It Happened to Me

Slouching Towards the Geeky Mean

Yesterday, Boss Ross sent me a stack of presentations from Evans Data

Corporation’s 2005 Developer Relations Conference. Seeing as my job is

developer relations, I feel a little silly for having been unaware of

its existence and have adjusted my radar accordingly.

I went through the presentations — mostly outlines of the developer

relations techniques used by various companies — looking for ideas

that could be incorporated into Tucows’ developer relations strategy.

One slide in

particular caught my attention. Its title was Who is the Developer? and

its bullet points outlined the average developer, based on a study by

the Evans Data’s 2005 study of the developer market:

  • Male (over 90% of respondents)
  • 40 years old
  • Married (nearly two-thirds of respondents)
  • 15 years’ experience
  • Loves programming and isn’t in it primarily for the money (two-thirds of respondents)
  • Enjoys logic and puzzles (57% of respondents)
  • Skills picked up mostly on the job or self-taught (75% of respondents)

My own experience is not the norm (in fact, the master of

ceremonies at my friend Rob’s wedding introduced me as “a guy whose

life was engineered to be offbeat”), having spent most of my career at

start-ups and oddball companies. I expected that the average developer

would be thirty and single with closer to five years’ experience.

Upon further reflection, I realized that as of a month ago, I match

those stats. That’s a little frightening. Confronted with

this realization, a lesser man might admit defeat, program an “easy

rock” station into his radio, buy a Ford Taurus and restock the

wardrobe with golf shirts and elastic-waistband slacks.

But me? I’m cool.

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