Ashley Sheridan​.co.uk

The Types Of People You Encounter As A Developer

Posted on

If you've ever worked in the tech industry for any length of time, you'll have encountered most of these (or if you're really lucky, a blend of a few of them). Some of these may be your fellow developers, while others may be your project manager, or one of the many designers you have to deal with on a daily basis.

(Note, I'm not a psychologist, and this is about as scientific as a childs mud pie experiment.)

The Village Idiot
This is the one who has about as much understanding of technology as your average chimpanzee, and has little interest in learning. After all, they have you to understand what the differences is between Gmail and Firefox is. But you deal with it; after all, you've only explained it to them a mere 10 times already.
The Know-it-all
There is nothing this person does not know, and they will remind you of this point often. What they lack in actual real experience they more than make up for in what they like to impart on others. When asked to actually do something though, they really want to, but they're far too busy working on other things.
The Gatekeeper
his person is the integral wheel in the cog, if only because they make it that way. They hoard information like a hungry squirrel and only yield it up when absolutely necessary, ensuring that any project would fail without their guidance. A side-effect of this personality is that documentation on anything is usually wrong, out of date, or both.
The Seagull
Everyone probably knows one of these, as they're spread quite far and wide across all working sectors. The Seagull is noisy, and can't help but love the sound of their own voice. They're most often found involved in new projects, but only while the initial shine and sparkle exists. As soon as something newer comes along, they're off, leaving others to deal with the remnants of the carcass they discarded.
The Hipster
Only the latest and greatest and most cool technologies will do for this one, especially if it's still in beta. They especially love switching tools and libraries midway through a project, and will write a blog post about the experience after.
The Genius
This one is often too clever for their own good. They're most happy when creating an obscure, hard-to-understand tool or piece of code to solve a task that could have been done far more simply. The code will often be strewn with signed samples of their handiwork but no useful comments or documentation, as that would make their genius too available to the lesser mortals.
The Used Car Salesperson
No matter what the client wants, this person is there to sell it to them, whether or not they have it to sell, and once it's sold, it's down to the rest of the team to deliver the goods. They'll throw about terms like 'team player' and 'take one for the team' with an insufferable smile.
The Tolstoy
It doesn't matter whether it's meeting notes or a team email, what could be said in 20 words can be much better phrased in 200. They'll make extra effort to use words not found in common use in order to exhibit their vast vocabulary. You may see their name strewn across the edit history of your documentation as they've made dozens of tiny and “essential” edits.
The Cynic
Whatever it is, they're about to disagree with it. When pushed they will come up with evidence that the teams choice of tech will end the very fabric of the universe as we know it. If their doomsday prophecy doesn't happen then the entire team should be glad it got off so lucky.
The Harvy Dent
Initially seen as a peacekeeper within a difficult team, it's soon evident that this person is just an enabler and actually enjoys the confrontation between co-workers. They're often fairly subtle, so it can be very difficult to spot this one, although encouraging a lack of team communication can be a sign.
The Dictator
They rule with an iron fist, and woe betide any who deviate from the supreme plan. They'll come armed with guidelines (which are anything but guides), enforced tools, and require detailed daily reports from all team members, although when they find the time to read said reports is a mystery.
The Innocent
Capable but without confidence, this type will constantly be seeking validation from the more experienced team members. Depending on who they have as a guide their input to the project can swing from excellent to abysmal.
The Collector
Typically you'll find this person has transitioned from the Gatekeeper, Seagull, or Car Salesperson into a management position; their mission is to collect talent. Their main problem is that while they might have the best people for a project, they lack trust in the skills of the team, and will often seek to outsource instead. The resulting mess is chalked down to an 'unfortunate learning experience'; every time.
The Joker
Generally appears to be doing something other than work, although manages to deliver enough that they're not pulled into some kind of disciplinary meeting. They get distracted quite easily, and work especially badly when placed near windows, fish tanks, or the kitchen.