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Hi guys, currently trying to improve my skills on the job and it's harder than I thought it would be. I want to know, how do you deal with this without feeling like you know nothing?

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6 answers

It's hard and it will remain hard. Sorry ;) Some things that might help:

  • You will never know everything. Nobody knows everything. Everyone knows something other people don't, including you. It balances out.
  • Don't worry about being better than other people, work on being better than you were before.
  • Have a specific learning plan reasonably balanced between the job you currently have and what you want out of your career. Decide where you want to go broad and where you want to go deep.
  • Don't learn ten things badly all at once. Learn five things well, in a row. Then do the other five if you think they're still relevant.

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You're right it is unsettling to feel that way. Every time I feel like i know nothing at all i try to distance myself from whatever it is am doing. Than i try to analyse given subject topic by topic untill i get hold of it. I ain't easy by it's what you got to do

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I tried learning the MEAN stack last year and the Javascript was just not going in, until someone recommended me Python. I started learning Python and sure enough I've jumped back on the MEAN stack and its become so much more readable for me.

Someone recently said to me, why don't I just focus on one? I said well its because I hop between languages, technologies, one week might be angular js, next might be javascript. It's long but hoping long term I will build up a good collection.

Other thing I find is that i'm quite visual, even though I can do most the logic, I for example with the mean stack, need to draw out architectural plans on paper so e.g I know this files "xyz" and this module should be in example.

Sometimes I find, no matter if you're not getting it or it might be hard, try taking a different approach to it and soon enough you'll grasp it :)

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Some great answers here, I'm going to offer up something different, and suggest you start understanding WHY you feel the way you do. Essentially a psychological journey if you will :)

Do you know what Imposter Syndrome is? Briefly explained, it's when you think you haven't "earned" your way up to whatever point you are in your career. Most, if not all, developers have gone through it at some point, usually doing the exact thing you are doing, trying to learn a new technology. You feel a bit hopeless, doubting your ability to learn it, and it can be quite depressing.

But there's good news! You'll pull through it, and learn it. How do I know? Well, you've done it before, haven't you? I assume you're not a magical Imp from the 4th dimension, and that you actually had to learn all of the skills necessary for your job now, right? Oh but those skills were easy you say? Could your grandmother do your job? After all, she's been around a lot longer than you, and has much more experience, sooooo....of course not :)

My point is, if you're a developer of any sorts, or even someone with a particular craft/trade, then you're ability to grow is only limited by your desire to put in the effort. What we do is NOT easy, and there's a reason why there's a shortage of programmers here in the States.

So go study, put in your time, try to have some fun, and in time, it'll come to you :)

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Having an empty cup is good.

Start small, learning a new function or similar and slowly build out your knowledge, both in breadth and depth. (This is how you get where you wanna go).

(This bit is how you understand where we've come from)
Always remember what you did yesterday, always reflect on the new skills you've learned and the things you have achieved and be proud that you're making these steps forward.
Having some sort of todo list for the year or month is a good idea and can help, but keep it a small list, especially if its a year list.

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