Nowadays, there is much talk about soft skills. They are immersed in all work sectors but have greater recognition in software development environments.
The profile of the traditional software developer is known to work individually within a versatile team with roles requiring different skills, which are strongly influenced by their personalities. Have you ever encountered a programmer from whom getting the words out is complicated? This particular aspect leads to understanding the communication problems that many software teams have, but that is another topic.
People stereotype the behavior of software professionals as introverts who work alone in the corner of their office, who hate interaction, and who are typical nerds. However, the specialties within software engineering today are so diverse that they encompass a wide range of personality nuances.
Although software engineering attracts people of all psychological types, certain traits are more clearly represented than others in this field.
Let’s see what psychology says about the personality profiles of software developers.
It has become prevalent among researchers to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to assess personality, which establishes four main dimensions. These dimensions are combined with eight characters, and 16 personality types are created in the end.
Studies conducted specifically on development professionals show results in which different types of personalities are obtained within this field. However, some characters are more prevalent than others.
The most prominent personality type is a combination of Introversion (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), and Judgment (J).
Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I): indicates how the person prefers to relate to others.
In most research, it is common to find that the first predominant personality trait among programmers is introversion. Extroverts tend to be people-oriented, while introverts are more comfortable with the world of ideas.
Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N): reflects how the person processes the information they receive in a practical style or by inference.
Regarding this dimension, in developers, between 80 and 90% of the sensory component predominates over intuition, meaning that programmers receive information from their five senses and are in tune with the practice and common sense of information. Because of this, it is common to see the image of creative professionals who solve complicated problems, free from routine and monotony.
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F): from where the person makes decisions, whether guided by logic or emotions.
They are more of a thinker type, preferring to analyze logical/objective data. They are persistent and persevering, results-oriented, and pay attention to details, maintain an open, logical, and analytical style.
Judgment (J) vs. Perception (P): denotes how the person prefers to lead their life in a structured or spontaneous style.
Concerning this dimension, some studies suggest that the Judgement type is predominant since they prefer jobs that require order.
They are motivated by working between planned agendas that have a logical basis. It is discouraging for a programmer to work on commitments whose planning and logic they are unaware of.
In short, most software engineers (ISTJ) are technically oriented and prefer to work with facts and reasons rather than people.
They are not so much oriented towards recognition but rather value autonomy, the possibility of learning, using new techniques, participating in the planning, and respecting their private life.
They share interests with people engaged in scientific and professional activities, with people whose vocations include mathematics, nature, and music.
You may identify with this particular group or, ultimately, differ completely and define your personality as a developer differently. Either way is valid. It all works because of what motivates you. If you are a technical leader, it is clear that you are more oriented to people management. On the other hand, some can reach a position as leaders but prefer to continue programming. Others opt for tasks such as technical consulting and the like. The most important thing is to recognize your skills and personality traits so that these can flow according to your interests and make the perfect match for professional success.
By Paula Ballesteros