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Developer divide: 19 generations of computer programmers

Peter Wayner | Jan. 8, 2013
If you're searching for a fountain of youth, the easiest way to get that feeling of continual rebirth is to hang around a few tech product launches. Every new rollout comes with the fresh, unabashed feeling that this has never been done before. Ever.

Social media strategy: Alumni Notes, Reddit

Other career choice: Professor of mathematics

Clothing: Turtleneck sweater with elbow patches

Rhetorical tic: "I like my laziness effortless and ubiquitous."

Car: Yugo

Song: Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Klavierstücke IX"

Favorite artifact: Möbius strip

Hadoop programmers

The tool for building map/reduce jobs is technically not a language, but a collection of libraries written in Java. Not that it matters -- writing the code requires a talent for spotting the best way to spread out the workload over a cluster of machines. As long as "big data" remains a buzzword that captivates the corporate leadership, we'll see more exploring the best way to write Hadoop jobs.

Other language of choice: Java

Special skill: Making sure the data is always local

Social media strategy: Yahoo coding conferences

Other career choice: Actuary

Clothing: Flannel shirt with beard, where possible

Rhetorical tic: "Big data."

Car: Retro Schwinn 10-speed bike

Song: Dan Deacon's electronica

Favorite artifact: Stuffed elephant

Node.js programmers

They learned JavaScript when they were adding an interactive Easter egg to their band's Web page. Now they're working for the enterprise shop and using that same JavaScript to handle $10 billion in foreign-exchange transactions a day.

Other language of choice: jQuery

Special skill: Trying to remember not to block the server with code that takes too long to execute

Social media strategy: Post-Facebook, post-Path, still bummed that Diaspora hasn't gone very far

Other career choice: Going to college

Clothing: Ironic T-shirt from Old Navy

Rhetorical tic: "Threads can be concurrent? Are you sure?"

Car: Skateboard

Song: "Video Games" by Lana del Rey

Favorite artifact: Rooted Android cellphone running Node


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