Vernon Richards | Quality Coach

Jan 12, 2022

I'm STILL Not Technical! Here Are 5 Mistakes I've Made So That You Don't Have To.

I still haven't cracked this yet.

At TestBash Manchester 2018, I promised to stop saying I wasn't technical. I hoped to return in 2019 in triumph! Well, it's 2022 and still no glorious return.

This isn't going to happen overnight.

You must settle in for the long haul, even if you don't repeat my blunders!

Here are 5 reasons why I'm not there yet.

#1. Unclear goal.

Get clear about your purpose to keep working during challenging moments.

  1. Start With Why. What will being technical enable?

  2. Use real problems. Don't learn OOP by implementing weird abstract situations. Solve real problems instead.

  3. Get specific. Are you learning to code or something else? If code, what language? If something else, what?

#2. No routine.

Make it habitual. Frequent tiny steps compound. Monthly 24hr coding sessions don't. Think Tortoise, not Hare.

  1. Create "Sacred Time". Find a daily slot to focus.

  2. Work in small chunks. Don't pull infrequent all-nighters at the keyboard. 30mins every day adds up quickly.

  3. You'll miss days. Shit happens. Find the disruption, address it, then commit to hitting the session tomorrow.

#3. Didn't leverage mentors.

You're going to get stuck. It's good to get yourself unstuck, but it's also handy to have a friend with a magnet when you're looking for a needle in a haystack.

  1. Find someone more expert in the tool than you but not so expert they've forgotten the newbie struggle.

  2. Mentors help hold you accountable.

  3. Learning from other people's mistakes can accelerate your learning (but they can't do the work for you).

#4. No accountability.

When you've gone through your 14th Stack Overflow article without finding the God DAMN ANSWER... Breathe Vern... Ahem... Will you quit?

  1. Get a training buddy. Be like Lisi Hocke.

  2. Set deadlines. Compare "I want to learn to code" with "I want to complete the Ruby Codecademy course by March 31st".

  3. Get a mentor. (Is that an echo? πŸ€” ).

#5. Didn't celebrate success.

Don't let victories pass unnoticed. Celebrate that shit!

  1. Include treats with accountability milestones.

  2. Share that shit on the socials so your people can join with you!

  3. Gamify things. Use streaks to make your consistency visible.

Avoid these blunders and achieve Technical Testerβ„’ status!

Vernon Richards | Quality Coach

Welcome to my blog! I write about: Coaching πŸ“ˆ Software Quality πŸ•΅πŸΎ Agile πŸ”