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Re: Please remember that geeks have their own social mores.

by brian_d_foy (Abbot)
on Feb 20, 2008 at 22:30 UTC ( #669123=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Please remember that geeks have their own social mores.

I understand what you are saying, but I think you get it wrong. Geeks are just like everyone else. They may be smarter with logic and puzzles and technology, but that's only one dimension of a person. I don't buy the automatic assumption that geeks are better people, or that a standard disclaimer should be applied. I've met plenty of geeks who have great social skills, and I've met plenty of cretins who aren't geeks.

  1. Geeks have an in-crowd. They select on different factors than cheerleaders, hipsters, or jocks, but there is definitely an in crowd. There are even in-crowds among in-crowds, each trying to destroy the other (think Rails people versus Perl people, for instance).
  2. Maybe the whole world doesn't want to be geeks, but geeks certainly know who they think is cool and make fun of people they think are uncool. That's not different from any other group.
  3. Most people lack social graces. The difference is other people's tolerance to lacking social graces. Geeks don't care that they lack social graces, so people are less tolerant about geeks not having them. It's usually not how you mess up, but your attitude toward it.
  4. Some OSS developers are in it for the fame. People are people, and OSS developers just like everyone else have different motivations and desires. I don't think OSS automatically makes anyone noble or selfless.
  5. As people, geeks are just as guilty about everything they complain about from other people. Sure, the manager probably doesn't understand technology, but geeks probably don't understand the manager's world of legal compliance and marketing. Both groups tend to treat the other poorly, and for the same basic reasons.

People are people. Evaluate individuals, not groups. :)

brian d foy <>
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Re^2: Please remember that geeks have their own social mores.
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Feb 24, 2008 at 04:14 UTC
    My point is that there seems to be a culture of forthrightness among FOSS developers and less concern for the social niceties. Of course, there are people who have a greater set of social skills than others. Those also tend to be the older developers, such as you and Randal and Larry. People who have had a reason to actually learn those social skills because they don't have the luxury of only interacting with the FOSS community.

    Basically, I've noticed that people with a propensity for those skills that FOSS developers tend to have don't have a corresponding tendency for social skills. Both can be learned, but I don't think the intersection between the groups who natively learn one or the other is a large one. IME, of course.

    My criteria for good software:
    1. Does it work?
    2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?

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