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Thread: INFPs in STEM?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    thanks. yeah i do better with the javascript part than i do with the html and css i'm not bad at html or css but for somereason my brain can grasp syntax of programming languages faster than english. i know some c and some c++ and python and i know javascript is suppose to be one of the easier ones. but we have to put notes in our assignments and i'm usually like it's obvious if you read the code. so i just date it say end of function for the end or loop or switch statement. but i'm still in lower level classes so i'm sure as i move up documenting will become more important. i was getting c's and d's on my assignments but once we started doing javascript i've been getting a's and b's. css is actually my weakest area in that class.
    I am with you about documentation. Cleanly written code explains itself, if it doesn't you should simplify it by breaking it down. Method and variable names need to be self explanatory and not so shorthand you can't figure it out unless you know the code. Once you get in the real world, there is not much documentation other then the complicated stuff we didn't have time to simplify that we put a short explanation of what it does.

    Java script is becoming bigger and bigger these days. We use J query heavily to avoid having to deal with browser differences. What works in ie8 is different then ie9, 10, 11 and Firefox and chrome. J query helps detect browser and adjust accordingly.

    The key to css is a very organized structured html. If not it becomes a spaghetti mess that ends up with complicated specific selectors everywhere the overrides others just to be overriden again. IE developer tools and Firefox firebug are god send when dealing with css issues. It will allow you to modify and tweak on the fly so you can see everything that would apply, even overriden stuff.
    Im out, its been fun
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  2. #22
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    I've been a web developer for 17 years now and worked in a variety of environments over that time. Based on my experience, I would imagine you will feel more fulfilled working in a place that has a strong sense of mission and that you will be contributing to that mission with the work you are doing. So, look for opportunities in a more humanitarian capacity and that will be somewhat of a balance to the drain you may feel from having to do the work. Or, find a place that's growing like gangbusters to get your Ne sparking with ideas, you won't have too much time to get bored and it will offset some of the drudgery.

    Me, I have struggled from time to time feeling like I am not as engaged with my life purpose being so heavily weighted in the tech realm. The computer and I have logged a lot of time together. Feed yourself away from your job too with activities that will help keep you balanced. Good luck!
    @Seymour to weigh in also
    Sorry for the delay... work has been keeping me busy.

    So, I've been a computer programmer (aka "Software Architect") for a good while now. The original transition into programming full time was somewhat exhausting. First of all, I was using a part of my brain most of the day that I'd only used sporadically. So it was tiring to focus in the particular way that programming requires for long stretches every day.

    Secondly, I had to get used to be "odd man out" a bit at work. I was more emotionally focused and tuned in that most of my coworkers. Generally that wasn't a huge problem, since programmers tend to be not overly emotionally demonstrative, but it did lead to feeling like I craved conversation topics that weren't of much interest to most of my coworkers. There has tended to be the occasional coworker (often INFx or INTx) that I connected with more on a depth level, but that tends to be more the exception than the rule.

    Thirdly, I had to adjust to work not entirely meeting my criteria of being "important" or "deeply meaningful." On the plus side, I think this gave me breathing room so that my perfectionism (and self-critical nature) didn't swamp me early on. Most things at my job are not life and death (although from time to time it's over a million of dollars being lost), which helps me set reasonable limits. This does mean that outside of work interests are more important to me than they would be otherwise.

    Other pluses to being an INFP programmer:

    • Being able to help out friends/family because one has a well-paying, stable job is a plus.
    • Being a programmer who can write and communicate with the non-technical is a real strength.
    • Actually LISTENING to others can be rare for the technically inclined, who often rush to correct the other person before understanding what they are saying.
    • Programming (at least when one is designing/architecting the code) is fairly interesting, and involves balancing a lot of competing and conflicting goals, so having as aesthetic sense is a real plus (as is being tuned towards considering the human angle of code as communication to another human).
    • Being emotionally tuned in can make one a sought after team member compared to those who are emotionally unaware and abrasive.

    Other cons:

    • One tends to understand one's coworkers better than they understand you.
    • Focusing on the relevant details while programming may be tiring/tedious. Fortunately, if one really focuses, hopefully one does not have to revisit the same boring details often.
    • Tracking industry trends and reading up on dry and boring theory may not come naturally.
    • Scheduling, meetings, "process" discussions can be very tedious.
    • Asserting oneself regularly, being critical, and being recently pushy (as is sometimes necessary) may take a toll on more retiring INFPs.

    Another bit of advice (even though I don't really believe in advice) is to take company size into account. Working at a start-up (small, less than 30 people or so) often requires a commitment to the job as a complete lifestyle choice, with longs hours and heroic levels of effect. Often there's more variety of work at a small company (Notice something is broken? Fix it!), and there's a potential for pay-off (although keep in mind most start-ups don't make it).

    I find the medium sized (50+ to 500-ish) to be a nice size. Often they don't have the insane expectations of a start-up, while still having room for variety and individual quirkiness. There's often still the chance to get lucky on a smaller scale (if the company goes public, for example), and a chance to feel like one is making a real difference.

    Right now, I'm working for a MegaCorp, where I am one among very very many. I'm still important to the unit that was my smaller employer, but the large bureaucracy and losing my better coworkers over time is demotivating. I wouldn't recommend the large corporation for an INFP unless it's far different than the large company norm.
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  3. #23
    Junior Member SpecialSnowflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    TL;DR Give yourself a reason to be passionate about what you do, and don't be surprised if it takes work to love your coworkers. But don't waste your life convincing yourself you love something you just don't, if you just don't love computer science. Ain't nobody got time for that.
    Verbal diarrhea is indeed appreciated. It's refreshing to hear from someone who has had a similar experience! It's interesting that you were drawn to psychology as a student; I'm actually also majoring in cognitive science, however the program here is so underdeveloped that I'm insecure about pursuing that direction further as well... but that's a different story.

    Yes, I've certainly had problems feeling like I fit in. But I do like being around the logical TJ types, getting along with the more socially adept ones quite well. I can have trouble with taking criticism personally ("You are not your code," they assure me) and my perfectionism gets things done, but only right up at the deadline... which isn't great.

    I certainly like the idea of using tech skills in a helpful capacity and think your dream of working in the amusement industry is awesome! Reminds me of a video of MIT students building a campus roller-coaster recently (: Anyway, yes, I guess I mostly had worried about finding myself in a dead-end job where I couldn't see the point of my labor. I don't currently have any big dreams in my life, but I'm slowly making efforts to live more authentically with who I think I am ("Who am I?" -- the quintessential INFP question). Maybe a non-profit would be the way to go.

    Thanks for weighing in.
    明日もきっと輝いている
    幼き日々にもどらなくていい
    Tomorrow’s way of my life 怖がりだけど
    引き返せない道に立ってる

  4. #24
    Junior Member SpecialSnowflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Based on my experience, I would imagine you will feel more fulfilled working in a place that has a strong sense of mission and that you will be contributing to that mission with the work you are doing. So, look for opportunities in a more humanitarian capacity and that will be somewhat of a balance to the drain you may feel from having to do the work. Or, find a place that's growing like gangbusters to get your Ne sparking with ideas, you won't have too much time to get bored and it will offset some of the drudgery.
    Ah, that's good advice. Thank you so much. It's hard to convince myself my life purpose is somewhere within code, so a "strong sense of mission" would be helpful. I wonder if many of those kinds of opportunities are out there... Have you worked in a few places with that kind of humanitarian bent?
    明日もきっと輝いている
    幼き日々にもどらなくていい
    Tomorrow’s way of my life 怖がりだけど
    引き返せない道に立ってる

  5. #25
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    I had a further thought this morning to share: I've done a lot of things in my life because I have the intellectual capacity to do them. That does not equal the passion to do them. Try to sort out early what you want to do, rather than what you can do.
    This.
    This.
    and this.
    I. Relate. To. This. lol.

    I am not an Fi user (Fe-aux) ...so the process may be different.

    Still, I've always done what I had the capacity to do (biology, math). But now that I am getting older (and according to many, I am still young), I really want to start doing what I WANT to do, but it is hard for me because people keep on looking at my past experience and expect me to continue on the path that I am going (it's almost like the real-world version of academic tracking). Although they say it's never too late to do what you want to do; I am really finding it sort of hard to find my place in the world.

    I was in the same position as the OP. I had three options too. I could have applied to biotech jobs. I could have just started working in McDonald's. I could have just done nothing.

    I did NOT apply to biotech jobs (I am not going to contribute to making medicine that doesn't actually help people. Nor am I going to be a biochemist who doesn't care about their researchers and only cares about one tiny little protein).

    I did NOT work at McDonald's. And I did NOT do nothing. I knew that public health was an interest of mine, so I found an internship there. Soon I realized that I was tired of working with DNA. I stayed in research because I didn't know what else I could do at that time (and people usually find ways to "fund" you if you stay in research), so I switched into a cognitive psych lab. This is better. I think (at least I am not trying to figure out the structure of GABA receptors). Now, I work with language. I chose it because it has a more direct line with helping people communicate (children with autism, sli, old people, bilinguals) However, I won't say this is a perfect research career ...but I am still in the process of understanding what I really want from life.

    So as some tips (which may or may not help; everyone is different), is to do something different. Don't stay in the same environment. Leave computer science and go into linguistics ....or anything with a different atmosphere. I might be a J ...but I am a big advocate of doing spontaneous things to learn about what you value in life (not that I am necessarily good at doing spontaneous things ...I wish I was much better at it). The key thing is to have confidence that you'll be alright. ...This is still something I need to learn/master.
    You are so arbitrary.
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  6. #26
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialSnowflake View Post
    Verbal diarrhea is indeed appreciated. It's refreshing to hear from someone who has had a similar experience! It's interesting that you were drawn to psychology as a student; I'm actually also majoring in cognitive science, however the program here is so underdeveloped that I'm insecure about pursuing that direction further as well... but that's a different story.

    Yes, I've certainly had problems feeling like I fit in. But I do like being around the logical TJ types, getting along with the more socially adept ones quite well. I can have trouble with taking criticism personally ("You are not your code," they assure me) and my perfectionism gets things done, but only right up at the deadline... which isn't great.

    I certainly like the idea of using tech skills in a helpful capacity and think your dream of working in the amusement industry is awesome! Reminds me of a video of MIT students building a campus roller-coaster recently (: Anyway, yes, I guess I mostly had worried about finding myself in a dead-end job where I couldn't see the point of my labor. I don't currently have any big dreams in my life, but I'm slowly making efforts to live more authentically with who I think I am ("Who am I?" -- the quintessential INFP question). Maybe a non-profit would be the way to go.

    Thanks for weighing in.
    I was an engineering student, but I never built a rollercoaster. For a start, some idiot might have expected me to ride it afterwards.

    As to your original question, I guess if you don't find programming intrinsically interesting, but it is still your most sellable skill, you might do well to search out some application for it that interest you instead. Maybe educational software, baring in mind that education takes many forms. It might not be teaching spelling or maths, but something more ethereal, like morality or philosophy. Whatever - it's not like I actually know what interests you.

    I know someone who has managed to make a living as a freelance web designer, which gives him the freedom to pick and choose what he does a bit. In his chase it seems to frequently involve zombies, but I'm don't think that's obligatory.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.
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