My Facebook Bootcamp experience

Photo by Lagos Techie on Unsplash

I started my journey at Facebook with a daily roller coaster of emotions. The first week I felt excited to be here, inspired by all the stories and people, but I also felt like an imposter. Let me tell you why.. I knew that feeling of an imposter; it wasn’t new to me. It visits me from time to time and makes me think everything I have is just out of pure luck. It makes me doubt my competency. It’s a common phenomenon in the initial days of a new job and among many professionals.

This feeling is called “imposter syndrome” or “imposter phenomenon”. It’s a concept that has been around since (at least) the 1970s. It’s “that feeling that you’re a fraud — that somehow you’re less qualified than your peers, less deserving of success, and that you’ll be found out that you don’t belong.”

At my Facebook New Hire orientation, the first thing the presenters said was, “You all belong here!” — and I secretly was relieved. I thank them for acknowledging that before I went down the rabbit hole of feeling like an imposter. Thanks to the resources Facebook provides to New Hires, the feeling of an imposter slowly faded away. I am comforted in knowing that should this feeling ever rear its ugly head, I’m optimistic that the people and the resources here at Facebook will help me find my way out of it. Once I finished the New Hire orientation, I knew it was time for the Facebook Bootcamp.

You might ask yourself, “What is Facebook Bootcamp?”

Bootcamp is a 6–8 week orientation and engineering onboarding program that all new hires go through. This orientation allows the new hires to get in-depth training of tools used at Facebook, codebase, and an understanding of the culture and values of Facebook.

Throughout the Bootcamp, there was a lot I had to unlearn, relearn, and learn:

  1. Normalizing the feeling of an imposter during the orientation made a lot of difference in how I navigated my entire Bootcamp. “You all belong here!” they said on the first day, and I’m taking that with me for the rest of my career.
  2. Move at your own pace. I did all the things I love doing and am best at doing — organizing my day, setting targets to accomplish for the week, making notes, and getting things done — all in the comfort of my home and PJs.
  3. Reach out, network, and ask for help. Everyone at Facebook is open to helping you get up to speed and navigate you through your Bootcamp experience. You’ll feel empowered to be open (respectfully) with your thoughts and questions.

This experience indeed allowed me to challenge myself and realize my potential. Don’t get me wrong; it was not always a cakewalk. There are still days where I ask myself, “What am I trying to do here? Do I even belong here?” But, trust me, YOU BELONG HERE. Don’t let one bad day or one difficult task determine your entire worth.

I’m taking these learnings one day at a time and plan to plant these seeds throughout my career and life.

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Sphoorthi Gaddam

Sphoorthi Gaddam

👩🏽‍💻 Engineer who enjoys beyond career conversations. Fitness | Mindset | Productivity | Books | Tech and Career