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The 19 generations of computer programmers

Here is our guide to some of the more dominant tech generations in computer history, as embodied by the programmers who gave them life

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PHP programmers

Many PHP programmers fell into PHP by accident. They were creating HTML, and they needed a bit of dynamic logic. One tag led to another, and they found themselves creating websites and content-management systems with the code.

Other language of choice: JavaScript

Special skill: Juggling the coding layer and the HTML markup

Social media strategy: More than 1,000 friends on Facebook; still logs into MySpace

Other career choice: Mortgage broker

Clothing: T-shirt depicting logo of pre-bubble startup you've never heard of

Rhetorical tic: "Monetise the eyeballs."

Car: Aging SUV

Song: The Cure's "Just Like Heaven"

Favourite artifact: Orange moped from Kozmo

Java programmers

It was the first great serious language for the Internet, driven by the promise of running everywhere. The desktops never surrendered to the server farms, but the introductory programming classes did. Today it lives on in the hearts of Android programmers.

Other language of choice: Pascal

Special skill: Creating extra-long variable names in camel case so that the code is self-documenting

Social media strategy: Attends local Java Users Group meeting each month; checks Java.net account for new meetings

Other career choice: Y2K programmer

Clothing: Java One polo shirt

Rhetorical tic: "The JVM will just handle it in another thread."

Car: Mazda Miata

Song: Talking Heads' "Wild Wild Life"

Favourite artifact: Something signed by Jim Gosling

C# programmers

They fell in love with Java but remained loyal to Microsoft, perhaps because the boss insisted on keeping it a Microsoft shop. The code looks similar. The idioms work the same way. It's pretty much the same as Java, but with a few nice fixes worked into the mix.

Other language of choice: .Net

Special skill: Navigating the .Net documentation

Social media strategy: Wondering whether Skype counts as social media

Other career choice: Starbucks barista

Clothing: Freebie Windows 98 tennis cap

Rhetorical tic: "It's really more efficient than the JVM."

Car: Toyota Prius

Song: Nirvana's "Come As You Are"

Favourite artifact: A Windows 8 phone


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