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Asif Shahzad has posted 2 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

The Psychology of Programmers

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For last couple of days I was thinking there must are some fundamental differences in how programmers think, act, and work as against to other professionals or common peoples. So here I share some of the points which I have figured out and searched.

  1. Programmers usually do have longer attention span and greater ability to concentrate than the majority of population.[1]
  2. Programmers are creative by nature, they always love to research, innovate, and create something new, that is why, they don't like maintenance projects[1].
  3. Programmers leave the organizations when their is no work to do and even sometime when their is no more creative work to do. In a lot of other professions, people love to stay when their is not work.
  4. Good programmers are more inclined towards leadership as apposed to managment i.e. doing best things rather doings things best, people oriented rather things oriented, effectiveness rather efficiency, principles rather techniques, direction oriented rather speed oriented, etc.
  5. Programming demands precision in thinking. It makes programmers apply precision in social matters too.
  6. They usually don't like to participate for the sake of participation (which sometime negatively effect them, as in social life people think them as inactive members). They keep searching something logical to add, say, or ask. As their are not much logical things in general talks (but just talks for the sake of talk, and points for the sake of points), that is why they sometime looks very quite. But when they stand, they normally resist upto very greater level, offering logical arguments.
  7. In general life, they don't like to do procedural (repetitive or routine based) work, but love to delegate such tasks. For example counting cash, making balance sheets, maintaining accounts, pressing cloths, washing car, keeping the room clean (it does not mean they don't like cleaness, but the opposite, and love if somebody do it for them). It is also because of their general creative and logical attitude.
  8. It is often said, programmers are introverts [1]. Although it is not fully true. It is (when applicable) because they are found practicing longer attention, greater concentration, applying over logic in social aspects too (and even when they are thinking alone), which makes people call them introverts. But it is beauty of logic which keeps them still comfortable.
  9. They highy appreciate and always keen to learn psychological and philosophical theories. As it complements their logic.
  10. They are mostly idealistic. And are very much concerned about their working environemnts, and general office esthetics, etc.
  11. We must remember, balance adds beauty in the life. Basically the beauty means when all attributes of our personality are in balance. If we loose one attribute becasue of our attitude, it will effect the beauty of life. But their is never late always, and we have a lot of things ahead. So we must live a balanced life, and we know, we can do it.

    Asif Shahzad's Blog
    1. Understanding the Psychology of Programming at Devx by Bryan Dollery.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Asif Shahzad Ch..

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Jackson Robbins replied on Wed, 2010/05/26 - 3:37pm

Very nice post. From my experiences, most programmers are libertarian. It seems natural, since their profession requires an objective mentality rooted in logic and reason, as opposed to a mindset of "this sounds good at the time".

Steven Baker replied on Wed, 2010/05/26 - 4:40pm

you forget... 11. programmers are self obsessed that they are mis understood geniuses

Seb Cha replied on Wed, 2010/05/26 - 5:00pm

i would have replaced idealist by materialist.

Paulo Jerônimo replied on Thu, 2010/05/27 - 7:06am

Very good article! I translate and summarize the main points of the same for the Brazilian Portuguese and published in my blog and JavaFree.

Russel Winder replied on Thu, 2010/05/27 - 8:05am

Anyone interested in this sort of thing should check out the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG) -- There is a long history of good research associated with this group.

Jose Maria Arranz replied on Fri, 2010/05/28 - 2:14am

Asif, I think you are talking about yourself... :) 


Senthil Balakrishnan replied on Fri, 2010/05/28 - 8:02am

Good post !!!

Luis Carlos Mor... replied on Wed, 2010/06/02 - 2:27pm

Excellent post !

Asif Shahzad Ch. replied on Sun, 2010/11/28 - 12:32pm

thanks you all for so nice feed back.

Asif Shahzad Ch. replied on Sun, 2010/11/28 - 12:33pm in response to: Paulo Jerônimo

i am really very happy to know. great thanks.

Asif Shahzad Ch. replied on Sun, 2010/11/28 - 12:40pm in response to: Russel Winder

i like it. its really a great resource. thanks for sharing.

Ganesh Rao replied on Mon, 2013/01/07 - 4:10am

Great post Asif, I am going make a reference to your points in my blog as well.

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