Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Programmer Personas

I've been thinking about programmer personas for so long. Yes, understanding people as individuals is crucial. Yet thinking personas, or types, gives a powerful linear model to dealing with people quickly and efficiently without considering their full blown individuality. When hiring, for example, I need an effective thinking aid to help me sort out massive numbers of resumes. When picking programmers for a project, I'd better be concious of their typical traits.

What I had found before was Mort, the opportunistic developer, Elvis, the pragmatic programmer, and Einstein, the paranoid programmer, complemented by Hugo, the Agilist. Good but not enough.

How about this: Lumpenprogrammers, Hippies and Nerds.

"Hippies tend to do the right things poorly; nerds tend to do the wrong things well. Hippie programmers are very good at getting a sense of the correct shape of problem and how to solve it, but when it comes to the actual code writing, they can get sloppy and make major errors through pure boredom. For hippie programmers, the problem is solved when they've figured out how to solve it rather than later, when the work is finished and the problem no longer exists. Hippies live in the world of ideas. In contrast, nerds are so tightly focused on the niggly details of making a program feature work efficiently that they can completely fail to notice major flaws in the overall concept of the project."
Funnier, but still not enouth. Should I write about it myself? Instead I opted to serach again and Bingo! long live Google, found exactly what I was looking for.
- Arrogant Arthur
- Belligerent Brian,
- C++ Colin
- Distracted Daniel
- Essential Eric
- Feature Creep Frank
- Generic George
- Hacker Henry
- Incompetent Ian
- Jailbird John
- Kludgy Kevin
- Loudmouth Lincoln
- Martyr Morris
- Not-Invented-Here Nick
- Open Source Oliver
- Process Peter
- Quiet Quincy
- Rank Rodger
- Skill Set Sam
- Toolsmith Trevor
- Unintelligible Uri
- VB Victor
- Word Salad Warren
- X-Files Xavier
- Young Yasmin
- Zealous Zack

- "The A to Z of Programmer Predilections", hilariously funny and profoundly realistic programmer personas fair. Please enjoy.

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