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At Aquarium, we have hired many software developers and have experienced how differing personality types perform in the role, including a good number of introverts.
What is an introvert?
An introvert is a personality type that gets energy from within, rather than by external stimuli. Popularised by Carl Jung, and the Myer-Briggs test, introversion is often misconceived as shyness or related to social anxiety, but this is not always the case. Introversion is likely related to the reticular activating system (RAS) which is responsible for regulating arousal. Introverts seem to experience a naturally high level of arousal and can be prone to overstimulation in certain situations which explains why these individuals require alone time to recharge. Studies have shown that between 25 percent to 50 percent of the world’s population can be categorised as introverts.
- Happy in their own company.
- Feel tired after social interactions.
- Enjoy working independently.
- Daydream often.
- Prefer to keep a small circle of friends.
Why is software development a good career for introverts?
Whilst most software developers work as part of a team, they are still required to work independently often. This is ideal for introverts, as working alone creates acetylcholine, a chemical that produces pleasure from reflecting inwards. Problem-solving is a crucial skill for a successful career in software development. A developer with an introverted personality will be naturally adept at analysing multiple solutions to a problem. Thanks to portable technology and WiFi, it is possible to code remotely from home or an environment that more suits the introverted individual.
What about extroverts and ambiverts?
Extroversion describes personalities that get their energy from external stimuli – the opposite of introversion. People with this personality type are seen as being more social, outgoing, and less likely to self-reflect.
While extroverts may find working alone more challenging, and are not traditionally as good at problem-solving, they can still excel in other areas of software development. For example, a stereotypical extrovert works well as part of a team and has the communication skills required to explain complicated information.
Ambiversion is half-way between introversion and extroversion as people share a mixture of traits between the two. Many believe that ambiverts make up most of the population, but studies have shown that less than 20 percent of people are ‘true’ ambiverts.