Breaking the Mold 🔥: 10 Hilarious Programmer Stereotypes You Need to Know About! 👨💻 💻
Breaking down the common stereotypes surrounding programmers 🤓 and examining the truth behind them. 🚀
An offshoot of the great ape family closely related to chimpanzees and gorillas and distinguished by its minimal bipedal movement and ability to stare at a computer screen for the majority of its lifetime. There are an estimated 30 million species alive in the world today. Normal humans use stereotypes to help understand and generalise this unusual variation, which experts estimate are about 99% accurate, or about 12% of the time.
In today’s story, we’ll take a look at ten different programmer stereotypes to find out which one you fall into so let’s go! ✊
First up, we have the gearhead. This variant owns the bleeding-edge version of everything, like the latest M1 Mac, a big ass curved monitor (32 inches at least), a mechanical keyboard, a Tesla in the garage, AI-generated synthetic meat in the fridge, and a smart lock on the house to keep it all safe. ✔️
When programming, he goes wherever the hype train takes him:
- In 1996, it was Java.
- In 2006, it was Jquery.
- In 2016, it was GraphQL.
- and in 2026, he’ll be first in line at Neuralink to get a chip that can help him write blazingly fast code. 👨💻
Design concepts developed by the author
It doesn’t matter what the technology does. If it’s trendy, it belongs in the stack. The stereotype may be true sometimes, but programming can actually push many people in the opposite direction.
The guy who works in tech but hates the tech stereotype knows exactly how unreliable and dangerous code can be, like in the Therac-25 incident, where a little software bug accidentally killed some people by giving them a massive overdose of radiation. ☢️
Providing radiation therapy to cancer patients, Therac-25 had malfunctions that resulted in 6 deaths. Who is…ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu
The Therac-25 was not a device anyone was happy to see. It was a radiation therapy machine. In layman’s terms it was a…hackaday.com
This guy would never buy a car that could be remotely summoned back to Elon when you stopped paying the bill, and he would definitely never put a smart lock on his house because the NSA probably has backdoor access, or at the very least, there’s an undiscovered exploit in its code.
If you broke into his farmhouse, you’d find a single-monitor Linux machine, a flip phone, some gold bullion, and a shotgun barrel pointed in your face.
The most stereotypical programmer, though, has to be the introvert. He’s a savant who still sleeps in a car bed, and his vision of the ideal lifestyle is what the rest of society calls quarantine. He’s super good at math and can actually program stuff without using Google or Stack Overflow, but he couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life.
Extroverts like Jobs use these nerds, like Woz, to get super rich. This stereotype used to be 100% true back when programming was hard, like before the 1990s.
As programming has become more mainstream, it’s led to a new paradigm for the brogrammer. This guy got a computer science degree while mostly partying with his fraternity in college, bro. His name is usually Chad, and he has more mating opportunities than the introvert, but it comes at a cost of reduced code quality, which he refuses to test because test-driven development is for losers. However, he has better communication skills than the introverts, which is annoying because I wish this guy would stop talking to me.
Eventually, he evolves into your manager, where he can torment you with code reviews and team-building exercises.
95% of my audience is male, which is actually pretty close to the real-world distribution of programmers today. What you may not realise, though, is that back in the day, women used to dominate the programming space.
Kathleen Booth created the first assembly language, Grace Hopper created the first compiler, and Margaret Hamilton led the team that wrote the code for the Apollo Moon lander. Code that was so flawless and perfectly executed that some people think it’s proof we didn’t actually go to the moon. That was the apex of code quality, and since that time, everything has gone downhill.
After figuring out how to print “Hello, World” in PHP, he immediately rose to the top of the dominance hierarchy in his own mind. Now he makes the world a better place by regurgitating code tips and hot takes all day long. And he just landed a better-paying job than you because he mastered the art of virtue signalling, and that’s what we call a good cultural fit. ✔️
Another popular stereotype is the hacker. This guy is able to open up a terminal, connect to some remote mainframe, and break all of its security protocols one by one, with awesome fancy animations between each step. This stereotype is what most people think programmers do, but it is 100% manufactured by Hollywood. Real hacking is extremely tedious and boring and is done primarily by the people who have all the guns.
Now, a stereotype that is actually real is the 10X developer. This guy is an extremely rare unicorn who can do the work of ten other developers combined. Some say they’re a myth, but I’ve seen developers firsthand who write code like Durant plays basketball or Kasparov plays chess. There are people out there with a natural problem-solving ability that just goes far beyond the rest of the population. You’ll know a 10X developer when you see one because you’ll feel very incompetent and also very jealous. ✅
Now, I think the ideal stereotype for most of us to fall into is the lazy programmer (myself included).
To the outside world, it doesn’t look like this guy does much. He sits at the keyboard of a computer all day, and if you glance at his screen, it looks like he’s just copying and pasting things from the Internet. 😁
What he’s actually doing, though, is building a million-dollar side hustle so he can retire in his 30s. He also has a remote job with a $400k salary, but he eats ramen for dinner while sharing a crappy apartment with four other dudes. His wardrobe is 50% swag from tech conferences and 50% things his mom bought him. 👊 He leverages code to work smarter and not harder.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum, we have the old Jaded guy. He has long silver hair and a big white beard (he’s at least 60 years old, if not 90+). He only codes in C, not C++, and definitely not any of the hipster garbage that you’re using.
In fact, he probably wrote the compiler for the silly toy language that you’re trying to learn. His depth of knowledge transcends the normal ape’s idea of reality when he discovers through psychedelics that we’re all just one entity that found a hack in the universe to experience itself in parallel with primate bodies, and computers are the tool that will ultimately make us one again.
And that concludes our presentation. 🙌
Let me know which one you fall into in the comments. 👇
Thanks for reading, and happy Easter! 🐰🥚
All images are provided by the author or via Wikimedia, Unsplash & Dalle 2 ✅
Code | Stereotypes | Programmers | Programming | Computers | Tech | Gadgets | Introverts | Smarts
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