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  1. #1
    Junior Member Yosako's Avatar
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    Default INTPs and computer programming

    Why is computer programming usually a career suggested to INTPs, when it requires being EXTREMELY careful with implementation details? INTPs are horrible at that, however INTJs and ISTJs can do well.
    INTPs are good at creating a system's architecture - figuring up the system design, but not doing the actual coding/getting stuck with pesky little nuances. That can get in an INTP's nerves pretty quickly, or at least it did for me when I had to do some coding for a CS degree a couple years ago.

  2. #2
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    I think most MBTI-related career sources are stuck in the past when it comes to computer programming.

    Today it is very detail-oriented and often mind numbing. It isn't creating a whole new world in your garage anymore.

  3. #3
    Your time is gonna come. Oom's Avatar
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    I don't know why it would be considered a good career field for an INTP to go into. Making the big picture, the system would be awesome. On the other hand, managing all of the little details would really suck. Maybe being an INTP in a position to design systems that other people work to build would be better. But I can't imagine an INTP would have too much fun being one of the builders.

  4. #4
    sophiloist Kaizer's Avatar
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    System modeling. Anything else related to coding wont work. Esp &/or even only when its oo modeling, then even going deeper can be tolerable and even interesting.

  5. #5
    Circus Maximus Sarcasticus's Avatar
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    Application of scientific understanding in developing a software product is well-suited for an NTP. For instance, writing software that does weather forecasting, which is what I do. You get to take a field of understanding and develop models to simulate or parameterize it.

    As said before, big picture, autonomous, architecture-type jobs would be a better fit than a design-by-committee, team-based scenarios. It seems most of the programmers working on those kinds of jobs where I work are ISTJs.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Programming is a pretty broad field.

    As shown here, there are SOME aspects of programming that are very much suited for INTPs.

    (I'm great at troubleshooting, using objects, picking up new skills and applying them quickly, understanding code in languages I don't know, etc, structuring code in sensible ways, naming things consistently and accurately with my big-picture sense in gear; but the level of exactness of detail needed in the code sometimes drives me crazy, as well as having to follow methodical code-repository procedure and/or always having to interact with other teammates all the time.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I think most MBTI-related career sources are stuck in the past when it comes to computer programming.

    Today it is very detail-oriented and often mind numbing. It isn't creating a whole new world in your garage anymore.
    +100

    QFT.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  8. #8
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    I enjoy web programming (like PHP or JSP) since it's fairly lax and the results are often quick to see which allows more room for creativity and taking risks, but I'm not a big fan of complex stuff like C++ or Java since it usually takes a while to get something that you can really mess around with.

  9. #9
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Programming is a pretty broad field.

    As shown here, there are SOME aspects of programming that are very much suited for INTPs.

    (I'm great at troubleshooting, using objects, picking up new skills and applying them quickly, understanding code in languages I don't know, etc, structuring code in sensible ways, naming things consistently and accurately with my big-picture sense in gear; but the level of exactness of detail needed in the code sometimes drives me crazy, as well as having to follow methodical code-repository procedure and/or always having to interact with other teammates all the time.)
    I'm with Jennifer on this one - all of the stuff that she mentioned in a positive manner I really enjoy as well. There are definitely parts of actual programming that I enjoy - but the "methodical code repository procedure" and having to interact with teammates all of the time is a definite low point. As is the whole "tell me exactly what you will do and how long it will take before you start" thing. But give me a problem, and let me design a solution? That I really quite enjoy. But the more formal the "process" the less I'll enjoy it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
    Systematic chaos Cenomite's Avatar
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    Not an INTP, but whatever.

    I'm a CS major right now, and I really do love it so far. However, sitting at a cubicle all day and doing code-monkey bullshit would drive me insane. Because of this, my goals are:
    1. Get to a more software engineering like position.
    2. Lead a team and or develop big-picture plans for large scale software systems (also see #1)
    3. Become a CS professor
    Any of those will work.

    Speaking as an NTP, my strengths in programming generally center around:
    1. Foreseeing future fuckups and preventing them by altering the plan before they happen
    2. Developing the object/inheritance structure of the system, and working out the stubs. Basically, the big-picture plan.
    3. Coming up with original ideas for projects, and new ways of doing things that will make the job easier or more useful.
    4. Debugging the system

    In the same manner, my weaknesses in programming generally center around:
    1. Following through with things. Anything.
    2. Unit/white box testing, and making sure that all detailed test cases are tested
    3. Incorporating things at the lower-level when trying to implement my upper-level ideas. For example, I may have a good general plan for an algorithm, but will likely get stuck translating the pseudo-code into solid usable code. That or I may think I have it all thought out, but end up making it too big picture and leaving some blanks that make it unusable in its current state.
    4. Anything centered on Math. I really don't like math or efficiency checking.

    Programming as a living doesn't necessarily mean sitting and fussing over details all day. Small details will inevitably be part of the job, but you'd be hard pressed to find any job that doesn't require some sort of significant attention to detail at some level. The problem with programming careers, is that (as far as I know), the attention to detail jobs are most of the lower-entry jobs. I'm not looking forward to having to drudge it out before I can move up.
    The probability that I was procrastinating when I was typing this post:

    P(have big assignment due) = 0.6
    P(posting on TypoC) = 0.2
    P(having big assignment due | posting on TypoC) = 0.7

    P(posting on TypoC | having big assignment due) = .......


    Eh, I'll finish it later.

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