Nearly 35 years old Software developer from Germany asking for help or some input. Not easy for me to write my worries and fear down, but I hope it helps me. Actually there is no one in my social circle who understands my concern which makes it hard to talk about as they are not working in the software development industry.
I am almost around 10 years into the software development industry. Half of it in the .NET sector and the other half in the Java Spring Boot and TypeScript React sector. I would assume that I should be some kind of senior developer, but I really do not feel like one.
For sure, I can develop solutions to certain problems. But I feel I am severely lacking in skills like design patterns, architecture, and other big-picture type stuff. I don’t know how to build large-scale systems. I live in fear that the day is going to come where I get assigned something I won’t be able to deliver on, and the house of cards that is my career is going to come crashing down.
Further I am always feeling like the worst developer in our company or even in the whole wide world. There are colleagues where I think that they are more skilled and are able to find better and quicker solutions than I do. It seems like they know everything!
The reason is that I do not think I am good enough for the IT sector, especially for software development. This has been going on for a few months or even for a few years now. The fear and the thinking are present day by day which leads to big pressure on me. Which further leads to the fact that I am totally inhibited by that thoughts which leads to a bigger fear to lose my job now or in the future and stay unemployed.
Another problem is that I have only completed an apprenticeship as a developer, and not studied computer science. The fact that everyone in my team, except me, has a degree in his pocket makes it even worse. Of course, I don't. That makes me feel less valuable compared to the other colleagues in the team. As if one could do without me in the team. Only the fact that most of the team, despite their studies, are not better developers keeps me happy sometimes. But to be honest: Not having a degree in CS in my pocket makes me feel like an inferior employee which also accompanies me day after day.
In summary, I just feel like a complete loser. This frustration then leads to inhibitions, bad mood and "fear of the future" in relation to my job. Yes, some days it actually makes me so depressed that I want to cry because I realize that I have so many gaps in my knowledge that I think it is simply impossible to ever be a good or great developer and be "job safe".
To overcome my fears I had or have the plan to keep learning in my free time. To be honest I do it only irregularly. First because there are so many topics in software development, frameworks, languages and so on that I don't know where to start which then leads to not doing anything at all. Second because I have also other free time activities which have nothing to do with software development or IT at all.
Sure, I really love my job. I love to code and to find solutions to several problems. Further I love to find bugs and analyze why things happen like they happen. But on the other hand the job puts pressure on me to always feel and think that I am not enough for the whole thing. Living day after day with this pressure is not really cool and just brings me down from day to day.
I hope there are other people out there who also faced such problems and can give me some advice.