Programmer psychology issues
Does anyone else have the problem that when they write software, they become very good at specifiying things, but feel like they've lost touch with what's obvious? When you're communicating to the machine, it's like nothing is obvious or taken for granted; you have to follow the line of details. Whenever I read anything from programmer friends, when they've been programming a bit, they start repetitively talking about the details of trivial things. When away from the Machine for a while, they become more lively... It's as if the mind has stopped dealing with the blinding details, and latched onto the deeper core.
It depends on the type of person I think. I, being the nerd I am, do lost of computer shit as a hobby (and starting to do some professionally). I just think in a certain manner most of the time. I tend to be in techie-mode a lot. This girl pulled out a makeup kit the other day, one of those little round ones with the mirror in it. Anyway, the first thing I thought of was the AC adapter for an iBook 8-}. I don't know, I think when you think in a certain manner, it shows through a lot.
I can relate to that. After periods of intense coding I behave differently towards the people I meet. I diddnt realize it until my gf told me. I (apparently) become alot less talkative and more observant. She kind of likes it -says I come across as mysterious.
This is quite interesting. A few programmers I've worked with are insanely analytical of other people. Their minds work in a very logical way, and they tend to deconstruct the way other people talk, act and think in an incredibly pedantic and tediously rational way. If someone doesnt do the most logical thing or sends an email that doesnt contain perfect english, then scorn is heaped upon them. I assume this is just a bitter combination of their logical and intellectual prowess combined with a poor understanding and respect of people who dont think in the same way.
>Their minds work in a very logical way, and
One of the techies I work with was staring at me yesterday, when I asked him what he was doing, he said "I'm performing a jedi mind trick", strange but I think he meant it.
yes. programming does affect moods. turn into a zombie! at least, that's what i call it: zombie mode.
Well, personally I dislike the assumption that a logical and critical and quick to judge other people type person is somehow less than human... or the alternative assumption that wimps and people directed by or primarily concerned by "feelings" is somehow more human. If to be human is to be closer to our ape cousins, we might as well all be apes and get it over with.
There is no question that, when working on particularly difficult problems, I'll enter what my wife calls "Tech Mode". Personally, I don't find this to be a matter of analyzing people or being rude, it is more that I'll spend only half my "cycles" paying attention to the people around me (even if talking with them). The remaining cycles, of course, are still silently turning over the problem I'm facing. With most people, this isn't even an issue (how many cycles do you need to comment on the weather?). In deeper conversations, though, it can be embarrasing: "Where were we?" or "Um, uh, yes, of course" (to myself: "I hope that was the right answer...").
Do you really have the impression that programmers are more rational and less emotional than other people? I do not agree. Actually, most of the programmers I know, including myself of course, can be breathtakingly emotional, especially, but not only, when it comes to their line of work.
Thinking further about it, sometimes you just need to be a bit anti-social to get the job done, I mean, you need to think, and sometimes think hard, and sometime produce a lot of code fairly quickly because your backside is on the line and its what you get paid to do. Being social and chatting and not being zoned could leave you with a bad resume. Of course some people can get the job done without building a wall around them, sometimes though, I need the wall or its not going to happen.
Tony: True. I need a wall... It's something I need any time I'm doing any serious work. I can crank out code if I know exactly what I'm, doing, but if I am required to figure anything out, anything much more than 'fill-in-the-blank'/'code-by-number' already designed systems, I need to tune out *everything*.
> sometimes though, I need the wall or its not going to happen.
Wired had an interesting article back in December that discussed a mild form of autism, called Asperger's syndrome, that's becoming prevalent in geek world:
Don't forget the self-selection in disciplines. I think that analyzing and writing code exercises your analytical muscles. But people who are inclined to be analytical in that way, will tend to go into this kind of work. That's why a lot of us are like that--it's a mode we're comfortable in, and we tend to think that way even more naturally when it's a large part of our work, We get into a groove we like.
Thinking even more about it...
When I'm in the zone and someone interrupts me I generally turn and face them while staying in the zone. I don't listen to what they say, using "yes dear" responses while continuing on with my project in my mind, sooner or later they realise this and go away. If it's my boss she just looks at me with "the look" until I snap out of it (which usually takes several minutes) and even then I'm only partially with her depending on the amount of time I was "away". It must drive ppl crazy.
Jack lives over there -->
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