Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Natural Introvert

techno nerdSo the joke goes something like this:

Questions: How do you tell the difference between an introverted computer programmer and an extroverted one?

Answer: An extroverted computer programmer looks at your shoes when he's talking with you.

Often those of us in the technical fields are stereotyped as a bunch of t-shirt wearing, Star Trek watching, basement living, introverted techno-nerds. Expectations of social skills are somewhere between a log and some particularly interesting slime-mold.

Guess what? That stereotype couldn't be further from the truth.

Now I count myself firmly amongst the ranks of the nerd set, so I feel that I can make a few blanket statements for my people based on my observations over the years.

The balance of introverts and extroverts within this group seem to be largely the same as with any other. The main difference is that most nerds don't feel comfortable talking with non-nerds. If you watch them within their own groupings, though, you will see that there are some who lead the conversation and others who are content to sit back and listen.

If you'd really like to test this out, just walk into the midst of a group of nerds and lob a grenade. No, not a real one. All you have to do is say something like "Who was the better starship captain, Kirk or Picard?" Then just step back and watch the fur fly!

So, the next time you run into a techie, geek, or nerd, understand that they aren't being rude or overly shy. They just aren't quite sure of the rules, yet. With a little coaxing you might even be able to have an enjoyable conversation or two. You might even make a friend.

And everyone should count a techno-nerd amongst their friends.

So, who do you think was the better starship captain?


Anonymous said...

Can you really compare the two?
Both were captains at different times in the Federation's history in very different circumstances.
If they switched time periods would the one make the same or different decisions from the other?

Anonymous said...

Oh, who cares about that Star Drek show!

The real question is "Who was a better commander: Sinclair, Sheridan, or Lochley?" :)