DEV Community

Discussion on: We need representatives! (syndicates, agents ...)

Collapse
bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G. Author

Yes, I exaggerated on purpose of course, I was preparing my election speech :)).

But ... I think you are biased, if you go to conferences and social gatherings you see the developers that "pass" a certain threshold of ... don't know the term, I call it "they hatched". From my experience these devs are not representative (in my small circles are < 15%), hopefully I'm wrong and in a few years I will contradict myself (by meeting a lot more devs).

I cannot not put this stereotype to rest unfortunately, most of the technical people I know they are introverts, they do not want to engage with others and so they do not care/or "train" their communication skills. They do however communicate very well in their teams, but that is it, nothing outside of their comfort zone. Only the minimal interaction to do their jobs.

I haven't properly studied this area of physiology (yet), but I'm pretty sure a "lot" of devs are attracted by this job specially because they have to deal more with "machines" and less with "people".

Now I noticed the opposite too, once "they hatch", and meet other peers, they change their behavior at 180 degrees, they speak about their work with passion, they start to involve in projects.

Collapse
citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl • Edited on

You're of course entitled to your opinions, including the one about my bias. :-)

Let's go on a slight tangent for the sake of argument though: another common stereotype about people in software is that their rates of depression are above average (disclaimer: I've been diagnosed with dysthymia/chronic depression and had treatments for it in the past, so this one hits closer to home than the introvert/extrovert debate). Yet studies by public health authorities didn't confirm this and in some cases the numbers were actually even below the population average:

oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/depression/occu...
hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr168.pdf

I'm not saying you're guilty of this, but confirmation bias is real and strong: if someone already believes that most developers are introverts, everyone who meets the criteria will reaffirm their bias, while extroverted developers will be written off as exceptions. Researchers estimate that roughly half to three quarters of people are extroverted, so that number being < 15% in software developers would be so significantly different that there'd be studies all over the place.