For PyCon 2018, six Klaviyo engineers ventured out in search of Python best practices, networking opportunities, and the best food and drink that Cleveland had to offer. In addition, we were joined by two of our recruiters who would help us run our booth in the Exhibit Hall. The engineers came from teams working across the different tiers of Klaviyo's architecture -- infrastructure, back-end services, application, and front-end. Each of us had different levels of experience and use cases for Python, but we all went with the same expectation of learning. I had just joined Klaviyo a month prior, and also went with the goal of getting to know my colleagues better.
Depending on who you ask, Imposter Syndrome can have several meanings. The frequent feeling of not deserving one's success and of being a failure despite a sustained record of achievements. Indeed, no matter your knowledge or expertise, Imposter Syndrome can still make you feel like a complete failure. At its roots, are several factors such as previous failures, inherited fears, social biases, culture, education, and more. Being a minority in one's domain, or working in an active field of research such as Artificial Intelligence, can also trigger and worsen Imposter Syndrome.
Last Tuesday, federal authorities charged more than four dozen people in a Department of Justice investigation called "Operation Varsity Blues." According to the indictment, wealthy parents paid about $25 million in bribes to test proctors, administrators, and sports coaches via a California-based college preparation business run by William "Rick" Singer. The investigation revealed the lengths to which these 1-percenters went in order to secure their children spots at elite universities like Stanford, Yale, UCLA, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California. While Operation Varsity Blues uncovered the most explicit example of rich people buying their children's future, the scandal has sparked a larger conversation on the ways in which elite college admissions have always been tilted toward people like those charged: rich, white parents who, should their children still not measure up despite a childhood of private test-prep tutors and expensive extracurriculars, have the means to buy their way onto Ivy League campuses with a hefty donation or to influence their way in through family legacy. Meanwhile on these same campuses, low-income students and students of color are assumed to be there only because of affirmative action.
Michelle Obama's remarks about impostor syndrome - a term used to describe feelings of insecurity or self-doubt, despite there being no evidence to support such a belief - have inspired others to share their experiences. When Sophie Montagne applied to be a part of the Ice Maiden expedition in Antartica, she didn't think she would make the cut. She applied whilst working in marketing, and saw a poster about the trip at an army reserve unit where she attends part-time. "The group of applicants was gradually whittled down from 250 applicants to the final six, in a process that lasted two years. "During this time I was so crippled by impostor syndrome that I nearly took myself out of the running for the team - I was just somebody that sat at a desk doing marketing.