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20.11.20 @ 12pm-1pm


Brought to you by Northcoders


It takes courage to talk about being an ‘imposter’. Even more so in the competitive, challenging and specialist technology industry.

Have you ever felt out of your depth and like you don’t belong? Do you feel you are holding yourself back, or if you work with someone who displays this behaviour, read on.

Imposter syndrome is experienced in some form or another by more than 70% of people. It influences how we see the world, what challenges we take on and can have a real impact day to day. In this talk Smilyan and guests share their personal experiences and break down some of the ways in which imposter syndrome works.

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt that override any feelings of success. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women.

In particular, seeing oneself as an imposter can be even stronger in competitive, challenging and specialist environments such as academia and the technology industry. It is in such environments that our efforts get measured on a regular basis and we are surrounded by very smart and talented people. This can easily become a fertile ground for the seeds of feeling like an imposter.

Also, in a world that is currently turned upside down, more people we talk to are suffering in silence with the reduction in physical human interaction and the huge changes in people’s personal and career situations due to covid-19. Imposter syndrome is sadly more prevalent than ever.

Following the short presentation, Smilyan will be joined by guests including Leanne Atherton, Community Manager / Podcast Addict at Innovate Her and Tia Eastwood, Northcoders Graduate, for an open discussion with the opportunity for the audience participation to share experiences and tips for dealing with it.

About our speakers:

Smilyan Pavlov, Software Engineer at Iris Group

Smilyan has many years in the tech industry starting out as a UX Designer and Front End Developer leaving his home town of Bulgaria and starting a new life in Sheffield. He has since changed roles from BJSS to Iris Software and moved to Greece all during a worldwide pandemic! I have personally experienced imposter syndrome and recognised it in friends and colleagues. To overcome this I have spent years of personal development, setting boundaries and challenging myself - in learning new languages, learning new technologies, working on my mental and physical shape and setting personal goals every year that are realistic and achievable (that I try to meet!). I love working with others and believes that that is how one can achieve the best results and progress faster.

Leanne Atherton, Community Manager / Podcast Addict at Innovate Her

I've worked in tech since I graduated, across customer, data and optimisation. I now work for a social enterprise called 'InnovateHer' that is 'getting girls ready for the tech industry and the industry ready for girls'. I'm an outdoorsy person, I try to balance working on a screen all day with getting outside, I enjoy my work but I'm all about balance and working on collaborative, diverse teams is important to me to stay creative and learn from others.

Tia Eastwood, Northcoders Graduate

As a passionate creative, I reached a point in life where I was ready for a new challenge. My love of technology and innovation led me to enroll in Northcoders bootcamp to pursue an exciting career in software development. I have now graduated and acquired a range of full-stack development skills which I am eager to expand on. I'm looking forward to starting my first role in my new career!

Will Barker, Product Developer at AND Digital

I'm Will, currently a Product Developer and Business Transformation Consultant at And Digital. Previous to working here I've worked at Victorian Plumbing, Laterooms and briefly as a Northcoders mentor after completing the course myself in early 2018. Previous to code I was working in music both as a sound engineer and music consultant which involved writing and sourcing music for tv and film.

Imposter Syndrome is a term I only became aware of whilst working for Laterooms and convincing myself I wasn't going to get through my 3 month probation period. Having looked into it further I noticed patterns and behaviours that had been prevalent in my previous career. Striving for perfection, constantly throwing work out because i thought it wasn't good enough etc. Since then I've strived to coach and mentor juniors both from a tech perspective but also to help them with any struggles they may be having with imposter syndrome.


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20.11.20 @ 12pm-1pm
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This event was from the 2020 Digital Festival


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