Playing cool with the stereo-type we get

This is a discussion on Playing cool with the stereo-type we get within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi, I though id bring up an interesting topic on the "names" people refer programmers too. At university I study ...

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    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
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    Playing cool with the stereo-type we get

    Hi, I though id bring up an interesting topic on the "names" people refer programmers too.

    At university I study CS, and all my so-called-mates I hang out with outside uni reckon Im somwhat of a geek and nerd and somone who sits at home and codes all day ( proberly true )

    My question is this:

    Why or what made programmers ( and people who are learning it ) be seen by others as a nerdish person? I know it sounds petty, but I just joke alomg when they call me it. I put it down to the fact that most do not quite understand the roots of CS so mearly mock it. But I could be wrong and barking up the wrong tree.

    What do you make of the stereo type names programmers get?
    I'm just trying to be a better person - My Name Is Earl

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Why or what made programmers ( and people who are learning it ) be seen by others as a nerdish person?

    Because a lot of them are nerds?

    > I put it down to the fact that most do not quite understand the roots of CS so mearly mock it.

    Nope, it's because of nerds.

    edit: Let's break down some facts.
    -You've got almost 1000 posts on an internet forum dedicated to programming
    -You admit that the idea you sit at home and code all day is "proberly true"
    -You've got a conversation from Red Dwarf (?) in your signature

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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    ... and just so you don't feel so bad, I'm sure Govtcheez fully understands that the self-proclaimation of being the mayor of an imaginary town doesn't exactly make him the hippest cat in Michigan. We're all nerds here... it's a simple fact. The first step is acceptance.
    Sent from my iPadŽ

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > I'm sure Govtcheez fully understands that the self-proclaimation of being the mayor of an imaginary town doesn't exactly make him the hippest cat in Michigan.

    I'm hip, dammit!

    <>

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    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    I generally perfer the word "geek" if I'm going to be called anything like that. That's assuming were going by this differentiation, or perhaps these definitions.
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
    Computer Science

    Mac and OpenGL evangelist.

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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Welcome to the biggest trap in nerd-dom psychopath... everyone who's anyone knows that self-classification of nerdiness automatically makes you the biggest nerd in the land.
    Sent from my iPadŽ

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Why? Cause they're idiots. Nerds will take over the world. Yipee!

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    Lean Mean Coding Machine KONI's Avatar
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    Well it seems that contrary to all the other scientific or literature domains, we computer scientists have one "advantage" which at the same time provides us with those classifying names:

    We like what we do and have maybe more than anyone else the possibility to exercise ourselves.

    Take a medicine student as example. Even if he was the biggest freak in the world, he couldn't possibly practice medicine at home, could he? Well, he could probably read books or examine people but there's a limit to what he can do. A law student, apart from reading case records or researching laws, has no practical usage of his job at home. An artist needs inspiration, it takes a lot of time to produce a true piece of art. The only similar domain I could think of would be a sports major, who exercises himself at home. But honestly, if he's not a total freak (see, as soon as someone wants to push into the limits of what he does, we call him a freak) who runs a marathon everyday of his life, he's probably exhausted after 2 hours and can't continue.

    Not so for us computer scientists: we are able to apply and experience our domain as long and as often as possible, without any limitations. Additionally, the domain of "computer science" is HUGE, people who aren't involved can't even grasp what possibilities we have. We could probably read and research all day long for the rest of our lives and never know everything that has to do with computers.

    As for me being called a nerd...it happens, not very often, since I practice some sport and keep myself fit. But when it happens, I take it as a compliment... YES! A geek/nerd/freak, a supranatural (supra-, not supernatural...supra is like way above super ... (HAIL TO THE TENACIOUS D) godlike being, who ascended into the transcendental domain of nerdiness, is capable of convincing the entire world, only by BEING HIMSELF, that he likes what he does and shows real interest in his work. Isn't that something we should be proud of?

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> we computer scientists [...] Not so for us computer scientists
    Hey. I'm an engineer (electrical) ... or will be when I graduate.

    >> We like what we do and have maybe more than anyone else the possibility to exercise ourselves.
    I pretty much love my course ...

    As for the last paragraph ...

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    I code to keep my mind active and to feel as if I'm accomplishing something other than sitting in my recliner waiting for another day to go by. At 60, I'm a little too old to be a nerd.

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    Sweet
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    I am way to sexy to be a nerd.
    Woop?

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    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swgh View Post
    My question is this:

    Why or what made programmers ( and people who are learning it ) be seen by others as a nerdish person?

    What do you make of the stereo type names programmers get?
    My take: it has to do with being an introvert or an extrovert.
    Extraverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. An extraverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone.
    Not really a description of someone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer.
    Introverts tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and relatively non-engaged in social situations. They take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, watching movies, inventing, and designing. An introverted person is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people (although they may enjoy one-to-one or one-to-few interactions with close friends).
    That seems to describe a programmer a little more closely.

    Since the likelihood of a programmer being an introvert is probably above average, it generally lends itself that a programmer tends to be "more reserved, less outgoing, and less sociable." Thus a nerd/geek label probably fits well for the true introvert; and it would be a humorous badge to a programmer who is a little more extroverted.

    Generalization, of course.
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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    Registered User Queatrix's Avatar
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    I'm no nerd.

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    Lean Mean Coding Machine KONI's Avatar
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    This picture explains more than I ever could:

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/the_difference.png

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    > At university I study CS, and all my so-called-mates I hang out with outside uni reckon Im somwhat of a geek and nerd
    Yeah, but who do they come running to when they need some tech stuff fixing?
    Payback time hopefully, with lots of grovelling, beer, pizza and money

    I think it's written somewhere that "blessed are the geek, for they shall inherit the earth".
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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