10 Most Common Types of Web Developers

How many developers do you know in your life? If you work with a group of them, you might notice that they have particular quirks or personalities that you can actually group together, which is what I’m going to do with this post.

Developers have their individual preferences and work style that are very different – even if they do the same jobs. We’re going to take a look at the 10 most common groups of developers out there; see if you’re able to either spot yourself or one of your colleagues in there.

1. The Purists

Purists by definition are people who stick to traditional rules, you might know an English teacher or two who is purist by nature. The purists in my list though aren’t that strict, they are just the kind of developers who aren’t very keen on using frameworks and libraries.

They’ll pick Vanilla JavaScript over JQuery every time. They don’t see any trouble in using pure languages and traditional ways; in fact, they get annoyed when they stumble upon yet-another-framework or library. Extra libraries equal bloat for them.

Mind you, this does not mean that they don’t use those in real life. It’s hard not to, when job vacancies these days ask for “expertise in jQuery”. No matter how uptight or close minded they may seem, you can’t turn a blind eye to the truth in their argument.

2. The Doers

Sure everyone has to get their job done, no matter what, but for the Doers, their list of priorities start with getting the job done. You can bet they have the latest and fastest framework, libraries and workflow set up. They have premade modules for modules, all sorted for quick use in projects.

Doers dwell in start-ups while implementing all those tools for smooth production. A typical doer’s telltale symptom is the use of a task runner like grunt or gulp.

3. The Polyglots

Polyglots are the ones who use multiple programming languages; some even are full stack developers juggling SQL and SASS like a circus juggler. That said, working in only one programming language is near impossible in web development; you can’t escape that fate, even if you’re a backend developer. So only when you know at least 4-5 programming languages, do you get to boast that you’re a polyglot.

Most polyglots are who they are because of their work situation rather than by choice. Not everyone gets to have separate frontend developers or designers. Either way, they approach a new language with a lot more confidence than anyone else and are quick learners. No need to feel overwhelmed by them though, because some of them might be Jack of all trades but are masters of none.

4. The Perfectionists

What comes to mind when I say perfectionist programmer? Well, I don’t mean the ones who aim to write the most perfect, flawless of codes. The real perfectionists are the ones who look, code and go beyond coding. They leave comments, pay attention to naming variables and do the dirty work aka documentation (among other things).

Let’s face it, when was the last time you left a detailed comment or wrote a manual for your software? Not anytime recently I believe, not unless and until you’re a perfectionist. They’re rare in my opinion. Most developers don’t pay attention to those (though documentation is real important. Here’s Thoriq Firdaus’s take on it).

5. The Artsy

In terms of web development, let’s just say their mother tongue is CSS. Shapes, colours, animations, filters and all the other visual stuff matter to them the most. Wanna meet them? Codepen is their usual hub.

They’re not designers, or maybe they are, but at ground level they are developers. They express their art with code rather than Adobe Illustrator or After Effects. Pairing them with a designer is like spreading butter on bread, resulting in a smooth and great combination.

6. The Reuser

Not every one of us are keen to jump in first thing to write a generic class or method to handle repeating blocks of code. We leave that part out until the optimization stage which occurs only after we’ve gracefully crossed the big red solid 10px deadline and the brief relaxation period following that.

Reusers know better than that, they make a solid foundation of reusable code snippets from the beginning itself and saves plenty of optimizing time later. They’re mostly experienced developers who can foresee a block of code that is bound to make multiple appearances. There is probably not a single project of theirs that is without a fully filled global file or a utility class.

7. The Bookworms

A day before my very first VB Lab, my Professor gave us a set of brief instructions, to put together a form. She ran a demo at the beginning of the class, which I unfortunately missed because I got in late. The bits of instructions I managed to jot down was not enough to save me and I was seated too far from my friends for any sign language or lip reading to help.

So I did the only thing I could do – I opened my good old textbook. I became a bookworm. As a result, not only did I get a praise from my Professor at the end of the class for managing to put all the requirements together in my form, I also added a background image – which no one else in class did – based on what I learned from the textbook.

It is not uncommon for me to find some of my associates who are really good at programming and logic to have desks that are stacked and covered with books. Bookworms take to the texts in pursuit of in-depth knowledge, sometimes gained serendipitously, which is ultimately the best kind!

8. The Debuggers

Debugging is a skill in itself. Its true power can only be brought out when the page shows “Internal Server Error 500”. Debuggers are not only capable of catching and squashing the bugs in their own code but in codes written by others too (which is a developer’s nightmare in its own right)!

They are well versed with all debugging tools and options whether it’s on a browser or an IDE. But tools aside, debugging requires the clear knowledge of a flow of events and the ability to spot the trigger in that chain.

If the code belongs to someone else, that’s when Debuggers show their true observation prowess, going through lines upon lines of code, looking for any missing ‘if’, ‘else’, ‘or’, ‘and, or a semi-colon

9. The Researchers

For the Researchers, code is not just a code for them; it becomes a topic; a topic for forum discussion, a topic for a blog post, a topic for a StackOverflow Q&A. No preaching, no judging, just a sharing of knowledge that they put an effort into dissecting. Every code we write has a use and a purpose and unfortunately a side effect, sometimes.

The Researchers among us try to understand that aspect of code. They dig out documentations, conduct experiments and most importantly share their findings for the rest of us who will be eternally grateful for what they do.

10. The Sociables

Despite copying codes off one another, we still stick together as part of a community who eats, breathes and lives code. Physically though, we sit in front of the computer by ourselves, alone though not lonely. Our social skills do take a hit though, whether we like it or not.

And then, there are the Sociables. They meet up with you for drinks, tell geeky jokes, talk about the latest and greatest about the field, are excited about upcoming releases, hardware or soft, engage in opportunities, networking possibilities, and if time permits, swap phones with you so you can both try out a different OS. Do you know a Sociable amongst your developer friends?

Wrap Up

Some of you are bound to find a friend, yourself, as part of a few groups, sometimes overlapping, other times contradicting – we don’t judge, in the end, we are all developers. But we are curious to know which of the groups of developers you find yourself most allied to. Let us know in the comments.

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