Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tech: The tech personality 1: Myers-Briggs

When technology architect Dratz blogged about the hoary Myers-Briggs personality categorisations, he got a fair bit of feedback from techies who'd tried it. (You can try a simple test here.)

To refresh, Myers-Briggs divides people up by comparing four traits:
  • Introvert vs Extrovert
  • Sensing vs Intuition
  • Thinking vs Feeling
  • Judging vs Perceiving

  • From Dratz' feedback, I.T. people are really clustered around INTP - much more than the 3% of the overall population (according to Wikipedia). That's Introvert, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving.

    I came out as INTJ, but the description at that site gave only a weak match, whereas I got a very strong match for INTP. What did it for me was, inter alia:

    "[INTP people] are less interested in running the world as they are in understanding it. They are curious and capable of explaining complex political, economic or technological problems."

    (I note that that doesn't necessarily indicate how lucidly they can explain it.)

    I also note that a recent New Scientist article listed a more generally accepted set of categorisations around five dimensions:
  • Extroversion
  • Neuroticism
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Openness to experience

  • - which sounds like it describes people more holistically than MB. You can read some criticisms of MB in the Wikipedia entry above, but it seems to work in describing people's temperament for I.T.

    Update 17-Aug-09: just took a test for this elsewhere. ISTJ. Either these tests are imprecise or these 'types' are not set in stone. Maybe a bit of both.

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