I am a software engineer in the US.
One of the engineers in our team has a bad case of impostor syndrome, despite being among the most talented software engineers I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I don't mind the self-deprecating humor (as if I could - I make these jokes fairly frequently), but I do genuinely want to help him - the frequent apologies and self-blaming lead me to believe that he does, indeed, fully believe what he says (and isn't saying it just for humor). He is senior (and I am not), but I'm not quite sure that matters here.
So, the question is: how can I help my coworker's impostor syndrome? I realize that I can't hope to fix it, but I do sure hope I can help in some meaningful way. I make it a point to absolve him of any self-inflicted guilt he doesn't deserve and to praise when praise is due, but I'm not sure if there's a piece of the puzzle I'm missing here.
Edit: To address some very good points raised:
- The problem is not his boss - we report to the same manager and work within the same team; from what I can tell, everyone can tell he is very competent and probably works himself a bit too hard (risk of burnout, etc.)
- This is not (usually) a customer-facing position. Nothing too formal is typically involved - we're a small company, but not small enough that developers have to talk to customers on a regular basis.
- Some apologies are for things that aren't his fault (or aren't faults at all) - for instance, recently he apologized for having implemented a feature that could need a workaround in case something else, completely unrelated, goes wrong. Bear in mind that the feature design is not at fault and wasn't even his own to begin with; that was a team decision.