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Are Software Developers Naturally Weird?

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the please-put-your-pants-on dept.

Programming 579

jammag writes "Well, c'mon, yes — let's admit it. As a veteran coder discusses as he looks at his career, software development is brimming with the offbeat, the quirky and the downright odd. As he remembers, there was the 'Software Lyrics' guy and the 'Inappropriate Phone Call' programmer, among others. Are unique types drawn to the profession, or are we 'transformed over time by our darkened working environments and exposure to computer screen radiation?'"

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From what I've discovered... (5, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | about 5 years ago | (#29785113)

There is no "normal" - everyone seems to have something. Developers (and geeks, in general) just wear it out there on their sleeve.

Re:From what I've discovered... (4, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#29785181)

I agree with that -- most people are "weird", have their quirks, etc. But geeks are often regarded as weird by everyone else, perhaps because we understand "the incomprehensible", so we are less oppressed in some ways than the people in HR, marketing, etc. They expect us to be weird, so we don't have to hide it as much in order to get by.

Re:From what I've discovered... (2, Interesting)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 5 years ago | (#29785369)

Let's take this one step further
Everyone you know and everyone you will ever meet, are neurotic, to one degree or another

Once you understand this, then daily life interacting with others in the sand box becomes much easier
Geeks are no different. We're just smarter than most others, or at least we like to think so .. d:/

Re:From what I've discovered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785427)

perhaps because we understand "the incomprehensible

Everyone else is just ignorant and refuse to learn. There fixed that for you.

Re:From what I've discovered... (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 5 years ago | (#29785547)

Software types are more analytical, (either as a result or as an cause of them being in their field). As such they see things that Joe Random doesn't even notice.

When the waitress says "If you need anything else, my name is Betty" Joe Random grunts and takes a bite of his meal. Programmer dude wonders what her name is if he doesn't need any thing else.

When the reporter says "For CNN, I'm Wolf Blitzer", programmer dude shouts at the TV demanding to know who the reporter is when he dons his lederhosen and cowboy hat and goes dancing.

Ouch, that hurts to think about, I'll stop now.

Computer types are so used to thinking about eventualities, undesirable consequences, dangling IF conditions, and protecting against them that they fall into doing so in personal life as well. A simple, carelessly worded question in normal conversation can render them speechless while the gears grind.

Actions or behavior without negative consequences may lead to new discovery, and therefore need not be avoided. Being a little weird may be a calculated strategy to see if those around them are hopelessly hidebound.

Re:From what I've discovered... (4, Insightful)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | about 5 years ago | (#29785689)

AHAHA...

Yeah, I've gotten to the level know when someone asks me the 'wrong' question I now answer "You're not asking me the right question". I used to answer it.

I usually tell them what the right question is and then the answer for it.

I've come a long way from just answering the wrong question and leaving it sit.

Re:From what I've discovered... (1)

superslacker87 (998043) | about 5 years ago | (#29785743)

If I had mod points, I'd be at a toss-up whether to mod you funny or insightful. But I don't so I'll just say that I find this to be both funny and insightful.

Re:From what I've discovered... (1)

jda104 (1652769) | about 5 years ago | (#29785569)

"Every man speaks of public opinion and means by public opinion, public opinion minus his opnion. Every man makes his contribution negative under the erroneous impression the the next man's contribution is positive. Every man surrenders his fancy to a general tone which is itself a surrender." G.K. Chesterton.

Re:From what I've discovered... (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 years ago | (#29785229)

Less social skills may translate to less social inhibitions in this case.

From my working experience with both programmers and other non-technical office personal, they're all equally weird, irrational and silly.

Even 60 year old men and women are as childish and immature by nature as they were when they were 10, they've only got 50 more years experience in dealing with it.

Re:From what I've discovered... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785729)

I don't buy the whole non-socialization argument.

All the freaks I've met in the IT business know exactly how to project the image they want to project.

They just don't care, or sometimes actively intend to be controversial, hostile or otherwise unpleasant.

In fact, it's probably part of the guild's unwritten rules. "Act like a geek to keep the non geeks out." And it works. The non-geeks are not interested in the things geeks know and can do, just the same as the "unsocialized jocks" keep the geeks out of their private club or any other identity group.

Re:From what I've discovered... (5, Funny)

skirtsteak_asshat (1622625) | about 5 years ago | (#29785375)

Take a NORMAL intelligent person and put them on the unfiltered net for extended periods, I think you'll find it rubs off on you. No amount of soap, scrubbing, or red bull can get your mind clean again.

Re:From what I've discovered... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 5 years ago | (#29785561)

Mod parent "I spit my coffee".

Re:From what I've discovered... (1)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#29785405)

I have to agree. Many people, in general, are quirky, weird, different. Not just developers.

The reasons for this might be different. I believe a lot of us, due to social exclusion early in life (i.e., early weirdness causing disenfranchisement?) discovered the computer.

I've also seen amazingly sane normal people in the field (and other fields).

It's just a silly topic.

very, Very, VERY "well said": Kudos, dsginter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785475)

"There is no "normal" - everyone seems to have something. Developers (and geeks, in general) just wear it out there on their sleeve." - by dsginter (104154) on Sunday October 18, @01:10PM (#29785113)

Couldn't have said it better myself: You are truly, insightful. I have a few things to say myself on this note, to supplement your thoughts, because what I have seen in 45 yrs. on this earth, has turned into a disgusting rat race for the "love of money" & worse. It's sad... it really is. Especially because imo @ least?? If we don't ruin it for ourselves via some dumb war (or act of God like a plague)?? We're on the VERGE OF GREAT THINGS... better than last century's growth & discoveries imo no less.

Anyhow/anyways, read on, if this interests you (otherwise, don't bother):

First of all, you have to understand 1 thing: The "psychiatry industry" is EXACTLY that - an industry, & one looking for growth & expansion. How to do that? Easy - make more "conditions" to profit by, & classify others w/ said conditions. Easy fix, easy money, easy control + easy growth/profit.

It's funny though - sure, their science is SOMEWHAT accurate, but I know they base it on statistics, & that science is "perfect", except on 1 VERY IMPORTANT ACCOUNT - it's not as precise as others, because the human mind is formed by circumstances & experiences (& everyone's is different), PLUS, they cannot get a big enough 'sampleset' to justify some of their so-called 'findings', period.

Sure works to "fool the rubes" though... "4/5 Dentists Chew Trident"? Sure they do - when you pay them off to say so! :)

Now, on society in general, & what the world is experiencing, today?

Well - In today's "politically correct society", imo @ least? Anyone that doesn't "follow the program" gets labelled 'crazy' etc. et al, & often without anyone performing a formal psych analysis, & by naysayers with no PHD in Psych themselves... funny that, eh?

It makes sense though:

This is no longer a world of 'great men', but instead it's become a world of committees!

(Composed of many times, truly "lesser mortals" & some serious "ass kissing & sycophant rats" imo @ least, who will do anything for a dollar... they kiss the 'ringleaders butt', until they find out he is a sociopath even greater than themselves, & he dismisses them via various means should they no longer be useful (or, pose a threat to he, because they "know too much") - we've all seen this (& if you have not? You will unfortunately & most likely one day))

Now, you can "put me down" or "call me crazy" but... are the results out there today from their leadership worldwide showing contrary results? I think, no, I rather KNOW not...

Take a look around you (& ANYONE can try to "tell me different").

Once more - It's sad.

E.G. #1 -> A pal of mine, who is a self-made millionaire who used to be a coder & instead went into mgt. put it best to me:

Almost verbatim -> "Truly SMART people? They don't go into politics, nor do they stay in the trenches working for somebody else too long if they can help it - they instead start their OWN 'show' & make the millions"

AND, he's right. I know that our leadership in the USA is exemplary of this, look @ the results of the criminals like Bernie Madoff being able to pull off what he did. He did, because our leadership is CLEARLY unaware of the mechanics of the banks (specifically the Federal Reserve, which is no more "federal" than FedEx is by the by, & of the IMF (international monetary fund)).

The banking people toss a few acronyms @ these politicians & that leaves them w/ the "deer in the headlights look" & they accept what they're told apparently... that, or they are "truly the best money REALLY CAN BUY" (I am sure you all suspect this also), & have been paid to "look the other way".

Short-sighted, & STUPID (I hate using that last word too, but, I have no better way to put it) - they're SUPPOSED to be the "referees" that protect the 'common-man', but in a way? I don't blame them for "taking the easy way out", because JFK is an example to all politicians, of what happens, when you cross "KORPORATE AMERIKA" & "big money".

It boggles my mind, it truly does. When folks w/ big money aren't happy, & want "more, More, MORE", only to find in the end, that it will NOT buy them immortality (afaik @ least, but with cloning & stem cells? You think that over as an aside), or happiness...

E.G. #2 -> One of my family members is becoming wealthy in this manner. He is not happy & told me so recently. My pal whom I mention?? Same thing... money's NOT buying him peace of mind.

(& sad part is, he ADMITS to me, verbatim "I am a good crook", because he applied his genius to putting coders out of work & outsources/offshores like mad, pocketing the diff. between the SMALL savings he gave his employer himself, & throwing them "crumbs" in 'savings' instead (& that IS how it is done)).

However, he also admits freely this puts guys who are coders out of a job in the U.S.A., & this? This I *THINK* 'bother him' @ least a little bit, because it has affected myself thus.

(AND, oh sure: The 'statisticians' & others from the 'world of the MBA fake it till you make it types' try to say "U.S. Coders suck" etc. et al, via the MEDIA they own or payoff, & funny part is? We're as good as, or better than, anyone out there)

I say that, because of 1 SIMPLE TRUTH - THERE ARE NO "BEST CODERS"!

(That's right - No more than there is a "BEST ATHLETE" or "BEST SCIENTIST" or "BEST CAR MECHANIC" - there's only harder more focused/dedicated WORKERS, IF they're given time & they are sufficiently motivated to achieve their or their employers' aims. Nobody knows it all, & especially in COMPLEX sciences, & that? THAT IS A WIDELY KNOWN & ACCEPTED TRUTH, period!)

APK

P.S.=> Our world's F'd up, & bad... Still - perhaps? Well, maybe all this NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE & HAPPEN (10% unemployment & rising or not), so that the world of tomorrow doesn't go thru this, again. The "infamous they" say, "those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it" well... I say, how come we ALWAYS DO?

E.G. #3 -> This DEPRESSION (soon to be "the greater depression" vs. the 1930's "great depression" imo)? It happened BEFORE the 1920's too, & imo?? Is cyclical, albeit not for only financial & greed reasons. Everything "starts @ home" & when you "spare the rod"??? You SPOIL THE CHILD. Where am I going with this? Well - every 30-60 yrs. or so, these 'depressions' happen is why!

The post-WW II world shows us all this: Those that fought it, & lived thru the 'great depression' made a world like never had been SEEN before, a good world of prosperity... but, their 'spoiled rotten kids' took over, & what do we have today?? Those "wanting more, More, MORE" & then they find it is NOT enough. Still, they continue their 'shenanigans' like "financial innovation" (thievery spelled sideways in other words), & you get, what you get.

Andrew Jackson dismantled a central bank before, & once he did? The economic woes he saw stopped & the nation excelled once more. However, Woodrow Wilson re-established (rather allowed) them in once more, & he even said this "I signed a deal with devil in doing this" & we are reaping that whirlwind now people.

This 'depression' now? It's NEEDLESS & manufactured imo, ON PURPOSE!

(AND, it ALL boils back to the simple premise of "Follow the money", & look who profits by it. Protracted wars? Banks. Housing loans gone mad?? Banks. Want more??? Just ask. I don't think you have to folks, just "follow the money")

E.G. #4 -> The war machine, the banks, & corporate officers whose paychecks are bigger than entire companies' payrolls (where are the shareholders on this one? They ARE the problem.

After all - Nobody is worth their pay they pay themselves, no one. 275 million a week etc. et al?? Give me a break!

(Well, unless they do something along the lines of Jonas Salk, & he only got a million for the Nobel Peace Prize mind you - they, imo & experience having met quite a few in my time, aren't worth a wooden nickel & have their spot due to nepotism, or belonging to the "right frat" more than a few times (not all though)).

Give people back their jobs though (because of the offshoring)? We'd ALL have a GOOD PAYING JOB AGAIN, & people, mostly, are lousy @ saving - they'll spend. You get them that "disposable income" & a sense of job security?? They will spend & get the "economic motor" turning again, properly & smoothly.

Otherwise? Well, you can see the corps 'scrambling' for other nations like China (who outsmarted them bigtime) or trying to move their corporate HQ's offshore to avoid taxes (because they'll put us ALL out of a job & create a welfare state - when that happens? The corporate bodies & homeowner assume the bulk of the tax base... "no, can't have that", so they tried this move, only to find other nations are TOO SMART to their b.s. & turned them away many times or got the better of them/outswindled them, instead, because they are too intelligent).

Now, above all else? Don't get me wrong - I love my "tribe"/nation, in the USA, but... she's sick right now, & needs to fix herself, & that means better more incorruptible leadership imo. They are the ONLY folks that can 'turn this around'. Were I they? I would say "sure, do 'laissez faire', offshore all you want: BUT, I as 'good gov't.', am going to tax away & penalize your profits... you'll stop!" because 'business' in & of itself is NOT "evil". It is only a means to an end, a mechanism, to make money. Take away its ability to do so in an area - it will stop doing that area/practice!)

apk

Re:From what I've discovered... (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29785527)

Exactly. What do you define as "weird"?

The question if something is $absolutePointXOnAbsoluteAxisY can only come from someone, who does not realize, that everything in this universe is relative. Especially things like "weirdness". And twice so. Because 1. your own view of what is weird, is defined relative to your own position ("That's weirder than me, so I'll call it 'weird'."), and 2. your own position is also only definable through other relative positions. ("How weird are you?" will always be answered with something like "Well, less than that crazy guy. But more than that no-fun loser there.")

Additionally, I don't think weirdness is ever reducible to one axis, and so it's also a multi-factor value (aka. multi-dimensional vector), where things like weighting them based on their orthogonality to get to the magnitude, come into play. (In other words: What factors make someone weird for you, and how important are those factors?)

The thing is, that the importance of that question is dependent on your own self-confidence.
Basically, if you know you're cool and fun and all, then even if someone calls you "weird" you will say "Nah, you're just no fun.", not even trying to defend yourself. (For what? He is wrong, not you. :)
And if you are insecure and think you are a loser and a weirdo, you will believe them. You will most likely even act according to your expectations of yourself. Expect yourself to fail in harmonizing with others. (Harmony [the "rhythm"] is an essential factor in social groups. I love playing it like an instrument, when I'm able to.)
For all positions between those extremes, of course the result is something in the middle.

Sadly, most software developers grew up, thinking that it's somehow "uncool" to be able to create all those wonderful programs with their elegance. That social incompetence is to be expected when one "hangs in front of his computer all the time".
Seriously? Who says that? Have you ever checked? Has anyone ever checked? Are those who checked even competent to check it? Or is it all just a false social conditioning, based on prejudice and exclusion of the unknown, like with children in school? Something that still dominates your life right now, by making you insecure *for no freakin' reason at all*.

[optional part]

I was like that. EXACTLY like that. Worst of the kind. I had a huge fear to even *talk* to girls until I was 20+. Seriously!
But as you might know, you will feel like wanting to die when you live like that. Luckily I realized, that all those social rules where just made up. My definitions of what I am were just made up. I could change them, and become whatever I wanted.
And, oh fuck did I change! :D
I just decided, that from now on, I know what is how, have my own set of values, and define myself and what I am. Then I worked to get to that point.

And now I literally can't program, when I did not go out, and had fun, socializing and stuff. And when I'm out, I am not in the corner, in fear that someone could laugh at "that weird dork there". No, I'm in the freakin' center!
I have no idea why, as I'm not thinking that I'm someone especially great or something, but people somehow love me now. I get drinks for free, people applauding me, and girls looking at me with glowing eyes. But I have no idea why?? Hell, there are so many better looking, cooler and richer guys in the same room! But hey... Not that I don't like it. :)
And the best thing: Now that I have it, I don't feel any urge to try to get it anymore. It has become almost an afterthought.

[/optional part]

Conclusion: No. Software development does NOT make you weird. Not in any known universe! Insecurity, and a environment full of prejudice, since early childhood, make you weird.
I'm a software developer / game designer and I am also according to others one of the "coolest guys they know". (Again, I myself am never trying to place myself above someone.)
I see no reason why this should not also be true for anyone else on this site!

Re:From what I've discovered... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#29785591)

Developers (and geeks, in general) just wear it out there on their sleeve.

They only have one arm? Or are you saying they share a shirt?

Re:From what I've discovered... (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | about 5 years ago | (#29785607)

Well said. I think geeks place more value in how they feel about themselves, rather than how others feel about them. Ask a random hundred what's more important to them, "how you feel about yourself" or "how others view you", see what answers you get. You could probably pick out most of the geeks real quick with just that.

Re:From what I've discovered... (5, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 years ago | (#29785609)

There is a "normal". Its is not however, a statistical result. Rather it is closer to a Platonic ideal, an archetypical state of being that all aspire to, yet few if any achieve. Intelligent, sophisticated, gregarious, athletic, witty, educated, admired, adventurous, wise, inspirational, a pillar of society; in short everything the Modern Major General should be.

When people say "normal", what they really mean is "ideal". "Why can't I/you be more normal?!", really means "Why can't I/you be closer to perfection!!". The concepts of individuality and uniqueness is for most people, platitudes. In reality, they strive for unreasonable goals and live in perpetual disappointment with their own and others "shortcomings".

Our industrial society, saturated as it is with millions of identical items, widgets and products, cannot really accept habits or traits that fall outside the norm. Witness the rise of "disorders" like Aspergers or ADHD; habits and attitudes which cannot be accepted as a normal part of the human condition, and which must be medicated to bring them closer to the ideal or "normal". If you do not conform to the tolerances specified by what is seen on television, cinema or in the New Yorker magazine, you are a defective widget and must be either corrected or replaced.

Some programmers have traits or habits not usually seen in the general populace. Invariably you will find that the problem is rarely these traits in and of themselves, but rather the discomfort of others who when faced with such deviations from the norm actually become offended and will seek redress. For a long time, our society catered to this outrage and imposed conformity towards the contemporary ideal. Happily we've stopped doing this, and we're all better off because of it. However, there remain many who can become visibly distressed whenever the world does not agree with their own conceptions. Often they will fight to change the world rather than change their minds.

The truth is we are all individuals. And the real truth is that this is more than just a platitude.

Hes not bonafide, he cant comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785119)

Eric Spiegel? Ha!

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785121)

No.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785189)

Maybe.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785341)

Changed my mind. Yes.

No.

I'd like to think (3, Funny)

elvesrus (71218) | about 5 years ago | (#29785123)

It's the screen radiation, but The Others don't think that way...

Re:I'd like to think (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29785199)

A movie [imdb.com] can't think.

Re:I'd like to think (1)

camperslo (704715) | about 5 years ago | (#29785585)

It's the screen radiation, but The Others don't think that way...

The radiation from c.r.t.s was a mixed blessing, with the radiation suppressing some of the nastier fungus-based symbionts, but generation of mutations in some of the other types was also a frequent trilateral result. Other screen types still support the basic mechanism of symbiont generation, photonic stem-cell modulation. Developers are not the only core grouping however. The screen content affects the phase of the transpirational transconductance influencing the outcome. For instance those whose symbiont has a sports-imprinted photonic matrix have a strong predisposition to eat pizza, drink beer, burp, and fart all converging on nearly the same point in time.

Developers tend to consume more caffeine, and are prone to developing lickdicksia, a condition causing unpredictable typing malformations while viewing or engaged in sex.

Asperger's syndrome. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785143)

People with Asperger's syndrome - and left-handed people - make the best programmers. Ergo, weird comes with the terratory. I prefer "interesting". I'm "interesting"...and programming has kept me earning top dollar for 35 years.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (5, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29785205)

People with Asperger's syndrome - and left-handed people - make the best programmers. Ergo, weird comes with the terratory. I prefer "interesting". I'm "interesting"...and programming has kept me earning top dollar for 35 years.

I find that women with big tits make the best programmers and I have as much evidence as you do that proves me right.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (2, Insightful)

MrMr (219533) | about 5 years ago | (#29785339)

Photos or it didn't happen.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (4, Funny)

YourExperiment (1081089) | about 5 years ago | (#29785411)

I find your ideas intriguing, and wish to subscribe to your evidence.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#29785243)

terratory

Sigh. Whenever we have these "we only seem weird to you cretinous neurotypicals because we're geniuses" circle jerks the sloppy spelling and grammar really starts to grate.

And actually it's completely back to front. We socially lazy people are good at programming because we have lots and lots of free time that the regular folks spend being sociable.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (5, Insightful)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 5 years ago | (#29785285)

We socially lazy people are good at programming because we have lots and lots of free time that the regular folks spend being sociable.

I think this is the largest truth of it. Why are we good at things technological? Because we're so interested in it that we've spent an enormous amount of time and effort on it. Time and effort that had to come at the expense of neglecting other activities.

Also, we tend to be a bit elitist in attitude and relish all things that set us apart. So we probably think we're weirder than we really are.

Also also, people are just weird. I've never known a normal person in my entire life.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (4, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29785279)

I find the best programmers are the ones with the maturity to complete a task when they said they would. Who can perform an exhaustive session of testing without complaining (even though it's boring, but necessary work). Who will produce the required documentation to a high standard and will play nice with the other members of the team they are in.

In that respect, neither handedness nor syndromes seems to have any relevance.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785373)

I find the best programmers are the ones with the maturity to complete a task when they said they would. Who can perform an exhaustive session of testing without complaining (even though it's boring, but necessary work). Who will produce the required documentation to a high standard and will play nice with the other members of the team they are in.

In that respect, neither handedness nor syndromes seems to have any relevance.

So how's Superman working out for you? I assume you didn't hire Batman because he has "issues".

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#29785683)

I know that guy, he lives in Imaginary Land.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (2, Insightful)

jmcvetta (153563) | about 5 years ago | (#29785721)

I find the best programmers are the ones with the maturity to complete a task when they said they would. Who can perform an exhaustive session of testing without complaining (even though it's boring, but necessary work). Who will produce the required documentation to a high standard and will play nice with the other members of the team they are in.

That is one kind of 'best'. But in my experience, the folks who grind through exhaustive & tedious tasks with nary a peep of discontent, rarely have good creative skills.

Re:Asperger's syndrome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785431)

hehe, Exhibit 10243597 above.

Less pressure to conform? (5, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | about 5 years ago | (#29785147)

I'm thinking that different professions have different levels of social pressure to conform to a certain way of behaving and appearing, and the coder profession has less of this pressure, perhaps because good programmers have to constantly question assumptions and think outside the box to come up with good designs. But hell if I know or care.

Yes! (4, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29785253)

I've known some pretty interesting folks in all professions - they just keep it to themselves.

And some organizations do not put up with behavior at all that was mentioned in the article. A more professional manager would have a much different team an wouldn't have had the problem he had.

Re:Less pressure to conform? (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 5 years ago | (#29785395)

perhaps because good programmers have to constantly question assumptions and think outside the box to come up with good designs.

I think that's true for a lot of professions, though.

Talk about slow news day (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29785157)

Here's a tip: everybody loves to think they're unique and "weird." The most conventional, boring, person you know is going to describe how wacky their party was if you ask.

In reality, there's no such thing as "weird" because there's no such thing as "normal." If you encounter somebody you think embodies "normal", well, you just don't know them well-enough. (I bet a lot of people thought Tom Cruise was normal before he started jumping on Oprah's couch.)

Re:Talk about slow news day (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 5 years ago | (#29785289)

Or in the cult of Scientology...

Re:Talk about slow news day (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29785305)

Being a Scientologist alone counts as "weird." That was kind of my point...

Pedantic (4, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | about 5 years ago | (#29785291)

I think most people who are detailed oriented are considered eccentric. Good businesspeople, programmers, chefs, military strategists, and anyone who has to have things a certain way are considered weird.

Programmers just happen to be more detail oriented than most everyone else. One character in a program with hundreds of thousands is the difference between having something that compiles and something that doesn't. It takes a certain type of personality to accept this as part of the job description.

There are certain people who have it worse - civil engineers and doctors, for example. Once they have computed a load or prescribed a treatment, there is no way to edit and rebuild.

Re:Pedantic (1)

HiggsBison (678319) | about 5 years ago | (#29785563)

I think most people who are detailed oriented are considered eccentric.

Introverts tend to be detail oriented. So the correlation between detail oriented and eccentric might be through introversion. Then again, we're seeing correlation here, and still no real insight on causation.

Re:Talk about slow news day (3, Interesting)

tonycheese (921278) | about 5 years ago | (#29785297)

While I do think this is a big part of the story - that people just think they themselves are weirder than other people, it would make sense that software developers are weirder than other professions. My impression of coders are that the people who get sucked into that field or that profession tend to dislike regular, non-internet social interaction than other people. Compound that with a profession that requires less social interaction than other professions and people will start acting how they want. I get the feeling that if you apply for a job in sales or human resources with most companies, they don't want to hear about the giant kit-kat bar you made last weekend.
That said, the three examples the article gave aren't very weird at all. The first person just seems to have a sense of humor, the second guy liked to talk, and the third person... well she was just stupid. There are a lot of stupid people in the world, in any profession.

Re:Talk about slow news day (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29785311)

Exactly! For example, every normal straight laced family values Republican eventually gets busted for trying to get a blow job in a public restroom or for sleeping with hookers. Whenever I see one of those Christian Family Values Clean Cut well dressed suited guys on TV, I just know they're getting it up the ass from Biff.

They just act normal for other Family Values folks who are probably have the exact same desires and values. I think if the "Family Values" people just told the truth, they'd find that every one else in their movement is just as sexually "deviant" as the people they profess to be fighting against - in other words, homosexuality and sleeping with hookers is the norm with them.

Re:Talk about slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785755)

in other words, homosexuality and sleeping with hookers is the norm with them.

What about sleeping with homosexual hookers?

Re:Talk about slow news day (2)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#29785313)

(I bet a lot of people thought Tom Cruise was normal before he started jumping on Oprah's couch.)

Actually I think the dude has serious issues. Normally he'd be on some sort of drug and seeing a psychiatrist. Unfortunately he's in Scientology, and that means auditing which is probably not a good idea for people with mental health issues, a ban on seeing psychiatrists or taking medication. Plus Scientologists are supposed to disconnect from friends and family outside the group. And they suck money out of their members pretty effectively.

Given that Scientology probably attracts people who are a bit unsure of themselves to start with and you have a recipe for crazy.

So it's sort of ironic to see him behaving in a manic way and ranting about the benefits of Scientology, because if he wasn't in it he'd probably have more money, no audit sessions and would be able to shop around psychiatrists until he found one that could help him.

Re:Talk about slow news day (0, Offtopic)

Threni (635302) | about 5 years ago | (#29785345)

> Plus Scientologists are supposed to disconnect from friends and family outside the group. And they suck money out of their members pretty
> effectively.

Plus they get you to tell them all sorts of stuff about your past, so they would be able to blackmail you should you ever decide to leave.

Re:Talk about slow news day (0, Offtopic)

bertoelcon (1557907) | about 5 years ago | (#29785469)

This is off-topic, but Tom Cruise is a damn good posterboy for Scientology.

(Interpret that how you will)

Re:Talk about slow news day (4, Interesting)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 5 years ago | (#29785503)

Here's a tip: everybody loves to think they're unique and "weird." The most conventional, boring, person you know is going to describe how wacky their party was if you ask.

If you read the article, you'll see that this isn't what this is all about. The "song lyrics developer" placed song lyrics in the comments of his code. That was apparently "distracting" to QA, so managed had a talk with him. They asked him why he did it, he said that when he was writing boring code, that made it more exciting, so they came to an "agreement" where he'd stop commenting the code with lyrics and in exchange, he'd be allowed "to pursue more interesting side projects."

In other words, management thought that they exchanged the extra 15 seconds it takes every time he writes one of those lyrics comments to get him to do more work for them in the form of "interesting side-projects." Poor dude agreed because he likely felt his job was threatened, and what they actually did was make him less productive because he's no longer as happy in his work.

Now, it wasn't even a problem of offensive curse words in comments, which is quite common. He was just peppering the code with random lyrics. Any company with management that makes things THAT strict is making the work environment a serious pain, and it's not someplace I'd work at. I suspect that guy also started submitting resumes to other places and just agreed to compromise until he could find a better job.

Oblig. Monkeybagel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785169)

Origins of Sysadmins [monkeybagel.com]

No, there are not (5, Insightful)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 years ago | (#29785171)

Strange, weird and unique peoples work in every sphere of society. You only think coders are special because you happen to hang out with coders and not, say, accountants. If you were hanging out with accountants, you would find accountants a weird and diverse bunch too, but instead you have a stereotypical view of how accountants act, just like the rest of the population have a stereotypical view of coders.

Not unique to software development (4, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | about 5 years ago | (#29785173)

The stories in the article don't seem unique to software at all. That type and degree of weirdness shows up in every type of work, techie or not. People are just strange! We all know our families are strange - we've either adapted and become oblivious, or moved on. With coworkers, however, we are forced to interact daily with a group of random people we don't get to choose individually. That exposes us to a broad cross-section of societal weirdness that we aren't used to, and we notice it. I think everyone has had this experience to some extent. That's one reason The Office is such a popular show; we can all identify the Michael Scotts and Dwight Schrutes in our lives.

huh? (1, Insightful)

maxwells daemon (105725) | about 5 years ago | (#29785177)

My mistake ... I thought it said WIRED.

People are strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785179)

From my experience, programmers are no weirder than retail sales people, bakers or general laborers.

What may make programmers skew a little more weird is that programming talent is still rather rare or is certainly not an off-the-shelf commodity. So weirdness that might get you fired as a day laborer is more tolerated in programming. As I would think in any of the creative areas with relative shortages of talent.

Everyone ELSE is weird (1)

Skapare (16644) | about 5 years ago | (#29785187)

We're just better suited to the task.

That's not weird (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 5 years ago | (#29785195)

...calling her ex-boyfriends to let them know she may have exposed them to an STD.

That's just nasty. That should really be part of an article titled: "Are Coworkers Sometimes Unpleasant?"
I put it in the same category as a nose picking coworker who occasionally digs into underwear to scratch their bung and then use a common keyboard. It's just nasty.

Re:That's not weird (4, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | about 5 years ago | (#29785275)

...calling her ex-boyfriends to let them know she may have exposed them to an STD.

That's just nasty. That should really be part of an article titled: "Are Coworkers Sometimes Unpleasant?"

Well, it's inappropriate to make the call while at work (or at least, while you can be overheard) but otherwise it's very responsible to tell previous partners they might be at risk. All they have to do is get a test.

Short résumé (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29785223)

Everybody is unique.

Or... (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 years ago | (#29785231)

Do weird people naturally become software developers?

In other news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785247)

... data is not the plural of anecdote. That's like reading thedailywtf and conclude that most code written is crap, most managers are incompetent assholes, most interviewers are clueless, most interviewees are underqualified liars.

pushing the limits? (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29785249)

A lot of softies I know feel they have to prove something. Whether that's simply to get attention, or as an attempt to stand out from the masses, I can't say. It does seem though, that if you want to get noticed you have to be or do something that set you apart. Examples such as being a drama queen (is this classic attention seeking as you see in small children?), or claiming "special allowances" (I've just *got* to have a desk by the window - or I get SAD") or just having strange habits or superstitions: like not getting in to the office until lunchtime ("but I'm an afternoon person") - for whatever reason.

Personally I think a lot of it has to do with power and boundaries - again, just like with small children. Because any IT person who shows a modicum of talent is so sought after, that their employers will go to great lengths to retain them. If that means playing along with their emotional issues, well: so be it.

Who we are (1)

llamasniper (1530279) | about 5 years ago | (#29785261)

Normal people can't understand the way computers think. That's why we're so "strange/weird". We think in an analytical and logical fashion.

Re:Who we are (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 5 years ago | (#29785589)

Normal people can't understand the way computers think. That's why we're so "strange/weird". We think in an analytical and logical fashion

Well normal people can't understand a lot of fields; if you're in a large company and think your job is all wizardly, go see what the tax lawyers in your company have to deal with.

What? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29785265)

Are Software Developers Naturally Weird?

What do you mean? African or european developers?

Re:What? (3, Funny)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | about 5 years ago | (#29785463)

Are Software Developers Naturally Weird?

What do you mean? African or european developers?

I don't know! Auuugh! *flies off bridge into chasm*

Re:What? (1)

oracleofbargth (16602) | about 5 years ago | (#29785489)

You know, I just don't know how to mod this one. Is it Funny, or potential flamebait? Congratulations sir. You win a cookie.

behold! (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29785269)

The only time the word "darkened" and the phrase "computer screen radiation" will be used together in a sentence. Only on /.

Really? (4, Insightful)

eihab (823648) | about 5 years ago | (#29785271)

This must be some kind of a joke. The first "example" is:

When Ted would deliver his code for the QA group for testing, there would be much rolling of the eyes. You see, Ted like to sprinkle comments in his code that were not relevant to the software. And not just irrelevant comments, but just plain weird comments. For example, a case statement would be preceded with:

“I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees. Asked the Lord above for mercy, ‘save me if you please.”

Huh? Or, a comment next to a loop would state:

“You spin me right round, baby right round like a record, baby Right round round round”

Yep – song lyrics. The first is from an Eric Clapton song “Crossroads” and if you saw the Wedding Singer, you’d recognize the looping Dead or Alive lyrics.

But, again huh???

Where these comments hurting anyone? Probably not, but they were at a minimum distracting.

That's not weird, this guy is just an idiot who can't be bothered commenting his code.

I'm fine with the occasional clever witty comment (I've done it myself) as long as the code makes sense and that everything is documented (e.g. This method does x, y, z and also takes over the world).

The other two examples are just as bogus:

a) a guy who interrupts co-workers at inappropriate times and starts chatting about life matters and doesn't know when to shut up.

b) a girl who's always on the phone distracting co-workers with inappropriate topics (calling guys about passing STDs to them and eventually doing phone interviews for other jobs).

I'm sorry, but none of this warrant a "software developers are naturally weird" headline. People are weird and every profession has its crazes. I can think of a lot of professions that suffer from the last two examples more so than software development.

This article is either a troll or the bastard child of a slow news Sunday, either way, I took the bait.

Quite so... (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29785531)

Also, author comes off as a bit of a jerk.
"Crossroads" and "You spin me round" comments were not only funny, but also completely on topic.

"Crossroads" - case statement, "You spin me round" - loop.

"At a minimum distracting"? You know what else is distracting?
Having a sense of humor.

No, not that wierd (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 5 years ago | (#29785273)

If you think software developers are weird, you're not getting out enough.

Commission salespeople and futures traders are much weirder. Some CEOs are weird. Low-end rock musicians are weird. (Above the "club band" level, some sanity tends to emerge, or at least the self-destructive ones are filtered out.) Strippers are weird. Successful high-end call girls, though, tend to be chillingly sane when not in their work personas.

Re:No, not that wierd (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785387)

You know lots of CEOs, futures traders, rock musicians, and high-end call girls, do you? I'd like to work where you work.

Re:No, not that wierd (1)

w3woody (44457) | about 5 years ago | (#29785447)

Speaking of futures traders, I remember reading a story about how traders were so intent on instant moment-by-moment trading on the floor while drinking tons of coffee that they'd never use the bathroom. At one company the male traders would then go off to the bathroom together and have a contest to see who could stand the farthest from the urinal and still piss into it.

Computer programmers are not that weird.

Re:No, not that wierd (1)

dkf (304284) | about 5 years ago | (#29785485)

Computer programmers are not that weird.

True. Sysadmins on the other hand...

be thankful for HR... (4, Interesting)

nycguy (892403) | about 5 years ago | (#29785277)

This article reminds me of a couple of incidents earlier in my career:

I usually find the HR department to be pain in the ass, but there are times when they are indispensable. When I first started working, I was managing a team of fresh college graduates. They all went out together after work one Friday for "movie night." The next week, one of the women who worked for me came to my office very upset. Turns out that after movie night, she'd gone to a bar with her fellow team members, then taken him back to her place and had sex. She was worried about pregnancy and disease because the sex had been unprotected. She was also upset that he was "being cold to [her]" the first day back in the office. At that point, I just said, "this is a topic for our HR department" and walked her and her "movie night buddy" to the office of the HR rep for our area. The resolution was to have one of them volunteer to be transferred to another area, but there was subsequent drama anyway. Social ineptitude coupled with inexperience and raging hormones is an unusually bad combination.

I also worked with a programmer who cursed worse than a sailor and "adjusted himself" more frequently than an entire team of baseball players. We used to take bets on how many times he would grab his crotch during a conversation, and if the meeting was all guys, we'd all adjust ourselves for laughs and to see if he'd pick up on it--he was completely oblivious. For whatever reason it went on for years without anyone ever doing anything about it. On the cursing part, he did eventually get called in to HR and scolded for his language, to which I am told his exact response was "Holy shit, I'm so fucking sorry." He still kept his job, though.

The OTHER guys are weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785281)

Systematic, analytic thinking, a strong desire to automate and a propensity to eliminate exceptions are the way of the future.

You're invited to a party... (0, Flamebait)

MindPrison (864299) | about 5 years ago | (#29785307)

...your friends are gathered around the very same table, of which you effectively manage to clear within 15 minutes with your endless drivel about Drupal CMS which of course - you really can't for the life of you - understand why isn't the most interesting thing on this planet next to stretchpants!

Weird is OK, jerks are not (4, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 5 years ago | (#29785309)

I find that often hiring managers tolerate jerks in our profession because a lot of hotshot programmers develop a large ego early in their careers, aided by management teams that enable this disfunction. The net result is a work place with high turn over of 'normal people'. There are a lot of hiring managers who read Slashdot. My message to then is 'Don't hire jerks'. Great programmers have lots of options about who to work for. If you have a team where you tolerate jerks then good people will leave and good prospective employees will turn down your job offers after meeting your jerks during the interview process.

yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785323)

yes.

Not Me. (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | about 5 years ago | (#29785325)

I'm not weird. But those OTHER guys... Whew! ;->

Are politicians naturally liars? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#29785333)

Conforming to or avoiding certain behaviors simply because they are or are not practiced by the majority is a logical fallacy. Programming requires logical, critical thinking ability. Ergo, those who succeed at programming may tend to engage in behavior that seems strange to the majority of people.

No. Well... not JUST liars. (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29785549)

They are natural psychopaths. [examiner.com]

Re:Are politicians naturally liars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785677)

> Conforming to or avoiding certain behaviors simply because they are or are not practiced by the majority is a logical fallacy.

No it isn't. It is a choice that one makes in order to be accepted by the majority. While I could go outside wearing a pink dress, doing so would complicate social interaction with most people I would encounter. For people who like not being ridiculed and/or not having to explain themselves every 5 minutes (pretty much everybody), making at least some effort to conform the the majority is a rational thing to do.

Whether the behavior of the majority is rational or not I'll leave to an exercise for the reader, but conforming to the majority has NOTHING to do with a logical fallacy.

No, but they're naturally narcissistic (4, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | about 5 years ago | (#29785363)

Geeks love to tell themselves self-congratulatory tales about how they're weird, or prone to Aspergers, or otherwise exempt from the normal conventions of human interaction, because they're so smart and talented. Hey baby, I'm a rockstar! I don't need to know all that crap about proper hygiene or graceful social interaction--my brain is too full of powerful code that's the next killer app!

Programming will mature as a discipline when programmers see themselves as not that different from any other skilled, educated professional.

So true (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 years ago | (#29785365)

I'm normal, but all the people in my group, batshit crazy - makes sysadmins look sane.

viewpoint (5, Insightful)

ei4anb (625481) | about 5 years ago | (#29785367)

"Weird" is an irregular adjective that varies with the pronoun. An example illustrates best:
I am interesting
You are eccentric
He is weird

Yes. Computers are unnatural. (5, Interesting)

Admiral Burrito (11807) | about 5 years ago | (#29785399)

Yes. Computing is warping our minds.

Computers are just so damn logical, working with them is completely removed from normal everyday life. It's well known that people anthropomorphize computers in order to deal with them in our own frame of reference, but conversely we also mentally shift our thinking into a logical form which we aren't evolved to deal with, so that we can work effectively with computers. The more closely you work with computers, the more this will affect you.

I don't think this is a new thing though. Mathematicians and people working in hard sciences have certainly faced the same sort of thing. For example, many early scientists (eg. Galileo) have faced persecution because they have found a mode of thinking that "normal" people have found objectionable.

It'll only get worse as technology progresses.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785457)

It's something in the water cooler.

Two different kinds of weird (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29785473)

"Song lyric comment guy" sounds like the stereotypical no-social-skills IT guy - it sounds like the sort of thing a person would do to try to make themselves interesting to other people if that person didn't really understand basic human interaction.

"Inappropriate phone call girl" just sounds trailer-trashy - I (unfortunately) hear people on the train airing their dirty laundry in public all the time. I've also worked with people (not just IT people) who had phone issues like this. Some people just don't seem to get the idea that some things are better kept private. It doesn't seem to be a "tech thing" - it's not really similar to "song lyric comment guy" IMO.

IT & Weirdness... (1)

trelamenos (915558) | about 5 years ago | (#29785479)

Here is my story... when i was a kid in my neiborhood there werent many kids that was interesting in computers, software development and such as i was... so i havent really someone to talk about my experiences... my creations and so on.... now that i grew up and i am in a public university of computer science and everyone talks about computer all the time i really feel kinda weird when i have to conversate with someone about my work... i have been really strange to "third" people(i mean except me and some guys i meat during my youth....) so this... weirdeness....

On weirdness... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 years ago | (#29785537)

"Silly" comments in code. Occasionally acceptable to have a sense of humour but it has to actually be funny because it's relevant rather than because it's random. But you'll often get the "funny" guy in the office who doesn't realise that he's not.

"Chatty" - Yes, this is more typical of coders. Not someone who spends a lot of time talking. More that he doesn't get hints. There seems to be a borderline aspergers type that has a high correlation with programmers. You can simply tell them to go away because your busy and they will.

Inappropriate conversations - happens in all sectors. Some people just don't know what's appropriate.

Developers... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785553)

I don't have much respect for developers.

I am a simple laborer who couldn't afford higher education, but I have my geeky things, specially related to videogame design.
One day, I reunited enough will to combine my work with making a game of my own. It's still in early alpha but it's doing alright.
Thing is...knowing I have no full education background, I dealed with C and OpenGL and their quirky things (pathetic string support, stupid color handling requiring to learn GLSL to do something worthy, respectively), all by myself. This is not specially impressive, but I didn't do by choice. I had to learn the same way with art/pixel art/animation and sound/music as well as general technique to achieve effects. It wasn't difficult to learn to do the media, but the code is not as straightforward. So I tried looking for help around in order to do some specific things that were hard.

Every single programming question I deployed on the net was received with an elitist disregard, sending me to read tons of papers and stuff I don't really have an use for, specially because even if I try I can't understand it. They assume you have high education in MIT and you had to start from mainframes like they did or something. This is specially true on the IRC channel #opengl, where everyone seems to be too elite to deal with n00bs and giving incredibly obfuscated replies generally being more of a "don't bother me you fucking ignorant n00b".

Unfortunately I don't know anyone else who codes around me (this country is not specially literate on IT), since most of my people are laborers like me who'd rather watch TV and get drunk instead of venturing into a coding project. And I can't blame them because unless you reinvent the wheel infinitely you are doomed to be inferior to the top dogs there. They limit knowledge sharing with their arrogant and "I am better than you" attitude, and it's sickening.

There would be far more indie games and open stuff if they weren't so stubbornly elitist and shared that knowledge because it's going to die when they do otherwise.

Eccentricity has its limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785583)

Many people have quirks - but if it is causing an issue it should be addressed by the manager.

As much as one might think they are, no one is indispensable.

You're seeing the long term effects of isolation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785605)

Programming, and engineering in general, is a solitary practice. Living in your own head so often for so long makes you weird. Period.

Re:You're seeing the long term effects of isolatio (1)

Thiez (1281866) | about 5 years ago | (#29785713)

Agreed. I tried to solve this by going out more and meeting new peoples, but the voices wouldn't let me.

Yes, like garbage men (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785669)

Developers have always struck me as people who have absolutely no desire to think. They want you to tell them when, where, and how (via email of course). In a way I guess that makes them weird because they are long-term introverts who have to, now and then, actually talk to people.

In my view it would be roughly the same situation if you took garbage men and sat them down among professionals to do a dev job. Very rare is the person who has decided to focus on IT AND has a well developed set of people skills. So I think it is less that they are weird and more that they are pushed into social situations because dev work can't be 100% behind a screen.

All the logic goes to coding (1)

riT-k0MA (1653217) | about 5 years ago | (#29785707)

I've noticed many programmers, including myself, act completely illogically outside of work (and on breaks). My personal theory is that everyone has a finite amount of logic, some more than others, and coders use up most of theirs at work. Hence acting wierd and illogically away from their computers.

Maybe that's why one cannot code some days. The Logic Reserve is depleted.

Article author is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785717)

The first is from an Eric Clapton song “Crossroads” Everybody knows Robert Johnson wrote "Crossroads Blues". The Tommy Johnson character in Brother Where Art Thou? is based on this song. The song was written in 1936, so it predates Clapton by just a bit...

Weird, or just plain socially annoying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785745)

I work in a small company that has an in-house programmer on staff who creates small custom utilities to help with many day-to-day work tasks.

He's quite stereotypical in that he lives off Coca-cola, spends his free time playing online role playing games, and at 31 is still a self-confessed virgin. (He does not, however, live with his mother -- he owns his own house.)

But this guy completely lacks social grace. He's loud, obnoxious, crude, and has no concept of "when to shut up", especially around female employees.

However, the worst part is lack of personal hygenie: Rarely showers, rarely does his laundry, has breath to kill a small country, and has not yet discovered the miracle of toilet paper. (Even after I not-so-subtly hung a Tommy Toilet poster on the bathroom wall...)

After numerous complaints from numerous staff, he now slathers on cologne in an attempt to hide his smell, but the result is more of a vulgar mix of feces, sweat, BO, and cologne. Ugh.

Although he does his work reasonably well (nothing sterling, mind you) his eccentricities will be his undoing. Pretty much everyone wishes this loud-mouthed stink-bomb to be fired, myself included.

Weird can be acceptable, even entertaining, but it has limits.

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