Programmer Personality Types: 13 Profiles in Code

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Programming Personality Type No. 7: The Multitasker

They won't look you in the eye during the meeting because they're busy answering an email, chuckling about a tweet, and ordering something from Amazon. But through it all, they claim they're able to listen to what you're saying. They would never pull this stunt with the boss, but you're not the boss, are you? So they play time-sharing system with you.

The Multitasker usually does a passable job with the simple requests. If asked about joining the gang for lunch on Friday, the Multitasker can answer yes or no with enough accuracy. More complicated requests, however, will receive the same cursory response, which may or may not be remotely correct.

As you would expect, the Multitasker is more than happy to work on several projects at the same time. Indeed, the biggest problem is keeping the Multitasker from volunteering for more projects before completing their backlog. The Multitasker is confident they can repurpose some code they have somewhere on their machine and perhaps even write the same code for multiple projects simultaneously. Nothing to it, they say.

Car: Anything with heads-up display, hands-free cellphone, and OnStar running at once

Relationship status: Group-texting a booty call

Household chore: Folding laundry with a spatula while flipping pancakes with a smartphone between texts

Role model: Squad of ninjas

Pet: "Which of you cats ate another gerbil?"

Favorite programming construct: interrupt

Drink: Boilermaker

Programming Personality Type No. 8: The Duct Taper

They can take a Fortran dusty deck, translate that into Lisp, cross-compile that into Java, and translate that into JavaScript using the Google Web Toolkit to let you run that green-screen application in your browser. There's no need to rewrite it or even debug it because it will run just fine in IE8 or Firefox 5+. It was nothing, really.

When some people rewrite code, the Duct Taper knows how to wrap some glue code in a proxy and translate the output to whatever format you need. Why get rid of a perfectly nice set of APL routines when a PHP proxy can turn the data into JSON?

Car: Frankentruck

Relationship status: Gone fishin'

Household chore: Piling yet another perfectly serviceable appliance part in the backyard

Role model: Tim Taylor from "Tool Time"

Pet: "We had to get her a hip replacement after the ACL tear."

Favorite programming construct: Emulator

Drink: Sterno

Programming Personality Type No. 9: The True Believer

Did you know that the best way to run Ruby is with Java? The Java devotees will tell you this in case you're thinking. The C lovers know that it would run faster than a Ferrari if someone would rewrite it in C because that's the only way to "get close to the metal."

It usually seems moderately funny to set up a lunch with a Python lover and C devotee and watch them snipe at each other for an hour.

Car: Anything with a sticker showing Calvin peeing on the competition

Relationship status: Married to the one who should have led the homecoming parade

Household chore: Putting up flags for holidays

Role model: Richard Stallman or Steve Jobs or ....

Pet: "He won 'Best in Show' in 2009 and 2010."

Favorite programming construct: Sit down first and ask

Drink: It's tattooed on their arm

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