alistairphillips.com

I’m : a web and mobile developer based in the Manning Valley, Australia.


Imposter syndrome

Imposter Syndrome, episode 23 of Topical FM, nailed how I generally feel about the things I create. Whether it's the apps that I develop in my spare time or my day job I'll get this niggling feeling that I'm just not cut out for what I do. Often this is triggered either by something going wrong, or a bad app review, and then I'll start to question everything.

As Bryn put it we're in a field where we're constantly having to acknowledge that we don't know things while at the same saying we can get something done - and then actually having to figure out how to do it. Yeah there are software patterns and methodologies you can apply and often you'll be able to reuse ideas and code but don't underestimate how much we're actually figuring out on the go. Software is a complex beast with many moving parts that you need to orchestrate.

If that wasn't enough to deal with I'm also starting to get a little afraid of pushing out changes to App Store apps. We've all been there and introduced a crashing bug into an app and, in the case of iOS, had to pray that we're granted an expedited review. During this time you're trying to fix the bug and deal with an onslaught of support emails and negative reviews. Oh and don't forget how you're kicking yourself for even letting this happen in the first place.

As My Opal gains more users I'm getting super hesitant about changes I'd like to introduce. A good dose of paranoia is healthy and keeps you vigilant but it's hard to stop the "what if" scenarios from running through your head. The last thing you want to do is let this fear overtake overwise you'll never ship anything. But sometimes I do find myself wishing I had fewer users just so there wasn't as much pressure.

Things would be a lot easier if I didn't take everything to heart. Everyone makes mistakes, even big companies like Apple and Google, and they're still around and a few weeks after whatever incident was going on everyone has moved on. Logically this all makes sense but as they say - easier said than done.

In the case of mobile apps being able to easily roll back to a previous version or quickly upload a new binary would be a lifesaver but unfortunately neither of those options are available to iOS developers. Maybe those changes will come in time (and maybe I'll learn to not take things to heart), but until then it's back to coding.