Back in January I decided to toy around with some internal tooling, so our support staff could directly page specific engineering teams. To do this, I dug into PagerDuty’s REST API with the aim of making a simple UI in front of it.

That’s when I noticed something strange.

After a few minutes of staring at the screen, cogs slowly turning, I had my weekend planned.

So, a server rebooted. Perhaps I’ve been lucky in the developers I work with, but whenever a host reboots, I always think hardware failure first. I treated this case no differently and jumped onto the host to run some quick diagnostics.

Since I deal in Dell equipment, my first stop is always check_openmanage. It gives a quick report on CPUs, DIMMs, chassis, power supplies, etc from the command line and takes about 30 seconds to run. It rarely fails me.

However, this time it did. Everything returned [OK]. No hardware failures.

I double-checked this claim on the iDRAC, just in case this was the one time in history a GUI was more correct than the modules running directly on the box. Nope, everything was green.

So I loaded up the kernel dump.

Imposter Syndrome used to rule my life. After all, I was an engineer (hah!) with a film degree, and everyone I worked with was much more intelligent and experienced than I’d ever be. I would never get to their level, everything I said was stupid, and if I ever received a promotion it was due to diversity quotas or a one-time fluke.

My fixation was so bad that it was brought up in my yearly performance review. I was told by my manager to get it under control, or she would have to write it down in my file.

So I worked on it.

And I got better.

This isn’t a magical antidote that will make you good as new. My Imposter Syndrome is like Lyme disease; it never fully goes away. But I have gone from bathroom panic attacks and Sunday night tears to a more balanced view of myself and others. I still have bad days, sure, but the depths are not as deep.

I hope it helps you as well.