Lesson Weekend

You were provided a journal on your first day of class. Each weekend you'll receive a brief journaling assignment in addition to your coding homework. (Review the Journaling at Epicodus lesson for a refresher.)

Week Three Journal Prompt

Spend several moments thinking critically about the following questions, and record brief yet honest responses. Include a date or timestamp and a brief summary of the prompt to refer back to later.

You've undoubtedly experienced tricky bugs in your programming journey so far. This is an unavoidable part of programming. Seriously. Every developer–no matter how experienced–deals with bugs, setbacks, and other issues. Here at Epicodus we find students are most successful when they're able to turn these issues into learning opportunities.

  • What is it about encountering a difficult task or bug that frustrates you? Do you have any behavior patterns that make solving these problems more difficult? (For example, do you always feel pressured to finish projects quickly, making time setbacks involved in bugs stressful or upsetting? Does being uncertain how to solve a bug evoke feelings of not being 'good' or 'smart' enough?, etc.) List as many as applicable.

  • Conversely, is there anything about tricky bugs or issues you actually enjoy? (It's okay if there isn't, but do you like hunting down the problem? The debugging process? The satisfaction of finally making it work?) Do you have any patterns of behavior that make solving problems easier or less stressful?

  • Review the list of things you find frustrating. For each item, identify something you could try to lessen that frustration, and turn the situation into a productive educational experience. (For instance, if the time setback is what stresses you most about bugs, could you plan on reminding yourself that Epicodus doesn't grade students on the amount of work they finish each day?)

  • Review the list of things you actually find enjoyable about tracking down bugs, if anything. Is there anything you could do to maximize this benefit or enjoyment? List your ideas.


We'll briefly discuss our journal responses to these questions with partners in class Monday morning. Make sure your responses are recorded before then!

Other Resources: Imposter Syndrome

Beginning programmers commonly report feeling insecure or lacking when they encounter issues they can't solve. Or even just in the field in general, regardless of bugs. Is this something you've experienced in your journey thus far? Maybe something you wrote about above? If so, we want you to know this is actually really common.

You see, there's something called impostor syndrome. As described in the Wikipedia article on the concept:

Impostor syndrome...is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism attribute their success to luck, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.

It's really common in a lot of industries, but especially web development, where constant innovation and updates means even the most senior developers can never know everything. There's always something new to learn, and concepts they haven't yet covered.

Check out some of these resources on imposter syndrome. Or, even just do a simple Google search for something like "imposter syndrome in coding" to see just how common this is. You're not alone, and it's totally normal to feel like an imposter. This isn't any indication of your ability, it's unfortunately just a common experience in the field. Keep this in mind, and don't let these feelings undercut your learning.

Lesson 9 of 38
Last updated March 23, 2021