19

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I've been wondering if there are certain personality types that are drawn to programming. If you've taken this test, please post your types here and I'll compile the results.

Update: There have been a few answers regarding the erroneous nature of the results from a Myers Briggs personality test. Please take this into consideration if you're using this for anything important. For me, I'm really just curious.

The nature of this question, to me at least, implies that the results of this test have merit. Please limit the answers to actual personality types. Thanks!

20 accepted

INFP

When you are one. You know it. We live on our own planet ;)


@[bill d] Re: frontend/backend.

Webdev. Php & MySQL backends ( Probably a strength ), Do a little frontend (JS), can do the symantic/logcical part of html&css, just my only design skills that work are 'minimalist', so you could consider me more back-oreinted with front being a weakness.


12:26 pm GMT 7 Oct 2008 ( Not sure if my method of counting is the same as duistmans )

 INTJ  : 9
 Mutliple/Indeterminate: 6 
 INTP  : 6 
 ENTJ  : 3 
 Not Specified : 3 
 ENTP  : 2 
 ISTJ  : 2 
 ISTP  : 2 
 ENFP  : 2 
 ISFP  : 1
 INFP  : 1
 -------------
         37
I___ 20
E___ 7

_N__ 22 
_S__ 5

__T_ 18
__F_ 9

___J 14
___P 14 

Punnet Square of MBTI Types So far:

EDIT There was an image here, but image hosting vanished. AGAIN.

19

I'm an INTJ. In my undergrad software engineering class, we all took the test so that the professor could equitably split up the various personalities, so that each group would have a good mix. Out of a class of 30, there were 26 INTJs, and 4 others (who I think were all NT). So, every group (of 5) but one got somebody who wasn't INTJ.

Many folks I've worked with in programming or software engineering (or other engineering, for that matter) have been NTJ, and almost all of them have been NT (at least, in so far as they have divulged their type).

I think the combination of high-level thinking, affinity for abstractions, and the proficiency for (and delight in) building things, along with a high value for competency, (in self and others), and ability to thrive in a meritocracy attracts NT types, particularly INTJs to engineering more than other professions.

16

INTP!

9

INTJ

8

The whole Myers Briggs thing, no matter how widely it is used, is most likely very unreliable, its real value being close to horoscopes, numerology, and other pseudosciences.

The Wikipedia Myers Briggs Type Indicator entry or a The Skeptic's Dictionary MBTI entry could serve as a good starting point for skeptical inquiry for anyone interested.

6

Yes and No

Since Myers-Briggs is a highly subjective (read "dubious") mechanism to asses people, the question seems unanswerable.

Reference

4

INFJ!

4

I am an ENTP.

When compiling your statistics remember that in the broader world, 3/4 of people are E, and 3/4 are S. The other two are even with a bias towards T among men, and towards F among women. According to the figures at the top right now, we have 20 people, of which 3/4 are I and 3/4 are N.

This suggests that programming has a very strong bias towards people who are I and N. (In fact I've personally experienced how being strongly extroverted is a disadvantage in programming.) Which confirms what I've heard elsewhere.

4

INFP

but i find the myers-briggs personality test quite ridiculous. it's worse than astrology. and trying to extend outward from one of these results is just dangerous.

3

According to The Jargon File:

In terms of Myers-Briggs and equivalent psychometric systems, hackerdom appears to concentrate the relatively rare INTJ and INTP types; that is, introverted, intuitive, and thinker types (as opposed to the extroverted-sensate personalities that predominate in the mainstream culture). ENT[JP] types are also concentrated among hackers but are in a minority.

3

I'm basically an ENFP. We're out there--often having cool ideas, communicating them with enthusiasm, and getting them to sort-of work. :-)

I think it's a type of personality that's well suited to Agile teams.

3

ISTJ. My comments in bold:

"ISTJs thrive on organization (yep). They keep their lives and environments well-regulated (yep). They bring painstaking attention to detail in their work and will not rest until satisfied with a job well done (prime characteristics of developers methinks).

ISTJs are faithful, logical, organized, sensible, and earnest traditionalists. They earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Shutting out distractions, they take a practical, logical approach to their endeavors. Realistic and responsible, they work steadily toward their goals. They enjoy creating order in both their professional and personal lives. (pretty accurate description of me)

Centered on their inside world, ISTJs are persons of thoughts and (sometimes) emotions. They prefer dealing with the present and factual, using various options to make decisions. They are also keen observers of life, well prepared for most eventualities, and have a good understanding of most situations. They believe in practical objectives and they value traditions and loyalty. (I didn't find anything I disagreed with in this appraisal)"

Edit: I also got a kick out of this page:

Possible Career Paths for the ISTJ:

  • Business Executives, Administrators and Managers
  • Accountants and Financial Officers
  • Police and Detectives
  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts, and Computer Specialists
  • Military Leaders

Heh.

3

Just giving the the letters is pretty much meaningless. I worked in a group that did similar types of personality tests to try and help teach people about communication. On many of the indicators people scored very borderline...

So simply declaring INTJ doesn't tell us much... A hard core INTJ is very different than one with borderline scores.

2

I believe that I am an ISTJ, but I learned in a class that the results of the MBTI tests are greatly influenced by your current state and is not that good of a predictor.

2

INFJ

Am I the only one?
Suddenly I'm wondering if I've made a catastrophic carreer choice and wasted my life!
Help! I need counselling!

EDIT

It's interesting that @BenAlabaster comments that he can be INFJ or ENFJ depending on the day. I am sometimes INTJ. It makes sense, I guess, but I wonder how many of us are in danger of putting ourselves in a box which doesn't really exist. In other words: these personality tests are to help us unlock our potential; we mustn't let them limit us!
:)

2

I've done this test a number of times over a relatively short period and got some fairly conflicting answers, so I don't know that I'd want to rely on this for anything important. Of course, it could just mean I've got schizophrenic tendencies; I seem to be a bi-polar introvert/extrovert... :P

I think this tends to vary a huge amount between my "modes" of thought: If I'm in concentration mode, I hate to be disturbed, dislike human interaction and can become quite irritable if anyone interrupts me because it disturbs my train of thought and concentration.

Once I switch out of concentration mode though, I become the polar opposite and am very social. I'm not sure if that's common across a lot of programmers though or if that's really the sign of something I should have checked out by a shrink... hehe.

INFJ/ENFJ

1

I am an ENTJ.

1

I was ISTP about 12 years ago. I'm not so sure if it still holds.

I would seriously doubt anybody here would be a xxFx.

edit Damn! Proven wrong! I wouldn't think there'd be a programmer who likes to make their decisions based on feeling rather than thinking...

1

ENTP for life, baby.

/^.NT.$/ are very common types - if you believe in Meyer-Briggs, that is.

1

I've typed myself as an ENFP, some resources do list computer programmer as a good profession for us. Hopefully ability as a programmer doesn't hinge on being introverted or extroverted

1

ISTP. I'm pretty sure that's one or two letters off from the last time i took one of these tests... According to 41q, i'm one tick-mark closer to S than N, so my guess is that's what's changed.

Instructions aside, i'm not sure how you could take one of these tests without being influenced by the way you want yourself to be perceived... And that changes with time and experience. "Everybody lies", and the lies you tell others start with the lies you tell yourself.

1

I'm a little surprised to see everyone put so much stock in an arbitrary classification. The idea that you have to belong to one group or another smells of groupthink. it's not just here either - I've noticed people being labeled by their Myers-Briggs class on Reddit and Hacker News.

Anyways, according to the test, I'm INTJ, but I think that I exhibit characteristics of all classifications in different situations.

1

ENFP here, fairly rare in our industry I think. Probably why I get along well with artists.

1

It seems I am ENFJ

0

I would say that probably, though there are exceptions to every rule.

Microsoft does similar testing the (the true colors test) for its orientiation training for new folks in is consulting organization, and it's generally accepted that the more technical roles are filled by "green" people.

For me a lot of it has to do with people versus ideas. I'm an ideas guy. I'm INTJ.

0

I'm an INTJ

0

I'm pretty sure my last result was INFP. But 3 of the dimensions were very near the center, and it's very possible they may have flipped.

0

I'm INxP. I've taken the test a few times over the years, and usually score INTP, but a couple times have been INFP. Always, the T/F score has been near the center. But the fact that it's not always the same seems to confirm what others have said about the subjective nature of the test.

0

I agree with Al.

I have taken the test twice, at very ifferent stages of my life / state of wellbeing, a few years apart. On the first occasion, I was typed as an INTJ. On the second, much more recently, I was an ESFP. While a couple of the metrics were fairly boderline in both cases, those two are complete oppostites of each other, hence I regard the MBTI as a pretty useless measure of someones personality.

0

half INFP, half INTP it's ambiguous - took the MB twice and am in the middle with F vs T

0

We seem to have a fair selection of types here!

I've taken several tests and always seem to come out as ENTJ

0

ISFP, and married to an another ISFP (tech writer)

From the wikipedia description:

"They are very sensitive to balance and understand well what does or does not fit, whether in a work of art or any other aspect of their lives."

hmm, maybe that's why I wound up gravitating toward UI work. :)

I wonder how types relate to people's specialization areas ("back-end" vs "front-end" developers, generalists, etc).

0

Since Steve Duitsman is keeping score, I'm INTJ. Given the current results of this survey and as people with this indicator are purportedly meant to comprise less than 1% of the population, I'd be interested to read the results of a formal study on this, with a greater sample size.

0

INTP

Concerning reliability of MB, I would say it depends largely on who is administering the test. Self-testing results are probably not as reliable as professional results. And, I wouldn't be surprised if Extraverts are even worse at self-testing accuracy, but that's just me.

Oh, yes, my INTP rating is from self-testing. :-)

0

INTP. After reading the description of the page where i took the test, I would have guessed that most programmers would be INTP. Shows what i think.

0

I am ISTJ.

0

I am INTJ.

0

INTP

56 38 38 22

0

ENTJ for what it's worth.

0

INTP. Sometimes INTJ. Seems to depend on what test is taken. Always INT though.

0

Another INTP here

0

I fall under ESTJ, which sounds just about right to be honest, although I fall somewhat between E and I.

0

Anther INTP

0

Another INTJ here.

0

I've read studies on this, and the answer is that there is no evidence that any myers-briggs type is particularly suited to a programming career.

Indeed, there is no evidence that myers-briggs means anything at all. I think that best that can be said about it is that it is a psychological curiousity.

0

I am ENFP.

0

for me too. I think that many years ago I was an INTJ, but I am not sure.

0

INTJ here also...

0

ENTP here. As far as someone mentioned about these tests not being accurate due to changes in your life, i.e. scoring one way and then having the polar opposite personality type ten years later is one way of looking at things. People change as they grow older.

Some dont. I took this test when I was 10. I was an XNXP (x = scoring exactly 50 on each). I've taken it a number of times over the years, and still, XNXP. Although sometimes I come up as an ENTP or INFP. Either way, it's all very close, and essentially the same results minus 5 points or so.

Some people change. Some don't. If you don't change, the test may very well be accurate. If you do change, well maybe engineering isn't the best career option for you anymore.

Sure, maybe the test is bullshit, but as the OP says, he's not concerned about that.

ENTP - Actionscript Developer

0

I am a ENTJ :)

0

I've seen the assertion that 25% of programmers have attention-deficit disorder. Does anyone have an idea if that correlates to M-B categories?

0

ESTP - I'm a team leader on a fairly fast changing project and I'm pretty sure that having worked in that way for the past couple of years definetly had an impact on my score in the test when I did it (about 6 months ago).

Also I notice that according to Kent Fredric's post I'm the first one to reply ;-)

0

Another INTJ !!!

0

ENTJ according to the test. Didn't know it, now I am going to get all my friends analyzed :D

0

INTP here.

0

INTJ for me

0

I be an INTJ

0

I failed my Myers Briggs...

0

I seem to be an INTJ.

Silly personality badge

0

INTJ - Not so common across the general population but very common in programming and I've read also very common among CIA analysts...

0

I'm an ENTJ and the Team Leader of the Software Development department at my company.

It would be interesting to see how your stats compare with the relative seniority of those polled as well.

0

INTJ here.

0

INFP

I never like the usual/traditional way of doing things. When everyone around me is doing svn, I'd be the one suggesting git. When everyone is using php, I'd be the one suggesting django or rails. I see that as quiet natural for developers ... but most people around me (in real life), even if they're developers, see me as the one who finds unconventional ways to do stuff.

On the negative side, I tend to procrastinate quiet a bit. For instance, when getting things to work would involve a lot of mundane repetitive (read: boring) tasks.

0

INTJ -

I've found the Myers-Briggs to be a helpful tool. Now, among other things, I always get people to write things down, especially when my 'waffling-on' detector starts tingling.

0

Add an ENTJ

0

xNTP, leaning toward INTP.

To be more specific:

  • E vs I: Slight leaning toward Introversion, but whether I'm Extroverted or Introverted depends on how I feel that day.
  • N vs S: Preference toward Intuition: I live in my own world, but I wander out occasionally.
  • T vs F: Preference toward Thinking: My world is a logical place.
  • P vs J: Strong preference toward Perception. The world just is. I make models of it; I try to understand it; but controlling the whole thing is lunacy.
0

add an ISTJ

0

INTP here.

From what I can gather, the INTJ is focused on the nitty gritty and implementation details.

The INTP are architecture and big picture orientated.

The ISTJ organizes and manages around the other two types.

0

INTP

with INTJ traits (50/50, but I feel "at home" with INTP).

0

ISTJ (sometimes INTJ)

-1

INTP, but it really is horoscope-level stuff.