a
    psychopath."
    — Scott Roberts
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 28

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  29. "One of the best things I've done for
    myself lately: created a doc where I
    copy-paste compliments I've gotten.
    Great for low days. Try it."
    — Molly Clare
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 29

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  30. What can you do as an
    organisation?
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 30

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  31. Acknowledge it!
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 31

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  32. It's okay to say what's okay
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 32

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  33. Obligatory reference
    to blameless
    postmortems as I'm
    contractually bound to
    by Etsy
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 33

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  34. Praise others, because
    they may feel this too.
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 34

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  35. Tip for praise: Don't personalize. For
    the same reason you wouldn't say
    "You're a dumbass," don't just say
    "You're a genius."
    — @candor 5
    5 Blameless praise! from Slack's great article on giving feedback
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 35

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  36. Stop the nerd snipe, even if it's
    good intentioned
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 36

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  37. Your culture often
    affects people in
    seemingly invisible
    ways
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 37

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  38. Just don't go too far (;
    Dunning–Kruger effect
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 38

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  39. Let's hope I'm on track for time!
    » be understand to people, this is hard.
    » be kind to yourself, even if you're a jerk like me.
    » seek help if you can (friends, therapists, coworkers)
    » Query Annotations (Hi Jenni!) (:
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 39

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  40. This affects people differently
    » Confidence sadly often comes with privilege.
    » As does arrogance.
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 40

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  41. Mess of links that will be useful when I tweet the URL
    to this slidedeck
    » Impostor Syndrome in DFIR - Scott Roberts fantastic piece on
    the topic.
    » Allowed To Apply - blog on telling yourself you can do this.
    » How to get a promotion
    » Blue Hackers - site on mental health in the tech community
    and how to help.
    » Tall Poppy Syndrome - wikipedia page on cutting people down
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 41

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  42. Ta
    » My blog post on the subject
    » Twidder: @benjammingh
    » LinkedIn: lnkdin.me/p/benyeah
    » SpeakerDeck: speakerdeck.com/barnbarn
    » Etsy: Careers <--- CodeAsCraft <--- our blog
    @benjammingh for HumanOps SF 42

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