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Fighting Impostor Syndrome


One of the things that came up during the DebConf talk on Women in
Debian is that a lot of women (and men as well) are affected by
impostor syndrome.  This is when you feel that you are not good enough
to "be here" (wherever here is, Debian, FOSS, your job, etc).

I've personally been affected by this many times, I was affected by it
when I started contributing to Debian, when I gave my first talk in my
local LUG, when I gave my first talk at DebConf, and even recently
when I started my work at Google.  I think that it's important to
recognize when we are affected by it, to try to fight it as much as
possible, but it's also necessary for us to help each other and
particularly help new comers in getting over it.

One thing that was suggested during the talk is to list the amount of
knowledge that someone needs in order to do a certain activity (like
packaging, or translating, or fixing bugs, or triaging bugs, etc) and
then have pointers to more info about those tasks.  I don't know how
much difference this could make, but I don't see any damage in trying
it and seeing if it helps someone realize their worthiness.

What do you think? Would someone be willing to compile this list and
post it on the wiki?

Any other ideas of what we could do to fight impostor syndrome?


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