7 Signs I Knew I Was Born To Be a Programmer

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This will probably shock you but I'm a programmer. Not a designer, not a copywriter, just a simple programmer. I've done some self analysis and realized that becoming a programmer wasn't a choice -- it was destiny. The following is my logic for why I became a programmer.

1. I'm Allergic to the Sun

I'm not as hot as Kate Beckinsale but I'm just as allergic to the sun as she was in Underworld. The second I see the sun I sneeze. What's odd is that I used to play outside endlessly as a child -- it wasn't until I became a programmer that I developed this strange allergy to the sun. Today my skin is very white -- a monitor tan is the only tan I get these days.

2. I Get Nosebleeds Often

No true nerd gets their official credentials without proof of frequent nosebleeds. Unprovoked and unexplainable, my nosebleeds just appear out of thin air...literally. These pick up quite a bit during the winter. I've broken my nose three times but no way to confirm that being a contributing factor.

3. I Have No Immune System

Most of my "vacation days" (PTO) are used up by illnesses that range from migraine headaches to pneumonia to bronchitis. I have the sniffles 365 days a year. I'll wake up with a sore throat in mid-June. My body has no desire to fight viruses. A perfect excuse to avoid manual labor and sit behind a monitor inside my condo.

4. I Have No "Real Life" Skills

You know how grown men are supposed to be able to change their oil, cook breakfast for their significant other, and do their own laundry? Yeah, not me. No joke -- I tried making eggs a few months ago, messed something up, and my kitchen smelled funky for the rest of the day. I'm a complete train wreck when not located within three feet of a computer.

5. I Have No "Social" Skills; Computer > Human

I'm not what you'd consider a "people person." I'd rather spend 20 minutes typing an email than 3 minutes on the phone. I simply don't have that gene. When coworkers say hello to me at work I usually reply with "email me." I'm charming via email, stone cold in person.

6. I Think I'm Much Smarter Than I Really Am

Like any good egotistical programmer, I feel I'm much smarter than I am. Yeah, I slang terms like "prototypal inheritance", "event delegation", and many other impressive programming terms, but can I make eggs? No. Doesn't matter. Why? Because I can slang terms to people who aren't computer savvy and help fix email problems. I think I belong in MENSA -- most other things I belong in on a seat in the corner of the room with a coloring book and non-toxic crayons.

7. Fashion == null

I cannot stand "bros" that wear $200 jeans and $50 Hollister/Abercrombie/American Eagle T-Shirts. I see a Broseph walk down the sidewalk with white shades and a fro-hawk and choke on my own vomit.....yet I have no problem with wearing one of my 5 MooTools shirts to any event. Wedding? Yes...because MooTools has Class. So simple.

I'm a complete nerd for those scoring at home. The life of a programmer as a tough one...God only knows how I can get through each day.

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Discussion

  1. Hahahah broseph… I love it.

  2. heheh David you being so harsh on yourself my friend! nice post though :)

  3. Louis

    That’s scary. Seriously.

  4. Haha – that made me laugh. Not actually laughing at you, but because I can find myself in many of these points.

    Great share!

  5. Charlie

    “These pick up quite a bit during the winter” I used to have the same problem. A bit of Vaseline in the nostrils, just before bedtime, can make all the difference in the world.

    -C

  6. Alex

    Ha, too true! :) Good points!

  7. Good stuff! It’s strange that most programmers aren’t car guys… Engines are essentially the same thing as a coded program: If it’s clean, and all parts (functions) are doing their part properly, the engine (application) will run smoothly.

    Not to mention, tuning cars is a great way to get away from the computer for a while. :)

    • Zed.

      Amen.
      I’m a programmer and a car guy!!
      When I’m in a car with someone else driving, I feel the need to explain the working of the whole system when the driver messes up (with the gears/clutch/whatever)

  8. ha.ha.ha.

    true, true, all are true! :)

    Some of them matches with me too.

  9. lol awesome.
    I think i might fit in 4 to 7, with exceptions that i dont ask to email me lol

  10. Mr.X.

    Are we brothers?
    1) I played as i child too, but now my eys hurt when sun is up…
    2) Same and same. 3 time I’ve broken my nose, and I have nosebleeds very often, I had one yesterday…
    3) Well not so much, but I get sick often.
    4) Never cooked anything in my life
    5) When I tell a joke people are just looking at me… Staring…
    6) Very much so.
    7) What the hell is fashion?

    Seriously are we brothers? :D

  11. kolin

    i fit none of the above, is my 10 year web developer career over before it’s started? or have i achieved utopia?

  12. “I have no problem with wearing one of my 5 MooTools shirts to any event. Wedding? Yes…because MooTools has Class.”

    hehehe nice one

  13. haha, mootools does has class!!!

  14. @Eric: Going into the garage could cause a conflict with possible sun attacks.

  15. lol ;) but seriously, i would say that you are describing a rather bad programmer, it does not matter how good the code written by such a programmer might be, that wont help him to find a job, or clients, or to work in a good team….

  16. nice comic article.

    Thanks
    Prashant Jalasutram
    http://www.prashantaboutjava.blogspot.com/

  17. Ako

    monitor tan! LOL

  18. LOL U’re a cool guy brother

  19. Structed

    Wow. I once was like that but I grew up and love cooking and fashion again! :D

  20. I totally agree. I click with 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

  21. Rose

    Dude, numbers one, two, and three are all related… you probably have a vitamin D deficiency! I suffer from number six in case you can’t tell.

    Love the site BTW!

  22. Dude, those clichés give the programmers bad names. Here is why:

    1. I’ve never ever in my entire life seen anyone sneeze when staring at the sun. I enjoy the sunlight especially in the winter. When possible I “stare” at the sun just to get the warm touch.
    2. I get nosebleeds either from snorting too much amphetamines or overdosing coffee / red bull or staying too much out in the hot days. Any other way to get nosebleeds out of thin air could be related to blood diseases — haemophilia and alike. Those are to be handled with great care.
    3. Now what kind of a person is that? (Apart from HIV positive) Didn’t you guys play outside when you were little? Find one guy at your age from the ex socialist countries that has no immune system (and is HIV negative) and I will personally give you a reward (I will totally waste you with bulgarian beer and rakia).
    4 and 5. Get a life. It ain’t that hard — drink beer with friends, make some, try couch surfing per say ;) If you don’t have such skills you don’t want to. The rest is excuses.
    6. Who doesn’t? Usually it’s the fool who thinks highly of himself.
    7. This one is called pragmatism and has nothing to do with being a programmer.

    You know, I do like to read your bog — you have interesting findings. But sometimes you get waaay over and start acting like really really adolescent.

  23. Wow I fit in all of those, except for the cooking one. Being anti-social means you gotta fend for yourself and part of that is cooking.

    But I get nosebleeds randomly too. Just got one at a wedding this month. Always from my right nostril and only for like a minute or two. I attribute it to the stressed caused by bosses and their endless, unattainable deadlines.

  24. @Иван: I know you are but what am I?

  25. @Иван: On a serious note, I go out with friends all the time. Drinks, sports games, movies, etc. Probably too much to be honest. I could amend the people-related items above to “people I don’t know”. I always have time for friends..and drinks!

  26. Jay

    @Иван

    Re: #1, I worked with a guy that would walk outside, look up at the sun, and then sneeze a couple of times. Very bizarre.

  27. @David Walsh: You know I am what? That I am a junkie? That I am a programmer? That I am an arse ;)

    Seriously, nose bleeds don’t come out of thin air. You probably have thin blood vessels, which is related, as already mentioned, to vitamin deficiency.

    That same thing (vitamin deficiency) is related to weak immune system. Which was again noted above.

    Btw, I’ve noticed that us, eastern Europeans are physiologically different than western Europeans in terms of not getting sick that much and drinking way more :D I guess we owe that the the “charming” communist regime.

  28. On a serious note (after I saw your serious note) :

    I used to have lots causal nosebleeds — once or twice a month — but I never took the time to find out why. It did come quite handy during late highschool and early university — I was able to skip classes.

    When I moved to another city and begun having them once a week (and I am not talking about a drop or two — I mean Niagara falls) I went to a doctor and he had sit down and explain to me why it was happening:

    1) lots of coffees — up to 10 a day.
    2) immense heat in my new city (40+ C in the summer)
    3) vitamin deficiency (lots of chips and no fruits at all)
    4) drug user (not abuser) background
    5) my blood was generally no good

    I changed my lifestyle:

    1) cut down coffees drastically (1 a day)
    2) I try not to go out during the day in the usmmer
    3) lots of fruits and juices
    4) can’t find decent
    5) work out (not that it helps for my blood)

    and here I am (almost) nose bleed free.

    P.S.
    Now that I gave it a couple of minutes calm thinking, I do find the post amusing, though still mildly excessive (as you noted your self).

  29. David! No worries. Though the mootools shirts aren’t the best, they are better fashion than what you describe in #7. Those people wear what’s in, but have no fashion sense at all. Abercrombie etc… seriously. Show me a designer wearing this stuff. Designers make it because they know it sells, but making something popular does not make it fashion, it makes it tasteless and trendy.

    Mootools. At least your not wearing it because you think it will make you look cool. You have to support your frameworks. Mootools FTW

  30. I must be in the wrong trade because the only characteristic I share from that list is point six (thinking I’m smarter than I actually am).

  31. mate, I’m a programmer too but I don’t have any of these signs bro.

    We programmers should be able to lead the double life, coz nerds in the basement’s are a thing in the past.

    I don’t have any except for the smarty pants one :) and one more…

    Did I say I’m smarter than you? :P

  32. Well, the “email me” thing has nothing to do with social ineptitude. I’m the definition of a people person, in fact, I have no idea how I ever became a programmer because I’m a so social.

    But when people come to talk to me about what a page I’m coding is supposed to do? … I always tell them to email me, otherwise they’ll ramble on about this and that feature and really have no clear picture until they try to write it out. Then they realize they have no clue.

  33. Good post bro!

    Apparently, the above comment is too short to be approved, shame on you David!

  34. 4fthawaiian

    Ech. There’s a whole slew of stereotypes that won’t need feeding for a while. Thanks for that. I suppose I should go get a job in a factory instead of programming, as I fit exactly 1 of these criteria (the MENSA thing, as if you couldn’t already tell).

    Terrible post. Probably unfortunate that this is the first post of yours that I’ve ever written. I don’t know if I can ever bring myself to give you any credit for intelligence. Bleah. I need something to remove the terrible taste from my mouth.

  35. JAlexoid

    Haha… Reading this, I think all programmers should be gay. Imagine how many points would be crossed out! And the confusion of ordinary people would be just worth every second of it :)
    And point #6 applies to every single person on this planet.

  36. So not true David :p

  37. senshikaze

    rpflo: You are a lucky person if you have never read someone rambling in an email. I get it all the time (note: not a programmer by trade, am IT Admin)

    Also I only fit 5 – 7. and 5 is only because i don’t particularly like people. They haven’t really proven to me that they are worth my time (which feeds into 6)

  38. Mr.X.

    Some people don’t get that this is written to be comic…

  39. Some more nerd syndrome symptoms :-
    ♥ Back pain in long term
    ♥ Poor long distance visibility
    ♥ Preferring Fast computers over fast cars !
    ♥ Breathing problems [ while having a jog for a change]

    :P

  40. Ohhhh… mmmaan.

    I’ve seen my self on every point of this post, including the nose-bleeding. I should get a life, but I don’t care.

  41. Photic Sneeze Reflex (sneezing when exposed suddenly to bright light) affects 18-35% of the human population:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photic_sneeze_reflex

  42. @Aeron: How dare you bring science into this! :) Great find.

  43. dev

    i dont has 2 and 3 only, that mean i only 71% know i was born to be a programmer?
    anyway, pretty good article. and i also “Think I’m Much Smarter Than I Really Am” ^_^

  44. Heh heh, great article. On so many levels are we the same, it’s frighting. xD I honestly don’t even know how to prepare something as simple as a hamburger or coop potato’s :P

  45. Deepak

    I can understand how you get through each day coz i was one. Couple of reasons why you might want a change in that:

    1. Programmers lose opportunities: Because of their laziness, programmers (and I am not referring to the idiots who develop web apps as management wants them) lose out on opportunities. Its the a$$-lickers who get them. With zero social skills, programmers lose out heavily inspite of the hard work they put in keeping up with the technology and stuff.

    2. Your girlfriend / wife might leave you after the initial attraction to your nerdiness is over: needs no explanation.

    3. Your manager will make the bucks off your back in case you do a good job. When you do a bad job who do you think loses his job? The manager or you?

    4. You will make life hell for your close ones for want of your time and affection.

  46. Pao

    This article is funny but true :D

  47. This is a really funny blog post! Keep up the good work.

  48. I choose to believe #2, #3, and #7 from you, Walsh. Maybe #1. ;)

  49. Can’t simply write “I love you”, too short but…
    I love u

  50. dan

    If i don’t match these points i can’t be a programmer ?

  51. @dan: Correct.

  52. Haha this one is crazy :P

    I can realy see myself in this post. But not sooo much anymore, I’m young, I need to get out a little, and having fun with friends and things like that. And to get a little bit away from the computer dos’nt hurt anybody (except from running 5 km right after a nerdy holiday week. THAT’S GONNA HURT BELIVE ME!!!!)

  53. Let’s see how I fared on your scale.

    1. I live in a tropical country so I see the sun almost every single day. Yes, programmers exists in countries with sunny weather.

    2. I’ve stopped nosebleeding after elementary.

    3. Ok this one quite applies to me. I am just naturally sickly.

    4. I am quite domesticated which is the cause of living independently, so no.

    5. I am with you on this. I am very very talkative in written form, but have the personality of a rock in person.

    6. I do too, but I guess most people gauge their intelligence a little bit higher.

    7. I am no metrosexual but my fashion sense is not limited to a polo shirt, slack pants and tennis shoes.

    Three out of seven! Not bad!

  54. Hehe the funniest article I have been read so far written by a programmer. By the way, you have to compensate with vitamins the lack of sunny exposure. Especially A and D vit. No kidding :)

  55. Nice article.. i think I’m still not good enough to be BORN as a programmer. Got some points hit the bull eyes. But still, sometimes i think 1k == 1024..

    1) OMG, i sleep at 6am wake up at 7pm.. so i only see night everyday.

    2) Nosebleed only until 9 years old.

    3) Im healthy person, maybe because i choose my meal so much or i don’t go out much.

    4) I can cook simple meal.

    5) I only talk for something really important.

    6) No Comment.

    7) ehh.. what is fashion?

    So i get 3 out of 7.

  56. Toni

    Sounds like Asperger’s :)

  57. ohhh man thats me damn so true omg

  58. Nithya

    7 out of 7… OMG

  59. Aditya

    Now I realize that to be a programmer is a fate ;-)

  60. Thomas

    You do realize that literally none of these have any correlation with being a programmer right? It’s possibly to be in shape, have healthy human interactions, be a responsible adult, not be arrogant, not look like a slob, and still be an excellent coder. It’s not even that hard really. Blaming it on being a ‘nerd’ is a very sad excuse.

    • This is a light-hearted post Thomas.

      I am in shape, I have healthy human interactions, I’m not arrogant, and I’m not a slob.

  61. I am a programmer and 95% matches with me too

  62. jonnyparko

    fashion == null, fro hawk != faux hawk.

  63. piyawan

    8. Programmer has a lot of sense of humour.

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