Programmer personality types: 13 profiles in code

Coding culture offers no shortage of character. Here are the specs for determining your developer breed

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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

Programming personality type No. 10: The Hand-Coder
They could use the data structures that come with that library, but then they wouldn't be able to optimize the code for their particular subpattern. And they're able to deploy at least three arguments about how they're saving the company so many millions because of the inherent limitations of the library. Perhaps it won't scale to 3 trillion users. Maybe the library uses method names that weren't certified by the ISO. Or perhaps they're just worried that support for the open source library will fade in seven years.

The best Hand-Coders actually deliver the performance boosts they promise, but all too often they triple development time for a modest gain of 2 or 3 percent -- all the while ensuring their own job security supporting their hand-polished masterpieces until retirement.

Car: Built from a kit in the back of Popular Science
Relationship status: Working on home-built robot that says, "Yes, dear"
Household chore: Cutting down trees to build a new wing for the house by hand
Role model: Dr. Frankenstein, Robinson Crusoe
Pet: "A mutt? No, this is my own custom cross-breed optimizing personality with disease resistance."
Favorite programming construct: compiler
Drink: Bathtub gin

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