Fears I Had As A Starting Software Developer

by Osama Abulail
published on Nov. 19, 2017

My profession is about software development; I don’t know about your profession (if you have one). But I think what I’m writing applies to anyone wanting to succeed. Let me first explain this feeling “the need to succeed” from my point of view. After school I wanted to learn programming so I went and studied computer engineering which introduced me to the world of electronics, now I can write software and manipulate electronics. After 3 years at my job I gained better experience. But I was never satisfied. In my head I want to create something amazing that adds some meaning to peoples life’s. Maybe a website with a great idea, a new kind of device, etc… I grew up with all this in my head. But never really decided to start anything.

I have a full time job as a web developer and I really like it, most people stop just right here and some of them feel completely satisfied and move on to the next thing in life like getting married or what so ever. But for me (and most likely you the reader), I am still not satisfied, it’s not enough to create websites for customers seeking no more than an “online presence”. I want to have a project that has a wide effect on people, a project that lives with me through all the stages of success. I want to achieve the old dream of being remembered after I die. Only this will make me happy and satisfied.

Again, I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic, but I can list a few things that are holding me down as a computer engineer and a new entrepreneur from acquiring my dream:

Here are 6 fears that I had as a starting software developer:

1. The overwhelming amount of skills to acquire

Just after graduation, I had a job as a web developer. A mere part of being a programmer I thought. I had to learn many things to even get started building custom websites for real customers. And this is only for web development. At first, I was really overwhelmed by the amount of online courses, manuals, documentation and hours of trial and error. However, I learned that things get easier and better with time (after about 6 months). I think now I am used. to learn new things and was even excited. I was lucky to have a great mentor at my job; mentors can really help coping with the working environment.

2. Having the wrong mindset and the right skillset

I can surely say that I was one of the best students at college, I had many skills, learned extra things on my spare time like making mobile apps and Microsoft’s .Net framework. I was doing some small personal projects for fun, but never actually worked professionally. I always thought that I don’t have time for these things and was afraid of failure. Other students who had less skills than me was starting their own projects for real customers and had great communication skills. I had the wrong mindset at that time, I was a very shy, uncommunicative and introvert like, this was holding me back from doing a lot of great things that I am capable of. I really regret those times as a student.

3. The complexity of the current world trends

Whenever I go to a tech forum, online technical courses, trending technologies that are always changing. I get very confused and fuzzy, where do I even start, what’s next to learn or what technology to use. I am sure this happens to many specialties other that software development. When I start to build up a project, I realize that it’s far more complex than I thought. There are so many moving parts to attach, will I be ready on time? do I have the skillset. That always builds up as a fear for me as a software developer whenever I start a new kind of project.

what if the big idea I just started working on was already created by some other developer like me. Of course I never heard of his work because it was not advertised or heard about that much. Will I lose all of my progress so far. I have to research very hard for similar projects before starting any new ideas.

5. the judgments and opinions of close people

this comes as a fear for all sorts of people seeking success in something they’re just starting to work on. What will close family members say about the idea. Of course the reaction depends highly on the person’s personality. This held me down from starting anything, in my head I wanted to start something great and it has to be great from the start, later I realized that this is nonsense, nothing is great at the beginning, you have to work really hard and be patient and most importantly, very persistent as well.

6. fear of lacking skills and having to be an expert

one time I looked at a software project proposal when I was a graduate student, the required skills to build this thing (whatever it is) were a lot. I will need about 2 months at least to even start, and the project needs to be delivered just within a month. I had this fear at when I started my current job, the fear of deadlines. The first 1 or 2 projects I worked on wasn’t that great (I had to redo many work later), but this is a phase that needs to pass. I learned from my mistakes, and taught myself to be faster at learning and work, and automate a lot of my repetitive work to save time.

conclusion

I convinced myself that if I want to succeed at my field, I need to be very patient and persistent at any work I do. All these fears are natural and will vanish over time. good work and happy results always come after hard persistent daily work, there are no workarounds for that.