What Type Of Programmer Are You?

There was an entry on Digg earlier today that caught my eye. It was supposed to be a Myers-Briggs Type Test, but the questions were supposed to be geared towards programmers… or something like that.

In any event, I had some time to kill, so I took the test. My result? According to the test, I’m an INTP, which essentially is summed up as someone who is:

Highly analytical, they can discover connections between two seemingly unrelated things, and work best when allowed to use their imagination and critical thinking.

Sounds like me, alright… What was most amusing, though, was reading the more detailed analysis of that specific archetype. It was creepy how accurate it was. I’m not talking those vague horroscope things that proclaim, “You enjoy being happy”… This was a bit more specific…

If you read the article, just ignore the top part that refers to INTP as The Wizard, though. That sounds so cheesy! If I have to choose, I prefer the term used in the article — Architect. It just sounds so much more dignified… and less like someone you’d run into at the local Renaissance Festival.

I doubt most of you will want to read all of the detail about INTPs. I know you’re busy — what with your Blackberry handhelds and your Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots, but bear with me for a moment… Here are just a couple little pieces I thought applied best to me:

“When INTPs do not like the rules, they are quick to find the flaws in the rule makers’ thinking, regardless of their status, position in the hierarchy, or renown”

“INTPs contribute a logical, system-building approach to their work. They like being the architect of a plan, because of the scheming and thinking involved, far more than being the implementer of that plan. Implementation tends to be drudgery. They are content to sit back and think about what might work, given their view of the situation. INTPs may ignore standard operating procedures. The hours that they spend are not what is important to them, but rather the completion of their thought process.”

“Flexibility is desired because INTPs like to ‘do the job when they want to do it and as they want to do it.’ They also prefer occupations in which the hierarchy is minimal and not important.”

“Authority derived from office, position, or wide acceptance does not impress INTPs. Only statements that are logical and coherent carry weight. External authority per se is irrelevant.”

“They are not good at clerical tasks and are impatient with routine details. They prefer to work quietly, without interruption, and often alone. If an organization is to use the talents of an INTP appropriately, the INTP must be given an efficient support staff who can capture ideas as they emerge and before the INTP loses interest and turns to another idea. Our “architect” is not merely a designer of buildings. There is the architect of ideas (the philosopher), the architect of number systems (the mathematician), the architect of computer languages (the programmer), and on and on. In short, abstract design is the forte of the architect and coherence is the primary issue.”

Now when I question the validity of certain policies or practices, I can chalk it up to being an INTP, eh?

I do enjoy the idea of bucking-the-system a little bit, at least. It’s not out of malice or some desire for anarchy. I just have fun challenging rules and ideas that don’t make sense or seem like they weren’t thought out as well as they should have been. It isn’t so much that I want to win the argument or convince people to do things differently, though. I just like to try to understand things better.

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