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.

By Peter Wayner, InfoWorld |  Software, programming

Other language of choice: Assembly code
Special skill: Using GOTO without creating spaghetti code
Social media strategy: Going to Studio 54
Other career choice: Fast-food restaurant developer
Clothing: Bell bottoms
Rhetorical tic: "It's easy."
Car: Last convertible
Song: Blondie, "Heart of Glass"
Favorite artifact: Cassette version of Microsoft Basic

C programmers

The language began as one step above assembler, but grew hand in hand with all of the variations of Unix. Today it's still used by those who love Unix and its latest dominant variant, Linux. It remains the tool of choice for those who want to program "close to the metal" and not rely on automatic mechanisms like garbage collectors.

Other language of choice: C++
Special skill: Remembering to free everything malloced
Social media strategy: Posts to Usenet three times a month
Other career choice: Bell telephone switch technician
Clothing: Red Hat T-shirt from the early days
Rhetorical tic: "Wouldn't you rather handle the memory yourself?"
Car: Original Toyota Land Cruiser
Song: Something by the Ramones
Favorite artifact: Bell Labs coffee cup

C++ programmers

When C programmers looked at the idea of object-oriented programming, they created C++, a baroque version that worked best when the programmer was able to keep track of all the complicated ways code could interact. It took all of the garage-grade DIY intensity and added another way for programmers to prove themselves worthy.

Other language of choice: C
Special skill: Multiple inheritance
Social media strategy: Friendster
Other career choice: Pinball wizard
Clothing: Jeans jacket with safety pins
Rhetorical tic: "Java pretty much broke object-oriented programming."
Car: Ford Explorer
Song: The Clash's "Clash City Rockers"
Favorite artifact: Borland C++ T-shirt

Objective-C programmers (first generation)

There are two groups of people who fell in love with Objective-C: the people who bought a NeXT machine and those who bought an iPhone. The first generation went on to rescue Apple in its darkest days and pull it back from the brink.

Other language of choice: Smalltalk
Special skill: Using InterfaceBuilder
Social media strategy: Subscribes to 42 mailing lists
Other career choice: Wall Street investment banker
Clothing: Hawaiian shirt
Rhetorical tic: "You mean C++ doesn't do that for you?"
Car: Mazda RX-7 or BMW 325
Song: Anything by Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Cat Stevens, or anyone else liked by Steve Jobs
Favorite artifact: NeXT machine


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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