by Philine Heß
Published in: Background

Programmers are nerds, prefer to work in the dark, like comic shirts, swear all day and are shy of people. Plus, they have weird humor. Everyone knows them - the typical clichés of programmers. But do these illustrations still match reality or are they just ways of thinking? We looked at the work of a programmer and common stereotypes, and found out what companies today actually need in their development departments.

Job cliche: programmer with Pizza in the dark at work
© Drobot Dean / Adobe Stock

The job as a programmer: between pizza and darkness

In the middle of the night, in the dark cellar between pizza boxes and Red Bull cans, programmers are working on their next project. As soon as the sun shines, aluminum curtains protect against the sunlight so that the screens remain the main source of light in the room. Okay, maybe a bit over the top. But often you catch yourself painting this picture out of clichés, think of programmers. Is there really a bit of truth in all of the clichés and if not, how did they get into our heads? Max, our programmer, brings it to the public, exposes clichés and shows us the characteristics that make a good programmer: In a short interview, we asked him if he agrees with common clichés and what the world of programmers really looks like on the job:

• Programmers prefer to work in the dark and some even hang aluminum curtains on the window..... - this is what our programmer says:

“Aluminum curtains maybe not quite. But I can imagine that we like to do that as it doesn't give us any external distractions. We also like to work with dark surfaces. So it's all the better when everything around is dark. The screens are then sometimes the main light sources, so that the focus is increased on them. But many also prefer the bright surroundings. Nevertheless, always pay attention to your health when choosing the light sources. "

• Programmers are shy of people...- does it look like this in reality?

“Depends on the programmer. In fact, I know a lot myself, and I myself am one who doesn't like to chat with strangers. Most of all, we certainly don't like talking to non-computer scientists about computer science. "

• Programmers have weird humor... - what do you think of that, Max?

“Our jokes are usually linked to very specific elements of different technologies that you only know if you see them on a daily basis. With every programmer, these elements have a kind of ‚own personality‘ whose behavior must be known. If so, you can make a joke about it, and everyone else who knows this element will understand. For example a very superficial joke about the class factories known in Java technology:

I had a Problem, so i thought to use Java. Now i have a ProblemFactory.“

• Programmers like to wear comic shirts or shirts with IT slogans / insiders...- is that true?

“Most of them are just very funny, unfortunately mostly insiders. But is always welcome. I was looking for a T-shirt where the standard is at least a bit higher: " *T-shirt with the saying: There are 10 types of people. Those who understand binary code and those who don't understand it* (1)

Info by the way: For everyone who thinks "These are only two types of people." In the binary system, 10 means 2 in decimal.

• Programmers love science fiction films....- Max, is that correct?

“I don't agree. Certainly the intersection among programmers / science fiction fans is relatively high, but things usually have nothing in common. Personally, I am absolutely not a science fiction fan and always loudly correct such films while watching them with regard to computer science. But with all the other films, there is simply no realistic representation of the industry in general. At the moment I don't know any programmer who is really a fan of it."

• Swearing is the only language that all programmers really know....- is there any truth behind it?

“It all depends on the personality. You can't generalize that. But programmers who basically curse more, certainly do this much more intensely. But it is often the case with things that make you nervous because they don't work the way you imagine and you don't know why. You want to get ahead quickly. "

• Programming is a male domain...- what does it really look like?

“In the beginning, programming was still a women's job, because unfortunately this work was still considered 'inferior' at the time. Even this justification is incomprehensible from today's perspective. When it was noticed that computer science is very future-proof, it was literally snatched from women. Anyone can develop software. Fortunately, there are more and more women today who decide to work in the IT industry. There is no reason why they shouldn't do it. "

By the way, you can read about good reasons why women should do this here: → Link blog post: keyweb.de/women-in-IT

• Programmers program all day...- would you agree, Max?

“Very few people program all day long, you also need a contrast. I program in my spare time too. I have a lot of ideas for big projects with a lot of potential, but unfortunately I don't have the time and too often the desire for them. That's why I often only implement small projects (i.e., after-work projects ‘)"

• Where do all the clichés come from?

“Most of the clichés certainly only come from the fact that programmers have a relatively large amount of island knowledge. We know our way around when it comes to databases, OOP, Bits & Bytes, data types and various software technologies. But they are usually overwhelmed by Word, printers, and dishwashers. This is where the typical "Excel is too difficult for me, I program the function myself" comes into play. Furthermore, in the eyes of non-programmers, we are usually talking very confused things that others do not normally understand, but that is how it is in any industry. "

Thank you Max, for the small and interesting insight into the world of programming.

Some approaches to the job clichés are actually found in the real world of programmers. Of course, different clichés simply depend on the individual personality or situation. It's important to view these illustrations with acumen and a bit of humor: the fact that some programmers don't like to talk to strangers doesn't necessarily mean that programmers shy away from people. Many programmers know that good communication is part of the foundation of their work in order to convey ideas well, to understand the needs of customers and colleagues and to make software better from the user's point of view. In addition, programmers don't necessarily have to have weird humor, they have a different sense of humor than non-programmers. It's usually just perceived as strange because lay people don't know the insider jokes.

For all programmers who like to work in the dark, this still means: Take a break and use the sun as a rich source of vitamin D to stay healthy.

Why the job as a programmer is more than you think!

Although the programmer is not a recognized education, you have two options for becoming a programmer. Either with an apprenticeship as an IT specialist for application development or with a degree in computer science. Depending on which area you want to specialize in later, as a programmer you will first dive into a sea of possibilities. From industries and service providers such as trade, mechanical engineering, engineering offices, advertising agencies to artificial intelligence, software manufacturers or hosting providers - programmers are needed almost everywhere. At Keyweb AG we are always looking for qualified programmers who can accompany us on our way through the digital world.

But remember - not all programmers are created equal. We also found out how you can identify good programmers on the job:

What makes good programmers?

In the midst of rapid technological developments, good software developers always stay up to date, they are constantly learning and they also dare to think outside the box. Because: With an agile mindset you can learn new toolsets or technologies in addition to daily problem solving. You confidently take responsibility and are excited to see how it works. Because whatever you do, you need to understand what's going on in the background and how changes to code affect it.

Like detectives in a murder case, good programmers can expose an unprecedented flaw. Good software developers value the code they produce. This is powerful, maintainable, up-to-date, useful and well thought out. Together with IT specialists, designers and other developers, programmers bring their great ideas to the table, work according to agile methods and drive great things forward.

Programming is much more than just entering zeros and ones. If you look carefully you can see how meaningful and diverse the job is today. Each of us uses software in everyday life and it doesn't just come about. It is thanks to our software developers that it exists. So let's rather appreciate the skills of our programmers and look at the clichés with humor.

Would you also like to experience the reality of programming up close and are you interested in a job with us? Then take a look at our careers page: keyweb.de/career


(1) Source: https://images.bonanzastatic.com/afu/images/67d3/6b44/24cb_6380608021/a1gbjqhwhxl._cla_7c2140_2000_7c814isqwmo8l.png_7c0_0_2140_2000_648.0_529.0_809.0_971.0.png