Real Programmers are nerds
A few years ago I joked with a friend that she should be in marketing because she had never read Lord of the Rings. I was joking as she's actually a pretty accomplished architect and developer, but it's been in the back of my mind for a while. When I was a youth, all the good programmers I knew were 2600-buying, RPG-playing (pen and paper, Nintendo, pc and mud), David Eddings-reading, Star Trek quoting nerds. These aren't your new fashionable nerds who go to the gym and know how to remove DRM from iTunes songs. These were real "afraid of girls" kind of nerds. The kind of guys who would come in over a week-end and re-write the entire app so it would be cooler (of course this is still the late 80s and early 90s so I'm not talking real programmers).

So as a youth I always equated technical prowess with nerdiness. Here's a very basic chart (showing elvish before the movies came out, so it was much, much worse). I got to grow up around pc shops when they were run by super nerds who built their own boxes out of computer shopper and let you borrow civ1.

But as I entered the work force, I started coming across programmers who were doing it for the money, not because it seemed so cool in an Arthur C. Clarke or William Gibson book. Now there are more competent programmers who wouldn't know Star Wars from Star Trek and don't remember Legos back when they were really cool and castle walls came in 50 pieces not one.

I guess this trend is a good thing. If you've ever tried to discuss design or functional testing with someone who hasn't bathed in 3 days and responds in Klingon you know how unpleasant it can be. I still think that someone who loves programming will outperform someone who just is in it for the money, but I guess you can now love programming and not be a nerd.
Haha - great article. My graphic designer friend didn't understand the elvish thing (he's not a nerd). I even met a great games programmer the other day who'd never heard of ELITE!!!!!
Ha...really funny. Brings back memories...
Ok, so the hat sort of fits, unless you know a bunch of other nerd girls I believe that you are talking about me... :) I have to say, I still don't get the whole "Lord of the Rings" frenzy. I even tried, but couldn't finish watching the movie. Funny how you still remember this...Now if you ask me about Star Wars - that's totally different... I didn't end up in Marketing, but I am giving Sales a try... although I have to say, I miss technology dearly and may still jump back! So, am I a nerd? hmmm... not sure... maybe the brain of a "nerd girl" just works a little bit different... :)
Post a Comment

<< Home
Technical and personal notes from Brian Lee, technologist/enterprise architect/software developer/soa guy.

February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / April 2008 / July 2008 / January 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 /
My Photo
Name: Brian Lee
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States


Powered by Blogger