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Oct 10

The Fourteen Types of Programmers – Type 2: Those That Like Shiny Things

Some programmers are fickle. They love to try new things, new technologies, new systems. They love struggling with the newness, mastering the bugs, overcoming the lack of documentation (or the voluminous mess that passes for documentation). They flit like a butterfly from thing to thing, sampling, tasting and moving on.

Good Things

  • They are often more passionate about computer science and improving their skills than most programmers
  • They view the opportunity to learn a new language, or a new technology as a “perk
  • Years of struggling with alpha-quality software has given them practice and expertise at installing and troubleshooting

Bad Things

  • They hate being “out-teched” by someone else. Put two of them together in a room, and the harmonic “one-upping” will lay waste to the entire office
  • They have no staying power. They get tired of something once the shine wears off, usually 1/3rd of the way into a critical project that they convinced you to run with the new-fangled language/framework/component system/etc

How to Identify Them

  • They say things like “yeah, that’s pretty cool, I checked that out a few months ago, but it’s not as interesting as this thing here.”
  • They also say things like “I can’t wait until XYZ comes out with his new framework for managing bit-vectors in 9-dimensional Gaussian Matricles. It’s gonna be sweet!”
  • Carrying their love-of-the-new into their hobbies/interests, they end up diving incredibly deep into trivia and obscure news/content.

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