Developer! Stop thinking you are not a good enough specialist; that's not true.

    About a month ago we prepared a large article with true stories about IT impostors , where we talked about smart guys from Asia, who by any means tried to get us remote work. The entire text was dedicated to different varieties of adventurers - people who most often did not understand anything in IT and development, but presented themselves as developers. In that article, we mentioned that there are practically no such Ostaps in the CIS. Well, somehow it does not pull our compatriots and people from neighboring countries to try to deceive someone in this way. But on the other side of this story with impostors, there are real developers - smart, competent, experienced people, in a word, good specialists. And just they, most often, form the second side of the medal of the story we have raised.

    Steve believed in himself, and so you believe.

    All further reasoning, advice and explanation are based on one simple fact: very often when finding employment from the Crossover for people from the CIS, we are faced with a situation where a specialist declares a position with lower requirements than his qualifications. That is, representatives of the Russian-speaking IT-community systematically underestimate themselves . And this is a massive problem.

    Description of the problem

    The stated above can be considered as relevant statistics, since Crossover employs dozens of specialists only from the Russian Federation on a weekly basis. Before entering the home stretch and getting an interview with your potential managers, all developers are briefly interviewed by our HR employees, trite to help the candidate and, if necessary, add his resume, for example.

    In the course of the work, we identified one common system pattern, which is typical only for the CIS-region: some developers claim to positions that require much lower qualifications than the one they actually possess. This is not a coincidence or a single case. Underestimation of their own knowledge, skills and experience is a constant phenomenon. It comes to the fact that the candidate has to persuade to move to a higher position, to explain that he can and should do more skilled work, for which he pays significantly more.

    In other regions of the world there is no such thing; on the contrary, foreigners most often try to make themselves more experienced and valuable than they really are.

    Tradition, restraint and eternal shame

    Obviously, our problem is tightly intersected with both the impostor syndrome , which has been written on Habré more than once, and with the general mentality and traditionalism of our society. We have already written a lot about the syndrome of an impostor and with taste, we will not repeat it, rather we will consider several situations in which our developers fall.

    It has long been known that the smarter a person is, the more clearly he realizes how little he knows in comparison with all the achievements of mankind. For the IT segment, this situation is squared, and sometimes even in a cube: regular meetings, conferences, speeches of speakers, exchange of experience. If the developer is not involved in this whole get-together, sooner or later the thought creeps into his head that he is missing something important. This principle, for example, is actively exploiting social networks, which send endless push notifications and force the tape to be scrolled so that the person is supposedly “aware” of what is happening around.

    Professionally, this trap works in almost the same way: a developer who does cool things on a current project takes an uncharacteristic load for adjacent positions in adjacent directions, it seems like a professional vacuum, they say, his experience is relevant only for this particular place of work and nowhere else not needed. At the same time around the world there is a mass of all sorts of interesting events, to visit which he does not have time, free money or a banal opportunity, because he lives somewhere far away from Moscow, St. Petersburg or Novosib. But as a matter of fact, all conferences and speeches except the general theoretical introduction are reduced to the analysis of specific cases of specific people who work in specific companies. It is very rare to find events where speakers would speak at the level of fundamental revelations,

    Unfortunately, such specialists are afraid of change, especially if their life is burdened by the additional responsibility for the family, and even when they change jobs, they consider themselves to be “not good enough specialists”.

    In addition, the mentality of our region implies excessive restraint in demonstrating our own success. We do not say that restraint is bad. In the age of fake lives on social networks and Instagram, the endless stream of selfies and fashion coaching and various trainings, restraint in demonstrating their accomplishments has become a kind of good form. But the problem is that so many people cultivate in their heads an “internal major,” which projects external restraint on professional self-esteem.

    If you do not believe us, then just think: almost everyone has a friend or friend who has worked in the same company for years, drags a bunch of tasks and rarely goes for an increase, rejects offers to go to interviews in search of a new, better paid place. At the same time, this person has long outgrown his current position.

    The problem of such people is not even in the inertia of thinking and laziness, but in the fact that they sincerely believe that they are developers who are much less qualified than they really are.. Many of our developers are so closed in this circle of self-blame that they no longer even help the support of relatives and the assurances of colleagues in the shop that they are professionals and not code marmoset. And even if they step over their “internal comrade major”, they are declared on positions for which they are “ overqualification ”.

    Another problem - the general modesty. Any failure at the interview is regarded by the individual described by us as a personal defeat, especially if he had been in the same company for years and was pulling his webbing.

    It is very difficult to understand and accept that in order to find a suitable place for yourself a dozen interviews, it is very difficult, especially without having the experience of these interviews. And if you remember our friend, a developer who underestimates himself, you can hear these standard phrases like:

    • But why should I go there, what will I offer? I have been dragging Legacy code here for five years, I only saw the latest technologies in pictures.
    • Well, I have this stack, but I did not use half of it in my work, so, for my %% HOMENAME PROJECT %%, this is not enough.
    • I do not know how to pass interviews, I think I will fail.
    • Is there a vacancy easier? This is a completely different product, I can not do it.
    • And another 1000 and 1 reason.

    Unfortunately, sooner or later, such minds become stiff, in fact lose their qualification and craving for professional development, settling, as a result, in some kind of state. offices or other organizations of the "swamp" type, that is, where everything is sluggish and nothing changes.

    So let potential employers assess your level of competence, usually in such situations from the side you can see better.

    Why matching skills and positions is so important

    Some people find it a bit strange to read such a text from a company that is engaged in hiring personnel. After all, it seems that it is beneficial for employers to keep “brainy” employees in low positions in terms of hierarchy within the organization. They do not have to pay much, they can always “hedge”, and for a relatively small increase they will also plow to the half-time signor.

    A similar approach may be relevant for small organizations, some mini-companies in small cities or for startups, but when we talk about a “bloody enterprise” or other large organizations, for example, EPAM, everything looks completely different.

    Competent assessment of personnel structure, skills and metrics is the basis of commercial development. It is impossible to keep on the lower positions of people who, according to the level of knowledge and experience, have long outgrown them. Any more or less adequate employer is interested in promotion and professional development, because there is a constant acute shortage of highly skilled developers in the industry.

    If the developer is able to outgrow the level of the middle and go to the signor (we are not talking about violent ways, but we mean natural growth) - he is obliged to do so. The only question is that not all companies encourage this development, leaving “everything as it is”, that is, they do not provide support to their personnel.

    Unhealthy HR behavior in IT companies

    In fact, there are a number of reasons for the described phobias of insecure developers. One of them is not quite adequate personnel policy of many companies. Unfortunately, for some reason, a very large proportion of HR profess the principle of “black lists” and adhere to the “one-try” policy. If a candidate has responded to a vacancy for which he is not suitable for some reason, or has filled up an interview, then he will receive a “wolf ticket” from this organization and all his further employment attempts there will be ignored.

    It is at least counter-productive at distances over 6 months, because any active developer develops professionally. And even if a person did not fit a vacancy a year ago, during that time he could pull up his technology stack, the level of English, or why he didn’t go there the previous time. In any case, Crossover allows you to try to pass the first wave of proficiency tests for the same position with a certain frequency for the same person.

    But the IT realities of the CIS market are such that for some reason the candidates are often given only one attempt to get "in this cool company", and if they fail - at best they will start to be ignored, and at worst - they will be brought into the collective emergency situations of recruiters like that practiced (and possibly practiced) in Ukraine ( linkthis story on "such IT", refined natures not to open, we warned ).

    As a result, on the one hand, the part of developers is crushed by the feeling that they are not good enough as professionals, and on the other, the unhealthy policy of “one chance” from local employers only reinforces these phobias.


    If you are a self-confident developer and this story is not about you - try to help your insecure comrade, we are sure you have it. And if you are the same comrade, then find the strength to overcome your professional uncertainty and develop, even if you need to look for a new job. Because otherwise, unfortunately, you will sooner or later replenish the army of residents of "swamp companies."

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