Developer divide: 19 generations of computer programmers

If you've been coding for any amount of time, you will probably recognize many of these generational traits in yourself, your coworkers, and the programming community at large.

IBM 1620
Credit: flickr/

Other language of choice: JavaScript Special skill: Figuring out how to make the layout manager work Social media strategy: Posts pictures to Instagram and Hipstamatic but never uses words Other career choice: Mortgage foreclosure processor Clothing: Hoodie Rhetorical tic: "This will sell millions." Car: BMW Song: Feist's "1234" or anything else chosen for an Apple commercial >Favorite artifact: iPod with a wheel

JavaScript programmers (second generation)

Somewhere along the way, JavaScript programming turned into a professional path with snooty ideas and endless debates about what constitutes clean code. Today, many Web pages are powered by sophisticated stacks of code that can only be maintained by skilled coders. The field is now dominated by efficient libraries that abstract away much of the browser incongruities and offer a sophisticated plug-in structure.

Other language of choice: jQuery Special skill: Closures Social media strategy: Waiting for Other career choice: Working as a barista Clothing: Hoodie Rhetorical tic: "There's an open source jQuery plug-in that does it." Car: Fixed-gear bicycle Song: M83, "Midnight City" Favorite artifact: DM from Brendan Eich

Haskell programmers

The language of the future offers a functional, statically typed mechanism that can reduce some of the complexity for writing modern, event-driven code. While the first implementations are easily more than 20 years old, the main users are still found in universities, but that's changing as cool open source projects gain traction. Haskell lovers insist this proves it will be the hot language in the 2020s.

Other language of choice: ML Special skill: Getting around the prohibitions on keeping state around Social media strategy: Alumni Notes, Reddit Other career choice: Professor of mathematics Clothing: Turtleneck sweater with elbow patches Rhetorical tic: "I like my laziness effortless and ubiquitous." Car: Yugo Song: Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Klavierstücke IX" Favorite artifact: Möbius strip

Hadoop programmers

The tool for building map/reduce jobs is technically not a language, but a collection of libraries written in Java. Not that it matters -- writing the code requires a talent for spotting the best way to spread out the workload over a cluster of machines. As long as "big data" remains a buzzword that captivates the corporate leadership, we'll see more exploring the best way to write Hadoop jobs.

Other language of choice: Java Special skill: Making sure the data is always local Social media strategy: Yahoo coding conferences Other career choice: Actuary Clothing: Flannel shirt with beard, where possible Rhetorical tic: "Big data." Car: Retro Schwinn 10-speed bike Song: Dan Deacon's electronica Favorite artifact: Stuffed elephant

Node.js programmers

They learned JavaScript when they were adding an interactive Easter egg to their band's Web page. Now they're working for the enterprise shop and using that same JavaScript to handle $10 billion in foreign-exchange transactions a day.

Other language of choice: jQuery Special skill: Trying to remember not to block the server with code that takes too long to execute Social media strategy: Post-Facebook, post-Path, still bummed that Diaspora hasn't gone very far Other career choice: Going to college Clothing: Ironic T-shirt from Old Navy Rhetorical tic: "Threads can be concurrent? Are you sure?" Car: Skateboard Song: "Video Games" by Lana del Rey Favorite artifact: Rooted Android cellphone running Node

This story, "Developer divide: 19 generations of computer programmers" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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