If you go back a few years, the world had a very limited (read limiting) view of developers. They were all men, sitting around, wasting away in a dark corner somewhere (which directly contradicts the history of software programming) — fuelled only by stimulants and their not-so-latent desire to overthrow the government. They all wore black. They all preached anarchy and many of them managed these tasks in-between fighting with their moms over how much time they were spending on games. I think it’s fair to say that this was never an entirely fair representation but it is one that’s lodged itself in the minds of many an ignorant bystander.
So what are we seeing today? The same slouched-over creature, locked in a dark, cold room somewhere? Absolutely not (well, not always). There’s a new school of developers challenging these stereotypes, which is a refreshing change from the caricature we’ve come to know and begrudgingly love.
In a kind of rebellion, the new-age developer has taken on many faces
At the risk of perpetuating other stereotypes, there are some commonalities between new-school developers. I was recently introduced to the term “brogrammers” which I found both delightful, and horrifying, all at once.
However, there’s no arguing that a sub-sect of the development community (of all races, creeds and genders) are absolute health freaks, helping to challenge the perception that devs barely move, and manifest ambition in their work instead of their appearance.
Nowadays, you can’t always tell the difference between a developer and the guy who might try and sell you black-market testosterone at the gym. Maybe she’s a back-end programmer, maybe she’s a DC character who was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and given life by Aphrodite — you actually just don’t know.
One rule to bind them…
But for every new stereotype that exists, there is one general rule: Developers are people and people won’t ever fit entirely into one perceptional box. So that means there isn’t really such a thing as a brogrammer, however funny that concept might be, or a dark-room dev or a band T-shirt dev or a woman-in-glasses dev. These are just a combination of attributes that any developer could have and shouldn’t stop us from seeing programmers, and indeed anyone, as complex and multi-faceted individuals. It seems obvious but is it really? and what has this meant for the new wave of developers taking to their keyboards?
Who are developers?
I asked 3 Nona developers whether or not they see themselves as a stereotypical dev, and here’s what they had to say:
“While I do spend a lot of my life in an inadequately lit room, coding away, the windows of time not spent coding aren’t defined by my being a developer. If I share anything with ‘the classical developer’, it would be the obsession with problem solving and occasionally shouting at code that obviously can’t hear me”. — Wisani
“Being a dev has allowed me to be a loner with tons of friends — who I get to see, and work with, all the time. Its a perfect mix for the social introvert”. — Ryan
I think people envision developers as nerds who play Dungeons and Dragons and wear glasses, and sometimes they do — but I don’t see myself as entirely that kind of developer. I come from a creative background and it was a natural progression from the design work I did before. I’m in it for the challenge. — Sol
If you’re a multi-faceted developer who’s interested in excelling and being nurtured as an individual, we may have a place for you. Contact email@example.com to find out.