Alan Dye is Apple’s vice president of user interface design. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, he gave a great quote about what it’s like working for the company:
Dye, who had lead design roles at Kate Spade and Ogilvy & Mather before coming to Apple in 2006, says that most of the designers feel constant low-level anxiety. “I’m scared to death that at some point I’m going to get found out. You know, Tim [Cook] is going to realise the truth about me, which is I’m terrible.”
Dye is obviously not terrible at his job.
What he is describing is a mild version of “imposter syndrome,” a mental condition that is trendy in the tech world right now. In Imposter Syndrome, people who are successful become afraid that everyone around them will suddenly realise that they’re a hopeless amateur who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Everyone entertains these thoughts once in a while. (Sure, you’re a big-shot at the office. But how far removed are you really from the awkward teenager you used to be?)
Dye is not alone. Lots of coders at Google feel the same way.
Writer and YouTube star John Green says he has this anxiety: “I have on countless occasions felt that I am literally the worst writer on Earth, and that I am a complete fraud.”
Quincy Larson, a software engineer for online coding tutorial site Free Code Camp, says it drove him “nearly insane.”
Github security engineer Scott Roberts says he has a cure for it. “Imposter Syndrome is like the boogie man: open the closet, turn on the lights, look around, and you see that nothing is there.”
Apparently, it exists at Apple too.
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