Are most programmers male?

Peter Hansen peter at
Mon Aug 12 05:15:04 CEST 2002

"Dilton McGowan II wrote:
> "Peter Hansen" <peter at> wrote:
> > I deal far more with people than with computers in my day to day work.
> > I hire people who know how to deal with people well.  I don't hire
> > "programmers", I hire intelligent, enthusiastic people with good
> > communication skills, who have be trained or learned to program.
> > And one of those "anti-social engineer types with no people skills".
> I'd trade a half-dozen social types who can program for one anti-social
> engnieer who can really program and will sit 24 hours straight to sove a
> difficult programming problem to meet a deadline. You do need the social
> types who can program because they're better at communicating with the
> customer to gather requirements. You need the hermit engineer to actually
> build the core product or service.

Having actually worked with and above several anti-social engineer
types, I can't agree with that.  The "ASE" will not even be in the loop
on what the problem is, nor will he be able to communicate what he did
or why he did it that way when he's done.  He might well solve an 
entirely different problem than the one that needed solving, or will
solve it in a ridiculously complicated way when if he could work with
one or two others effectively somebody might point out to him that
he doesn't need to pull an all-nighter... there's already a library
module that does the job!

Also, 24 hours straight generally creates more problems than it 
solves.  Have you never pulled an all-nighter and the next day and 
then tried to maintain the code you produced during this stint? 

Programming is more about communication than problem solving, IMHO.

Clearly this is a religious issue, so I guess the silver lining is
that between us we provide gainful employment for both types. :-)


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