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Recently on Golem was an article about characterizing a developer (it’s written in german). In the article the author Maja Hoock talked about the problem that very opposite characters can influence the software development process negative – from my own experience, that’s true and sometimes it’s not true. 

In conclusion, it is important to know what developer characters work in a team. At this point the article introduced two people, Matthias Wittum and Christian Rehn, who had an idea how to call the characters (ninja, sorcerer, gardener and more) and how to distinguish between them. Kindly, they did not keep their thoughts for themselves but have created a website in english language with a self-test 🙂 

From this point on the thing became really funny and interesting. The character titles reminded me of a hero group from a role playing game like Wizardry. I was really busy with the self-test because you must agree to a maximum of five statements within a group of different statements. Even if you would say that other statements fits to you and your opinion … just five please.

At the end I got my result: The Technician. Well, that doesn’t sound glorious. Sounds a bit like the person who is fixing my car or the elevator. Fire fighter would be cool or even better, a Ninja. No matter, I will check if Technician was the right result.

Just one thought at the end of this blog. Perhaps there is a question in your next job interview like “What developer character are you?“. So what’s your answer? Let me know, hope you will have the same fun as I had …




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      1. Matthew Billingham

        Is the motto for a magician “Be afraid, be very afraid“?.

        Or perhaps – do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are quick to anger and not all that subtle.

    1. Michael Keller Post author

      Interesting word “box” … that reminds me on one thought I had after finishing the self-test: Thinking in categories and boxes is typical in the west. Try to talk about categories and boxes with a chinese daoist monk 😉

      1. Mike Pokraka

        Actually the term ‘box’ was an attempt at irony. The best approach is the one that’s the most suited to the problem at hand. Sometimes that’s ninja stealth tactics, other times it’s a sledgehammer. It takes experience to know the difference.

        Does that make me a software monk? 🙂

        Edit: But the result is not far off from my favourite style of working, so I still think it’s a pretty good test.

        1. Michael Keller Post author

          “software monk” sounds like a character from Shadowrun or Ghost in the Shell. A mix of different characters can be explosive or boring. I agree with you, it’s really a question what you need.

    1. Michael Keller Post author

      Developers often think of themselves as the only sane person in the room. This, as you may know, is also a trait of the clinically insane.” I like the introduction 🙂 Thanks for sharing.


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