8 different types of programmers

Here are 8 different types of programmers that I have encountered in different web development projects during the last decade.

Which one is you?

1. MacGyver

The one who will understand and fix your problems fast. She does not care about code quality much, and will never fix any indentation errors in other people’s code. She will use duct tape if she has to.

Can actually write good code from time to time, and is happy when other people is refactoring her code for her - as long as it works just as good afterwards.

The whole app will be hard to fix if this person ever goes away. Always delivers faster than anyone expects, and always makes the customer and managers happy.

Does not work well with The Perfectionist.

2. Mister 90%

The one who almost fixes the problem, but always misses something that makes the whole feature unusable or sloppy. Cares more about the code than how the end results works.

His progress will look great at first, since he ticks off many items on the to do-list – but you will be greatly disapponted since every issue has to be opened again.

Does not go well with testers, but is good at keeping deadlines. Combine this person with MacGyver and you have a good team.

3. The Rewriter

Can never leave a piece of code untouched if she sees something that can be refactored. Can spend more time on refactoring a non-relevant part of the codebase than she spends on solving the actual problem.

Has the best test suite in history, but it is always red because a rewrite is in progress.

If you give an existing project in PHP and MySQL to this person, she will start rewriting it with Go with a NoSQL-database. Then she will ask what the problem was that needed to be fixed.

4. The perfectionist

Could be the same as The Rewriter but this person needs his own code to be perfect. Can spend days on a task that takes a couple of minutes for McGyver but the resulting code is impeccable.

Gets really annoyed when looking at code written by anyone else. You never want this person to do your code reviews.

The Perfectionist can never do time estimates because perfection has no time frame.

5. The Copy-and-Paste coder

Does not really know what she is doing, but got her job a long time ago. She thanks higher powers every day for backups and code versioning systems, because when she tries to do something there is a good chance that something is going to break.

Likes to fix things in production environments, because her local development copy never works. Spends half of her days on Stack Overflow.

6. The Experimenter

Always tries out new editors, frameworks, build tools, programming languages and keyboards. He is really keen on trying out the latest shiny new thing for your next project. Will spend weeks on a setup, only to change to something better the next day.

Nobody knows anything about the quality of his code, because he never delivers anything - but he is always experimenting with new stuff.

Goes well with The Rewriter.

7. The Spaghetti Coder

Constantly cutting corners to meet deadlines. Is probably one of the most productive in the office since she constantly ships new features, but leaves a trails of undocumented, untested code that even she won’t understand a month later.

In the long run she probably creates more problems than she solves, but is great for keeping deadlines and shipping stuff early. Checks in all your secret API-key in your open source project on Github, because that was the quickest and simplest solution.

Does not comply with The Perfectionist but creates a lot of work for The Rewriter.

8. The Pseudo-coder

A manager who thinks he can get people to understand things better by writing pseudo-code.

  price of beer is less than 10
  do order drink
  exit foobar

In reality he sounds like someone talking to a child. “Oh, how cute! Can you give that red ball to mommy? Good programmer!”