Research Brief: Developer Personalities Introduction


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Here's a first look at Developer Media's research on developer personalities -- and how understanding them better can help you better market to them.

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  • 71% of developers fit in 5 personality typesOnly one in four of everyone else has one of those types.313.9 people in the US in the 2012 census. DM has 20M worldwide visitors monthly – about 40% from the US. Estimate 8 M developers in the US, thus …
  • A lot of depth here.Compared to US average (see sources later)Note the INTJ, leading type – difference from the US population is significant. 3% of US population; almost 30% of devs.Three of these fall into the “NT” camp – “Rationals,” and represent a huge difference from the US population: 52% vs 14%See also
  • Keirsey and Bates created the most influential book on understanding the MBTI. It talks about different personality types, and it’s a more complex discussion than we have time for in this “brief.”But one of those types is NT.
  • Research Brief: Developer Personalities Introduction

    1. 1. ©2013DeveloperMedia Developer Personalities - Brief Jeff Hadfield / @jhadfield
    2. 2. ©2013DeveloperMedia Developers are different.
    3. 3. ©2013DeveloperMedia To be successful, you must understand how your customers and prospects think.
    4. 4. ©2013DeveloperMedia Odds are, you don't think like a developer. Here’s why.
    5. 5. ©2013DeveloperMedia Devs: What's Your Personality Type? “Take the MBTI and tell us your type” 949 pro devs on CodeProject responded 98.5% confidence level Representing 4M monthly visitors Thus, representing devs worldwide
    6. 6. ©2013DeveloperMedia What’s the MBTI? Myers-Briggs Type Indicator builds on Jung's work 16 different personality archetypes Described by four-letter acronym Not perfect, but nothing is
    7. 7. ©2013DeveloperMedia What We Used to Think “The most common personality type for software developers is ISTJ.” Sources: 1985 and 1990 studies.
    8. 8. ©2013DeveloperMedia Developer Personalities INTJ 29% ISTJ 14% ENTJ 13% INFJ 8% INTP 7% Other 29% ISTJ is the least different from everyone else (What We Used to Think … is Wrong) INTJ is the most common developer personality type The other 11 personality types, all about 2-3% each
    9. 9. ©2013DeveloperMedia 1 in 40 people in the US is a software developer. 25% of people are INTJ, ISTJ, ENTJ INFJ or INTP 71% of developers are those types
    10. 10. ©2013DeveloperMedia 3% 13% 4% 2% 5% 29% 14% 13% 8% 7% 26% 2% 9% 6% 3% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% INTJ ISTJ ENTJ INFJ INTP US population Developers Difference
    11. 11. ©2013DeveloperMedia Personalities can be grouped into “types,” and 3 of the main developer personality types are “NT,” or “Rationals.”
    12. 12. ©2013DeveloperMedia Driven to master skills Love to achieve Objective Reason with facts “Rational” personality types
    13. 13. ©2013DeveloperMedia Thus, developer messaging could Relate to mastering skills Show achievement Be objective Reason with facts
    14. 14. ©2013DeveloperMedia There’s more … just ask! Jeff Hadfield, CXO / @jhadfield
    15. 15. ©2013DeveloperMedia Sources and notes Developer Media is a trademark of Developer Media and CodeProject is a registered trademark of CodeProject Solutions, Inc. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. Sources and references: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (http:///, US Distribution of MBTI types via CAPT (, note medians used here), CodeProject self-identification Survey (, (CodeProject MBTI Survey ( personality.aspx) — noting that 949 developers responded, providing a 98.5% confidence against the approximately 4 million unique monthly visitors to the site (the population). That sample size suggests up to a 4% margin of error. Also see Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates, Professional Software Development by Steve McConnell. Also, the new Alice Russell album is great.