Musicology


My short time in the coding/startup world has left me with a few revelations, and this is just one of many. I must preface this by saying that this is my opinion, and we all know what they say about opinions, so if you don’t like it, I don’t know what to tell you.


If you walk through any startup, development shop, tech center — hell, even in your own company’s elusive “tech guy’s” office — you will find this staple. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors (which alone can tell you a lot about the person wearing them). Headphones. Yes, I’m talking about headphones, but instead of the headphones themselves, I would like to explore what they are listening to. You see, developers are like artists in that they all have their own style. I believe what a developer is listening to can tell you a lot about their personality and in turn their development style. To prove my point, let’s take a look at some musical styles.

Classical: This developer is noticeable right away. The major thing that gives them away is PERFECT indentation and spacing — no matter the language, everything is exactly where it should be, and their code is very easy to read because everything just lines up and make sense. Along with this, they make very little mistakes; some might call them a perfectionist. Classical coders might be older, but they can probably tell you about Mosaic and how the internet really works.

Jazz/Blues: This developer is going to surprise you. When you first look at their code, it will make absolutely no sense. Miles Davis quoted it best, “I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.” This developer might work long nights, partake in some questionable substances, and hate morning meetings, but make no mistake, this person is a workhorse. If no one in your office can make it work, this person will; it’s a passion and all about love for this developer. If jazz musicians understand jazz music, jazz coders understand jazz code.

Rock: This is where things get interesting. This developer is probably the majority of senior developers; these coders have been around the block — seen it all, done it all. They probably started out as a computer science major studying technical coding manuals (classical music), but after that, they progressed to a little jazz/blues until they found their own style. They’re a lot easier to read than jazz coders, but don’t have quite the perfectionism as classical coders. Rock coders understand deadlines, budgets, and seeing a job through to completion; they also have a great appreciation of maintenance. While every great rock band releases “masters”, every great rock coder releases version 2.0.

Pop: I hate to say it, but this is mostly the newbies. This developer is in love with and developing in whatever the latest and greatest is — Ruby, Python, ReactJS, Angular, you name it, and they will tell you why it is the best. Now, this isn’t always bad, a lot of great developers come from this group, and these are the people that are developing the next unicorn, but just as hippies weren’t “cool” in the 60’s, hipsters aren’t “cool” now.

EDM: **Sitting on my high horse** This is not personal, but the computers that make this music are just buying time until the machines take over, after that they will then turn humans into beatboxes. That being said, this developer can repair a motherboard, build a server, and write very functional code; they have an understanding of computers that very few humans ever care to understand. Lunch talk is about performance testing, nanoseconds, and how to make fallout 4 better. Odds are they don’t get along very well with sales or design because “they don’t get it.” This developer is an office staple — stay on their good side, if not you may have some unforeseen zero day vulnerabilities.


I’m interested to know what kind of music are you listening to?

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