Skip to main content

The Imposter Staff Engineer’s Journey to Leadership

Career, Life, Health
South Hall 2B
14:00 on 12 July 2024
30 minutes


I, an undercover Imposter Syndrome sufferer, masquerade as a Staff Software Engineer amid an army of coding geniuses. Imagine you’re playing a video game where you’re pretending to be a powerful leader, but deep down, you’re convinced you’re not really good enough. That’s my daily life as a staff software engineer leading a team, except it’s not a game, and the ‘quit’ button doesn’t work. In this talk, I’ll tell you about my hilarious misadventures and unexpected triumphs in the rollercoaster ride of being a staff software engineer and how my team still manages to create cool things despite my ‘imposter’ moments.

The speaker

Manivannan Selvaraj

Manivannan Selvaraj

I am a software engineer with experience of working with IT companies in Silicon Valley, USA (Salesforce, Slack, PayPal). After spending about eight years contributing and leading various projects in the USA, I have recently relocated back to India. Currently, I am taking a career break to adjust to the relocation and recharge myself before embarking on my next professional adventure.

My day job involved dealing with imposter syndrome among an army of coding geniuses at Slack and perform as a Staff Engineer on the side. I’ve expertise in architecting and delivering large-scale systems in public and private clouds, leveraging technologies like Python, Java, GoLang, Chef, Terraform, Kubernetes, Docker, Apache Mesos, and Aurora. I love open source software and contribute to it whenever I get a chance.