Are You An Introverted Developer?

I happened across this post this morning: Is Being Introverted Affecting Your Confidence?

We all know that the Big Five personality traits—openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism—are important personality-determinants. Their varying combination in each of us dictates why we evolve to become who we are.

And up until recently, scientists believed that we can’t do a single thing to change this. Or, as the saying goes “it is what it is.” But now, we’ve been told that we can actually influence our Big 5s and mend our personalities—for instance, we can become more extroverted or less neurotic.

It did affect my confidence, once upon a time.

I’ve been in business most of my life, but I never had a natural, outgoing personality. I started this blog at a friend’s prompting,  a friend who is naturally outgoing and in love with marketing, along with a habit of starting and running businesses.  And it wasn’t easy putting myself out in front of the world for all to see, in print and on camera. It wasn’t easy walking up to people at booths and asking to interview them for a blog none had ever heard of.  My goal, though, was to increase my visibility in the FileMaker space, so I stuck with it.  And I studied ways to achieve the changes I felt I needed.

I’ve met and worked with so many fine people in the FileMaker industry since I began, and I can say with confidence that many of them share a trait common with developers of any language or code base:  Introversion.  The question is, how does that effect their job  and advancement prospects?  How does it affect their code?  Are they able to relate to clients easily? Can they handle a situation when things go south?

A suggestion to all developers out there afflicted with introversion:  don’t let it rule your life.  You can change, and it will make your life better. Set aside some time to work on yourself every day, even if only for a few minutes.  There are plenty of resources out there to help.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

The above list will get you started.  A word to the wise, though:  Stay away from any technique or system that seeks to manipulate other people instead of building the principles you need to be a better human being. Read the first item on my list for a basic grounding in the difference between values (everyone has them, even gangs…they’re just not necessarily good values) and time tested principles.

One more thing:  The article I’ve linked at the top of this post started me thinking about introversion.  And the point they make is that it is possible to change your personality traits, something previously considered impossible.  I didn’t know it was impossible, so I changed mine.  And now I find out it that the experts say it is possible.  Good to know, I guess.  Don’t always believe the experts.


When I was growing up, I wasn’t an extrovert. If anything, I was an introverted kid and a very average pupil at school. I was very quiet.

Clint Eastwood

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