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How Do I Know if My Stuff Is Good Enough?

Sometimes us developers can doubt just how much we know, which is natural. But what can we do to combat this feeling and improve both our skills and attitude?

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A lot of programmers suffer from not knowing if their stuff is good enough. Insecurity is a big part of everyone’s life and, most of us push ourselves backward when it comes to getting our stuff out there, for the public.

In today’s video, I received a question from a reader asking me about how can he overcome the fear of getting his stuff out there. He is producing a lot of stuff but he hasn’t released it to the public. he is afraid of getting his stuff out and it not being good enough.

So, what should he do? How can he possibly know that his stuff is good enough to release it to the public? Should he wait a little more? Should he try to improve it even more?

Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video:

John Sonmez: 

Hey, what’s up, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. I got this question here that I titled How Do I Know If My Writing Is Good Enough To Publish. I thought this was good because I get a lot of, you know, when I go and speak at different events and stuff and I talk about blogging and even in my How To Market Yourself As A Software Developer course I often get responses or the blogging course which you can sign up for here, I get responses asking this question basically like how do I know if I’m good enough. They feel inadequate. I thought I would address this. I’ve probably talked about this before but I think this is a topic that is always of concern.

I got this email. It says, “Hi John, I actually wrote a couple of texts, uploaded them and sent them to friends. Your blogging course was inspiring. I would not have written those texts otherwise. However, I’m still struggling whether I should release those texts to the public or not. My question to you is what is your opinion about that? How do you get the confidence that your stuff is interesting to everyone else? If you release texts with your name on it everyone will identify you with those texts and probably judge you if they don’t agree with the contents, even strangers. Don’t you feel sometimes intimidated about that? Note that my texts are about my philosophical views on the world, not about programming and the goal is not to ‘boost my career’ but to gain insights about philosophical topics and give those insights to some other people. I’m looking forward to your reply. Keep up the good work. Hendrick.”

Hendrick, here’s the thing. There’s a few things I want to pack here, but okay. Nothing is ever going to be good enough. There’s no judge that gets to say whether your stuff is good enough or high quality enough to be released or whether you’re worthy of releasing something out into the world. Take a look like certain artist that—I’m trying to think. What’s his name? He did the Campbell Soup and—anyway. Maybe that’s a bad example because I can’t think of his name, but there are plenty of times where if someone asks for permission that they would have been judged and laughed at. They were laughed at and then they became famous. They totally took art or some kind of field in a totally different direction because they weren’t afraid.

What I would say to you is basically this, you’re never going to be ready. You’ve got to do shit before you’re ready. You’ve got to jump in before you’re ready. If you wait until you’re ready you’re never going to be ready. What you got to do is you’ve got to put your stuff out there.

I did this video on why you should suck, why you shouldn’t be afraid to suck, why you should embrace the suck essentially. You should do that. You should want to suck because—the first blog post I put out, the first videos I made on YouTube, I mean you could check out the first videos I made on YouTube where I was totally uncomfortable in front of the camera and I totally had this high-pitched squealy voice and I didn’t know what I was doing. I put them out there anyway. I knew they weren’t good and people judged me. That’s fine.

First of all, you can’t care what other people think. If you’re really going to do something good, if you’re really going to accomplish something in life you can’t care what other people think. You just got to do what you’re going to do. That’s going to be such a reoccurring theme in your life and I think it’s worth just repeating is that don’t care what other people think. You do what you’ve got to do.

If you feel something is good or if you want to get that out there even if you know that it sucks but you want to produce then do it, put it out there, get out there, get used to feeling uncomfortable, get used to getting rejected, get used to having everyone feel like-telling you that your work is shit. Get used to that because that’s what reality is. Once you get past that that’s when you can grow. You’d never grow unless you’re uncomfortable, I’ll tell you this right now.

The thing that’s making you uncomfortable that’s exactly what you need to do. Whatever you—Ralph Waldo Emerson says whatever you fear you do. If you fear you have to do it, I don’[t remember the exact quote but he says that in not so many words, probably more eloquently, but the point is go out there and do it.

Put your work out there. It’s never going to be good enough. It’s fine. The best people always feel like impostors. I did this video on the impostor syndrome. I’m telling you that no matter how good you are you’re going to feel like an impostor. Every day I wake up and I’m like, “Who am I fooling?” but it doesn’t matter because I’m going to do it anyway because none of that stuff matters. You create your work, you do your think and you’re going to get better at it, I promise you but you’ve got to get past that. You’ve got to get past worrying about feeling uncomfortable, you’ve got to get past worrying what people think and you’ve got to get past worrying if it’s good enough because it never is. People are always going to judge you and that’s the only way to grow. You’ve got to embrace that stuff, embrace that discomfort.

Hopefully that helps you. I want to see you publish your stuff, put it out in your blog, put it out there. I don’t care if it’s not good, do it and keep doing it. I promise you you can’t keep on doing something and not get better. You will get better, it will become good. Pretty soon if you keep on doing it, you’re putting in those situations where you feel uncomfortable you’ll get a thick skin and you won’t worry what people think. If you don’t ever do that it’s—you’re not going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be good and not care what people think. The only way that’s going to happen is if you take an action, you take a step and you just—you do stuff before you’re ready. That’s the key.

Anyway, good question. Hopefully you get your stuff out there. If you have a question for me, email me at john@simpleprogrammer.com. If you like this video—by the way if you’re listening on the podcast, come to YouTube. Just look for Jsonmez and you can check me out on YouTube and see the videos. I actually do 2 to 3 videos a day, so a bunch of them don’t actually make it on to the podcast if you’re a podcast listener. Check those out.

If you like the video subscribe and I’ll talk to you next time, take care. Take care.

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Published at DZone with permission of John Sonmez, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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