What kind of Software Developer are You?

cover image – Lightcome/istockphoto

I have been developing software for nearly 20 years now. In that time I have seen many developers, all with various different styles. Some of them have lasted, and some of them haven’t. It got me thinking…

What type of Software Developer am I and what types have I seen?

This is meant to be light hearted and not taken too seriously… Which category do you fit in to? Are there any types you have come across but I have missed here?

The Resistor

This developer is old school. They have been working their way since “the good old days”. They liked the “DOS” version best. They have never liked the constant changes and evolution of “the stack”. They are a brilliant programmer in what they know, but not interested in renewing and updating their skills. They will cling on to the old days until the end. They still have that conference T-Shirt when we were all partying like it was 1999. Everyday they look at that conference badge from many years ago – it will never be thrown away. Apparently.

The Talker

This developer has been applying their trade for around 3 to 5 years. They have heard a lot of people talking about problems, bugs and listened to how they have fixed issues. However, they have not developed much or fixed many issues themselves. They are a “Walking Talking WiKi” without the ability to apply that knowledge. They talk a good game, and appear to know a lot, but when put under pressure they often come up short. Others will be blamed. The Talker does not last long in one job and moves around quite frequently – leaving a wake of dodgy, in-scalable and difficult to maintain solutions behind them.

Captain Re-factor

This developer has learnt all about programming from a book. They know the theory inside out. Often heard saying phrases like “high cohesion”, “low coupling”, “modularity” and so on. Spends most of the time re-writing everyone else’s code – much to their annoyance. Technically good, but finds it difficult to finish a task or get it to a level where they are happy for it to be delivered. Can quite easily turn 2 weeks work in to 3 months work. Nobody else understands it, and they hope this provides job protection.

The Buzz Worder

This developer should probably be in Sales. They are an average developer and are more interested in buzz words than practical application. They like to mention these buzz words to the boss quite a few times. This causes a nightmare for other developers as the boss keeps asking for these buzz words to be made a reality. Currently The Buzz Worder can be heard saying  things like “The Cloud”, “MVC”, “Blockchain”, “Bots” and “Biometrics”.

The Work Horse

This developer has literally worked their socks off. They will put the hours in when they need to. They are technically a very good developer and fully dependable. They are someone you want to hold on to as they are a genuine asset. You would feel the pressure without them. They are capable of finding solutions and can be trusted to implement them.

The “Keep Their Head Down”

Sometimes you forget this developer is even there they are so quiet. They are a good developer and can be relied upon. You should really make more effort to speak to them, but as long as they have work to do they will simply get on with it. They are a bit of an enigma.

The SQL Boff

This developer has heard of “other things” outside of SQL but they are never happier than when seeing what can be optimised on the database. They are sometimes sneakily changing the settings of production SQL servers. The SQL Boff is not convinced by SERIALIZABLE and wants to use REPEATABLE READ. They often end up locking the whole database so nobody can work.

To be honest nobody is any of just one of the categories above. We will all pick up some of these traits from time to time. 

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