Have you ever heard the phrase: “I don’t want to be an engineer, I want to work with people!” I have heard it so many times. In my experience engineering jobs are all about working with people. But others disagree[bibshow], “extroverts are extremely uncommon among programmers” while others are neutral [bibcite key=”citeulike:9782651″].
A new study by cuban researchers shows an interesting trend – programmers tend to be more extrovert than in earlier studies [bibcite key=”citeulike:9771585″]. They performed an MBTI test on a number of programmers and the most common personality type was the ESTJ – extroverted, sensing, thinking, judging – type.
Varona et al. hypothesize that the shift towards more extroverted personality types is caused by a need for ever more collaboration among engineers. Not least because of the shift towards highly collaborative practices such as agile software development.
Would extroverted programmers bring their laptop to the beach? Programmer on "Vacation" by M. Keefe, on Flickr
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It would be very interesting to see if they can expand on their research by looking at a larger population of programmers, perhaps across cultures. It would also be very interesting to see some statistical analysis of the results to see where the personality types are significantly different from the average cuban professional. And finally, which personality types are most successful?