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  1. #1
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    Default Personality Types of Software Developers

    The common belief that extroverts make bad programmers might not stand up to this study. What do you guys think?



    NOTE: The above is based on data samples from Cuba.

    Full study: http://www.wiete.com.au/journals/GJE...apretz-L-F.pdf

  2. #2
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    That's a surprising result, since it doesn't match that well with what studies have found previously. Of course, a more meaningful comparison would against the average type for the population (so that selection effects would be visible). Also, the culture for programming would make a big difference.

    According to wikipedia only about 2% of the population of Cuba has access to the internet... and that 2% is composed mostly of government officials. Computer ownership is Cuba is also extremely low. Given all this, I think it makes generalizing about computer programming in Cuba vs. the rest of the world very problematic.

    For example this study found the most over-represented types to be:
    • INTJ 3.40x
    • INTP 2.46x
    • ENTJ 2.23x
    • ISTJ 2.08x


    This fits my own experience as a computer programmer. There are, of course, STs of other types as well. Even in the above study, ESTJs were the second most numerous type, even though they their preference factor was 1.73 (much lower than any of the NTs).


    There's also this paper, which proposes a relationship between preferences and different kinds of software engineering jobs. For preferences they relate:
    • Systems Analysis to E & F (where communication with clients or disparate
      groups is key)
    • Software Design to N & T (where abstraction and logical analysis are key)
    • Programing/Implementation to I, S & T
    • Testing to S & J
    • Maintenance to S & P


    That makes some sense to me.

  3. #3
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Whoa, ESTJ's at 26%? I would believe a big chunk might be ISTJ's ..... and thinking of the majority of programmers I have met over the years (and they are many at this juncture) all tend to be introverts. NT's too.

    *goes to read studies*
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Lonely INFPs

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    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    Lonely INFPs
    preach on, preach on....

    @Seymour systems analyst eh.... hmmmm

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    That's a surprising result, since it doesn't match that well with what studies have found previously. Of course, a more meaningful comparison would against the average type for the population (so that selection effects would be visible). Also, the culture for programming would make a big difference.

    According to wikipedia only about 2% of the population of Cuba has access to the internet... and that 2% is composed mostly of government officials. Computer ownership is Cuba is also extremely low. Given all this, I think it makes generalizing about computer programming in Cuba vs. the rest of the world very problematic.

    For example this study found the most over-represented types to be:
    • INTJ 3.40x
    • INTP 2.46x
    • ENTJ 2.23x
    • ISTJ 2.08x


    This fits my own experience as a computer programmer. There are, of course, STs of other types as well. Even in the above study, ESTJs were the second most numerous type, even though they their preference factor was 1.73 (much lower than any of the NTs).


    There's also this paper, which proposes a relationship between preferences and different kinds of software engineering jobs. For preferences they relate:
    • Systems Analysis to E & F (where communication with clients or disparate
      groups is key)
    • Software Design to N & T (where abstraction and logical analysis are key)
    • Programing/Implementation to I, S & T
    • Testing to S & J
    • Maintenance to S & P


    That makes some sense to me.


    I'm not sure if you can equate computer ownership with programming knowledge. Though the two are synonymous in the first world, third world is an entirely different issue. People go to college, learn programming, go get a job all without being computer owners.

    That said, I'm satisfied with the rest of your response, it makes perfect sense to me.

    And thanks for that last paper. I'm going have to read all papers by that UWO prof on the subject - I've been looking for someone like that for a while now!

    There is no study that attempts to correlate hardware/system design and the Jungian theory, is there? It would be interesting to see how different it is from the one you've posted above.
    Last edited by thisGuy; 09-25-2011 at 08:02 PM. Reason: devil is in the details!

  7. #7
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Whoa, ESTJ's at 26%? I would believe a big chunk might be ISTJ's ..... and thinking of the majority of programmers I have met over the years (and they are many at this juncture) all tend to be introverts. NT's too.

    *goes to read studies*
    I agree, I haven't seen anywhere near that number of ESTJ programmers in my career, but I then have mostly worked for software companies. A lot of programming jobs are for companies who focus on other things (banking, oil, marketing, etc)... so might have very different cultures. I have run into a number of sensing programmers, though. The SJs seem good at providing consistency, oversight and critical feedback (not my strengths). The SPs seem to be good at being more tactical, and seem to gravitate more towards shorter term, more customer-engaged projects.

    Quote Originally Posted by thisGuy View Post
    I'm not sure if you can equate computer ownership with programming knowledge. Though the two are synonymous in the first world, third world is an entirely different issue. People go to college, learn programming, go get a job all without being computer owners.
    I wasn't trying to imply that Cuban programmers don't know how to program and that they "program" by putting on plays in which modules are represented by sock puppets or something. Was just trying to say that the cultural environment for programming could easily be very different where one gains programming knowledge and experience mainly through formal means... and that could have an effect on who ends up programming (plus other cultural factors).

    Quote Originally Posted by thisGuy View Post

    That said, I'm satisfied with the rest of your response, it makes perfect sense to me.

    And thanks for that last paper. I'm going have to read all papers by that UWO prof on the subject - I've been looking for someone like that for a while now!

    There is no study that attempts to correlate hardware/system design and the Jungian theory, is there? It would be interesting to see how different it is from the one you've posted above.
    Sure thing! I think there are some, but a quick google didn't turn up a lot. This article lists some other studies that have typed various kinds of engineering students (including one for electrical engineering students): http://www.istl.org/03-spring/refereed2.html.

    I know CAPT has resources that give type breakdowns of people in various careers, but I think one has to pay for that info.

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    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    This study is not valid, because the 16 types are not equally distributed in the population. You would have to correct those percentages for the frequency of each type in the population!

  9. #9
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    Why would ENTPs be the lowest of the thinkers?
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