My name is Vernon, and I'm technical.
That feels good to say! Usually, I'd describe myself as "kinda technical", "sort of technical", or "I have a hand-wavy understanding of x". Imposter syndrome feeds off self-doubt, and it was having a feast! I've noticed other testers say similar things, and it's not good. It doesn't help when teammates do the same thing.
A vicious negative cycle.
I know Kung Fu! 🥋
Realising what knowledge I had was step 1.
After 20 years working in all kinds of software teams, I already know something about databases, programming, design patterns, tools, processes, failure modes, OOP, code smells, etc etc etc! I just had to realise I possessed this, like Neo in The Matrix, after downloading allTheFightingStyles into his brain.
Step 2 was realising "being technical" had nothing to do with what I knew.
You think that's air you're breathing now? Hm 🤨
It had everything to do with how I felt about what I knew.
Like Neo when he fought Morpheus, I realised that "my speed had nothing to do with my muscles in this place". I already had the know-how, but I didn't believe it! Developing that self-belief was vital, and many testers have the same problem I did. The question is how to build it up.
I have some suggestions!
#1: Reflect on what you already know 💭. What projects have you worked on? What problems have you solved? What courses have you taken?
#2: Practice regularly and often 👨🏾💻. Small chunks of deliberate, consistent effort compound!
#3: Pair with a mentor(s) 🏾🏼. Short-cut your learning by collaborating with more experienced folks. Bonus, the learning is often two-way!
#4: Join a code reading club 📖. Seeing how other people think and approach unknown technical situations is invaluable! You also get used to sharing your own insights and observations.
#5 Repeat 🔁. Loop through these steps regularly.
Once you start hearing yourself explain things to other knowledgeable people, they'll be no going back!