5 Ways a Coder’s Mind Thinks vs Normal People

Hail to the coders and thank goodness, I am not one, no offense.


My friend told me that it’s so tough sometimes because you want your brain to think and solve this problem, but you can’t. You keep having to tell yourself think, think, think, but you can’t.

I told my mom this and she said, yes, your dad codes more, I just test. She’s like you could code if you really wanted to, but I don’t think you would be happy. They know I cannot focus…we are all still amazed I graduated college, let alone a Master’s Degree, but really, I only wanted my MBA to sit in the pit at graduation.  Yes, sadly, that was my motivation which ended up being one of the best decision I have made.

For some reason, in all of my jobs even thought I am a finance major, I’ve always had to work very closely with the IT team.

One day I was talking to Bob and Ted about a revamp project on one of our systems.  I was showing them the layout, look, and explaining a couple of rules that we want implemented.  I had created a very rudimentary flow chart and diagram.

As they were talking and explaining what it takes to complete the project, I told them to please speak like a normal human being to me.  I don’t understand.  To them, their conversation was so normal, on the flip side to me, it was gibberish and a little confusing.

They had a lengthy discussion of how coders are so much better than normal people.

Here are the 5 ways they are so different than non-coders:

1. I am the code. They write the code and they become the code. I asked them to create a code that will read the information from a specific email and pull it into the main system.  Bob looks at Ted and said I’ll have to read each of these emails and decipher a word in the subject line.  I said, you mean the code will read the emails?  Because you can’t read each email all day.  They look at me and said, well I am the code, so if the code breaks, a piece of me breaks too.

2. Use logic please.  Even when I’m trying to explain a simple rule, they kept asking for a diagram. Draw me a flow, so we can see the logic.  I said, well, that’s why I’m talking to you and explaining what I want.  They kept telling me it does not make sense. I gave up and drew them a flow chart…they both said…Oh that’s easy. In my head, I said duh…That’s what I was trying to say.

3. Life is in hours.  When I ask them to give me an estimate of how long the project will take, first off they bribe me by saying the more Starbucks I buy them; the more quickly it will go.  Ted was like it will take a team of 3 men working 40 hours a week to finish the project. I said, why don’t you say it will take 3 weeks?  He said, well, its 120 hours, but I don’t know how many days that equals; it depends on how many other coders we have.  I said, no matter how many people we have on my team, I tell the customer days, not hours. Both of them just looked at me and said, 120 hours.

4. Light is the enemy.  They don’t like to turn on the lights. We had a meeting with just natural light. I asked why they can’t turn on the lights. They said it was to save energy, but in all reality it was because the light hurts their eyes.

5. Draw it on the white board.  They love the white board. They actually made their wall writeable, so they can draw diagrams.  I was trying to explain a very simple process. If this equals that…then it must flag something. Ok, not that simple, but pretty much.  They asked me to draw it on the white board…I said, why?  Is it complicated?  They said, no, it’s just better on the white board.  So then I told them, well if I use the white board, can I have you stand and outline your body like at a crime scene?

Next time you run into a coder, you may never see them the same again.  Just take a step back and listen.  You’ll see what I am talking about.

*So I sent this to my Savoy and here is her awesome response. I had to share it because even though she is a coder, she’s not the typical coder.

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