by Leon Rosenshein

Imposter Syndrome, Dunning–Kruger, or Just Do It

There are new things for us to learn all the time. Some of them are just new coats of paint on the same old thing, some of them build on existing tech, some of them are really new. Sometimes you end up in working on something tangentially related to your area of expertise that's new to you. How do you approach it? Is it a problem or an opportunity? Generally, I choose to see them as opportunities. I get to learn something new. I get to expand my repertoire. I get to show my boss I'm flexible. All good things.

But that doesn't make it easy. Sometimes convincing yourself is the hardest part. Then you've got to actually get started. I've found the easiest way to handle both is to ask questions. Find the person that understands the problem. Ask them to explain it. Figure out exactly what part you don't know and ask some simple, but well-formed questions. Use those answers to ask some more questions. Then try some things. See what works and what doesn't through your personal approach. Then draw the rest of the chart. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.