IT personality types: 8 profiles in geekdom

Forget Myers-Briggs. Here are the true archetypes that underlie the IT breed

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IT personality type No. 1: The Empty Suit
Job title(s): Department manager, business analyst

Profile: Hired to be a liaison between top-level management and the techies -- with whom top-level management, or anyone on the business side, would rather not deal directly. Acts as a go-between during client visits to keep the geeks at a safe distance. Has memorized most of the important acronyms and mastered the art of nodding knowingly in meetings and then surfing Wikipedia afterward to find out what everyone was talking about. May possess an MBA from a dubious online university.

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"This guy may not be the most detailed thinker, but he's the most popular guy on the team -- and he would agree," says Tim Jewell, CTO at Data Deposit Box, which provides online backup services for SMBs. "If you're looking for some fun, ask him a complex technical question and watch him wiggle around the room. Despite this, he's the only one who can talk to customers because he has verbal ability and may actually care about what the end-user has to say."

Despite making him the butt of inside tech jokes, the geeks at times flock to him because he's the only one in the department with a remote chance of picking up chicks, Jewell adds.

  • Hobbies: Picking up chicks
  • Last book read: "The ClueTrain Manifesto" (Cliff Notes only)
  • Greatest accomplishment: Consistently losing at golf to the C-level executives, despite possessing a single-digit handicap
  • Identifying marks: Cheap knockoffs of Brooks Brothers suits
  • Role model: Michael Dell
  • Most resembles: Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) in "The Office"

IT personality type No. 2: The Scary Sys Admin

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