in Observations, programming

the real geek test

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but I object to the use of the word geek. I’d always imagined that a geek was someone who was obsessive about computer programming. Lately though I’ve seen people use it in a way that is beginning to annoying me – it’s used to describe someone who simply uses the latest and greatest software or gadgets. This was brought to a head when I clicked a link in a tweet (thanks Colin!) which sent me to an article called “Top 10 Ways to Provoke a Geek Argument“.

I mean, I like to think I’m a geek, sad, but true. However, if the things mentioned in that article are likely to incite an argument in a geek, then I ain’t a geek. True geeks laughs in the face of such insults. So bearing all this in mind I say a real geek is someone who takes offense when:

  1. someone states that programming is just a day job;
  2. someone tells you they work in IT/computing and they can’t program – this often comes in the form of a third-person telling you their friend works in IT just like you!
  3. someone tells you that the technology used doesn’t matter;
  4. someone’s role call of programming languages does not extend to at least 4 and they don’t know at least one dynamic language – real brownie points go to those who know a functional language;
  5. someone shifts a conversation about programming to something else – oh yes, including girls, well maybe not!
  6. a developer tells you they don’t have broadband at home;
  7. someone states that Agile development is essentially the same as the Waterfall model;
  8. someone becomes a “developer” during a one year Masters conversion course – in particular sociology and arts students;
  9. a “developer” tells you they want to be a manager;
  10. people don’t think they’re a geek.
  11. There you go, if you don’t agree with these then you ain’t a geek! However, you are at least one tenth of one! 😀

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  1. Peter I think I shall define you as a anorak. How does that sound 😉

  2. I tend to live on model, anyone claiming to be a geek usually ain’t. I don’t know what this makes me. Maybe I’ve stumbled into some sort of paradox. I’d like to examine further, if anyone has comments pls post. There must be some sort of evidence leaning in one direction or another, right?