Five Myths about the Multi-Armed IT Guru to the Programmer’s Day
It is not a secret that myths and stereotypes surround many professions, but most are far from reality. The IT sphere seems mysterious for the uninitiated, but the most mythologized specialist is a programmer. Many stereotypes draw a shaggy introvert with headphones, glasses, and laptop, capable of hacking the Pentagon’s database and fixing the computer. On the eve of the programmer’s day, let us figure out – where is the truth?
By the way, the date for this professional holiday was chosen not by chance. September 13 is the 256th day of the year. This is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte and the highest power of two, which is less than 365.
“There are many myths about programmers. However, our specialists are very different in characters, habits, and activity spheres. Some program websites, others develop solutions for ATMs or POS-terminals, and third – loyalty programs. All of them are distinguished by commitment and enthusiasm to work, which requires knowledge, patience, and diligence. Perhaps, because of their professional dedication, it seems that programmers do not see anything farther than the computer screen,” argues Tomas Augucevičius, Deputy General Director of BS/2, a part of a group Penki kontinentai.
Myth 1. Programmers do not like to communicate
IT professionals spend a lot of time one-on-one with a computer. It is the specificity of software development. However, most programmers work in groups, so it is difficult to forget how to communicate in a team. They communicate with project managers, testers, and colleagues and not only by internal network or Skype. According to the stereotype, it is easier to communicate with programmers online, even in the same room. This circumstance is caused not by the fear of personal contact but by modern technologies, convenience, and accessibility.
There are single introverts among programmers as often as among accountants or librarians. The choice of a profession related to technology, books, or numbers does not show a desire for solitude. There is work, but there is a personal life full of colors, meetings, and communication.
Myth 2. Programmers are careless in clothes and unpretentious in their daily lives
Long ago, the indifference to appearance was a sign of belonging to IT-professionals’ caste. Their long hair and negligence in clothes expressed not the desire to look like a hippie but a reluctance to waste time going to a hairdresser and shopping. This trend is already in the past.
According to Anželika Daujotienė, Head of Human Resources at Penki Kontinentai, nowadays IT companies require a dress code.
“We realize the idea of a neat appearance as a pledge of productive work in our company. There are certain recommendations to the employees’ appearance, but they do not exclude bright colors, movement ease, and creative approach,” says Anželika.
Modern programmers seek comfort. The computer with Internet access, a comfortable armchair, a bed and a fridge with food is not enough for their happy life. Likely, it is the hacker’s image from the film.
Myth 3. All programmers are men
Of course, the number of women is about 3% of the list of famous programmers. Today nothing prevents women from becoming qualified specialists. The programming language — Ada — is named after the first female programmer and — Ada Lovelace. Other examples of well-known female programmers: Adele Goldberg, Lynn Jolitz, Grace Hopper Sophie Wilson.
“There are female programmers in our company. The experience of one of them exceeds 20 years. Ladies are especially attentive to the details and no less successful than man-colleagues are. I can’t entirely agree that there are no good female programmers. Men and women have the same career paths,” says Tomas Augucevičius.
Myth 4. The programmers are almighty mathematical geniuses
The programming success does not depend directly on mathematical abilities. Formally, programming is writing detailed instructions for tasks performing. The good programmer is not a phenomenon with a unique IT gene, born once in a hundred years under a lucky star. A good programmer is a person who likes to learn new things. His main qualities are patience, zeal, and motivation.
Among programmers’ super abilities are hacking bank security systems, social networking accounts, repair of any equipment, various operating system installation, etc.
Talking about programmers like hackers, it is always in the negative sense. Here is the difference: the hackers break, try to get unauthorized access to resources, and programmers to build and fight for data safety.
A huge number of professions in the IT field are not directly related to each other: someone works with hardware, someone — with programs, someone — with networks. Of course, natural curiosity can push anyone to parse the system unit or replace the hard drive, but this is not the main programmer’s job.
Myth 5. The programmers are far from creativity
Is it possible to create a successful program or an interesting computer game using only logic and knowledge? Hardly. It is also inspiration, attention to detail, imagination, and the magical process of creating a new product. The programmers express their creative abilities and abstract ideas in work. They transmit their interests and passions, emotions and passions through their programs, as artists use paints on canvas. Besides, nobody canceled hobbies after work.
“Our team is full of talents: singing, extreme sports, motorcycle or traveling. Realizing themselves in creativity, employees bring inspiration and new ideas to work,”- says BS/2 Deputy General Director.
These are only the most popular myths about the IT-specialists. However, the professional’s representative can debunk any myth, but the discussion can turn into an exciting activity during the programmer’s day celebration.