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Programming

The Perils of Developers Hooking Up 278

Posted by timothy
from the like-with-like-among-their-own-kind dept.
jammag writes "Who better for a developer to love than another developer? Yet as a veteran coder describes, it's not always a good idea for a programmer to fall for another programmer. He describes his experience observing — and getting partially pulled into — a romance within a development team. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that some developers spend so much time buried in code that, well, they quickly find themselves out of their league. Then again, why not love among the code?"
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The Perils of Developers Hooking Up

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:42PM (#41366203)

    seriously, this can't be real.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:43PM (#41366215)

    ...not to shit where they eat.

    Hooking up with cow-orkers often ends badly -- the line of work has nothing to do with it.

  • Simple Rule (Score:4, Insightful)

    by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:43PM (#41366221) Journal

    Don't fuck where you eat.

  • by TWX (665546) on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:43PM (#41366223)
    It's generally not a good idea to have an office romance with someone that you spend most of your workday working closely with, regardless of the profession, but especially in working groups that are very stable and unchanging.

    You see this person about eight hours a day, and might even work in the same group-cubicle. If your relationship gets serious then you're likely to see them many hours a day beyond the workday too. For probably most of us, best case and the relationship goes well, one gets a little tired of the significant other after awhile, but literally can't escape because of the enforced time at work together. Worst case, the relationship ends, badly, and you're stuck with them in the same confined space but now can't stand each other.

    Eight or so years ago I dated a gal for a few months that works at one of the sites I support and it's still a little awkward running into her when I go there. I can't imagine the awkwardness if we worked at the same site, let alone the same department. It would probably also complicate my subsequent marriage, as I doubt my wife would be very happy with me working closely with an old flame.

    If working groups are varied and dynamic and if the organization is large enough that one doesn't constantly see the other, then it might work okay to date a coworker, but even then it has its perils, not even getting into career choices.
  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CoolToe (2732573) on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:45PM (#41366243)
    It's true, female programmers tend to be ugly and insecure. We had one in our class and she was shy as hell.

    But why exactly would you want someone exactly like you to be your partner? It works much better when each other complete each other.
  • by proca (2678743) on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:45PM (#41366247)
    Inter-office romance shouldn't be banned, but you better be damn sure before jumping into a relationship with a co-worker. I don't see how the job description changes that fact. Life isn't fair, and if the relationship ends badly (and it surfaces at work), the woman is more likely to be the subject of gossip and office drama among colleagues.
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:54PM (#41366393)

    Office romances (especially within the same team) are always bad news. Though the story comes off as a poorly written romance novel - a sort of Shades of Grey fantasy novel for geeks.

    That said, I've dated girls in my field and girls outside of my field, and I've found that I get along better with those outside my field. We don't need work to be our 'common ground', and we don't find ourselves telling each other how to do each other's job. When she tells me about her workday, I don't feel so compelled to tell her how to solve her problem since I have no expertise in her field. And vice-versa. On the flip side, if I'm looking for advice about some specific problem I'm facing, I can't go to her, but that's what friends are for.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Monday September 17, 2012 @02:56PM (#41366437)

    Inter-office romance shouldn't be banned, but you better be damn sure before jumping into a relationship with a co-worker. I don't see how the job description changes that fact. Life isn't fair, and if the relationship ends badly (and it surfaces at work), the woman is more likely to be the subject of gossip and office drama among colleagues.

    As a manager I wish office relationships were banned. No matter what the intentions are when starting a relationship, the truth is that many relationships die, and sometimes die a horrible, prolonged death. And when it involves two people that have to work together, the whole team suffers.

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:01PM (#41366505)

    It's true, female programmers tend to be ugly and insecure. We had one in our class and she was shy as hell.

    That's funny, one of our dev teams is over half female and none of them are ugly or insecure. And what does shy have to do with it? One of our star developers is shy and reserved outside of his team, but he still does great work. It may take longer to get to know a shy person, but it's generally worth the extra work. (I was painfully shy in high school and early college, but now I'm much more outgoing and have no problem giving presentations even to large (100+) groups)

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:21PM (#41366783)

    We had one in our class and she was shy as hell.

    Weird, there was a person in your class who was singled out as being different from everyone else, and she was shy? Not sure I believe that...

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:4, Insightful)

    by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:26PM (#41366853)

    What it ACTUALLY is, is a misogynistic and discriminatory story that's trying to paint women in the workplace as instigators and troublemakers.

    Here, Adam... just take a bit of this apple.

    The evil attractive woman is added to the team, but "gets by" on her looks and seduces everyone around her. Whatever.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:29PM (#41366883)
    If the author is trying to generalize a lesson from that story, he's more naive about women than he claims Jerry is. The moral is not "don't get involved with a colleague," it's "don't get involved with a psycho bitch from hell." A lesson I, personally, had to learn the hard way. :-)
  • by Voyager529 (1363959) <`voyager529' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:38PM (#41366997)

    Church is recommended for the ~1% of Slashdotters who actually have a religion. Lots of normal females to meet there.

    Let me guess - you're the 99%.

    As one of the handful of Christian Slashdotters, I can tell you that this is patently not the case. A "nonreligious" girl will say something like, "I'm not feeling it" or, "you're a nice guy, but...". The majority of the girls with whom I spent my adolescence with in church would say, "I don't feel led to date you" or "You're a nice guy, but God told me to date Mr. Tall-dark-wealthy-handsome over there." At one point I learned that trying to beat them at their own game by saying something to the effect of, "I understand, and am certain that you have been praying about it for some time, since Exodus 20:7 does condemn using God's name to justify actions that you take at variance with His direction, right?" at which point I learned that turning things into a scripture war isn't exactly the best way to win her heart, even if I win the argument. To sum up, girls in church generally only differ from the majority of girls outside of church in that church girls will justify their lack of interest by blaming God, whether or not God genuinely gave her direction in this regard. Hence, this church filled with normal, single girls you speak of is not one I've yet visited.

    What I *will* say though, is that there's a pretty good way of weeding out the girls who are actually decent people and getting to know them: sign up for service projects. 3,000 people attended my church weekly. When it was time for the semi-annual church work day where we'd rake leaves, mop floors, reorganize cabinets, run wires, etc., on the good years we'd end up with MAYBE 25 people. Some of the most fun times I've ever had at the church were spent in the kitchen slicing 50 pound bags of onions and potatoes as we threw a banquet for several hundred homeless people in our area. Again, a church of 3,000, but a dozen people helping in the kitchen and having a blast in the process. The people who showed up for those kinds of events were there to actually help out others and were willing to sacrifice their time to do it. A resistance to doing those kinds of things when one's day is otherwise uncommitted speaks louder about that person than even the most complete profile on eHarmony - but the opposite is also true. I met more than one of my best friends through those kinds of things, and even if things don't work out, or you have one of those random silences that would be problematic and awkward if done on a first date, the worst case scenario is that you've got organized cabinets, a pan of chopped onions, or a yard whose leaves are raked. On top of that, when you're performing an activity together, it helps with the other issue that I frequently have - when sharing a task, you're all but guaranteed to find something to talk about without guessing if the other person can relate.

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:52PM (#41367175) Journal

    Because that way you understand each other. Because that way your eccentricities don't bother her so much, and vice versa. Because that way you can generally simultaneously do things that you enjoy doing and also spend time with the person you enjoy spending time with, rather than picking one or the other exclusively.

    Or, it is a lot like masturbation without all the work being done by yourself?

    All joking aside, I dated a girl who was almost exactly like I thought I was. I found several things out. First, I wasn't like I thought I was. There was a lot about me I didn't know. Second, and probably most importantly, I couldn't stand her after a short period of time being around each other. She had the same problems, we would eventually drive each other nutz to the point we started fighting/arguing. We made an arrangement so we would never go to bed mad at each other. I would go for a walk and she would go into the kitchen and make something. Perhaps if I like nature better, we might still be together.

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spazdor (902907) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:56PM (#41367241)

    I can't imagine why more women don't choose to enter the IT and dev professions when tech sites and forums are so full of gems like this one.

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spazdor (902907) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:58PM (#41367261)

    getting insults at cons about her boob size

    What the serious fuck is wrong with people, man?

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CCarrot (1562079) on Monday September 17, 2012 @04:19PM (#41367567)

    Because that way you understand each other. Because that way your eccentricities don't bother her so much, and vice versa. Because that way you can generally simultaneously do things that you enjoy doing and also spend time with the person you enjoy spending time with, rather than picking one or the other exclusively.

    I've never met anyone exactly like myself, though if I were single and did meet such a person, I would be immediately interested, but I wouldn't even consider a relationship with someone I didn't share a majority of interests and a similar worldview with. I've seen where that leads (it leads to a relationship like my parents' :p).

    Exactly! My husband and I are both EE's and we've been happily together for...wow, has it really been 12 years already? Our main interests naturally have a lot of crossover, but it's not like we're clones of each other. We have plenty of other interests to discuss when we don't want to talk shop, and ones that allow us to interact with our (mostly non-engineer) friends. But when it's just the two of us, as you said, we can easily find things that interest us both. Museum of modern art? meh. Museum of scifi/fantasy? Two tickets, please!

    I do think we understand one another in ways that couples who subscribe to the 'opposites attract' theory of life never could. For example: he once got me a NAS unit with four 1TB hard drives for my birthday...and it was incredibly sweet, because it was exactly what I had wanted, right down to the brand of the hard drives. I think he must have snooped my browser history or something, because I hadn't even been hinting about it. Of course, if I do get a hankering for non-tech presents, I do have to hint very baldly indeed...but I know and accept that I won't get perfume for Christmas unless I email him the specific brand and where to buy it, whereas if I want the latest RPG for one of our gaming consoles, well, I just have to say 'hmmm, that one looks interesting' once ;o)

  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday September 17, 2012 @04:21PM (#41367587) Homepage Journal
    "It worked for me, so you must be wrong" is probably the most horrible retort I ever have to deal with
  • Re:Old wisdom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ideonexus (1257332) on Monday September 17, 2012 @06:19PM (#41369033) Homepage Journal

    I agree. This is @#$%ing offensive. My wife and I are software developers and she is a million times the better coder than I, she is very attractive, and she was the lead developer at her last company, where she eventually decided to quit because of self-absorbed idiots like the author of this article who were constantly getting heart-bubbles for her and later putting her down when they learned she was out of their league. Today, years later, that same company pays her an exorbitant hourly rate to maintain their code because those same idiot developers can't program worth a damn, but they still try to make themselves feel better by sending her snotty emails criticizing the code she writes (that they could not write themselves).

    The intended audience for this piece are the same guys who read and believe Penthouse Forum. It's exactly this kind of delusional mindset that make the IT department in so many companies intolerable to deal with. I'm embarrassed see this make Slashdot, but maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

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