Web Developer Work Mindsets

Of course, this does not apply to me. This is information I’ve gleaned over the years talking to friends. These are the mindsets a typical web developer goes through while at work, maybe even turning into each one of these in a single day.


Generally seen in first few months of employment. Starter can single handedly handle any project thrown at him/her. Starter doesn’t need any help. Most time spent working hard proving worth to other team members/superiors. Starter does not have the ability to say no.


Planner is a distant cousin to Doorman and Doc. Planner will spend all of his/her time drawing flow charts and ER diagrams, knowing the ins and outs of each process. Planner’s applications never get implemented – or they are total failures/washes that never see the light of day past an alpha version.


Doorman is about to quit. Doorman feels like he/she should leave on a good note, so often turns to Doc. Doorman feels karmically obligated to document everything, leave plenty of notes, and document all processes or even provide training to new employees. Since Doorman was once Starter, Doorman knows how it feels.


Doc feels like he/she must document every single activity done, even down to using the bathroom. Doc must optimize all hours spent on the clock and prove to superiors that he is a worthy investment. Doc doesn’t realize that he could do that much more effectively by not being Doc and just being becoming Zone.


People often get Thief and Fire Chief confused. They do kind of rhyme… but that’s where their similarities stop. Thief just has to get the job done — the difference is Thief does it just so people will leave him/her alone. Thief goes out to websites with similar projects and will just modify copy/pasted code and call it their own.


This beast is hardly seen. Most often sighted around holiday weekends or after hours. Zone can be identified with its unique ear coverings, usually called headphones which drown out all other distracting noise and actually enables Zone to be productive. In the event that Zone is interrupted, a varying hibernation ensues. The Zone’s Hibernation period is directly proportional to the length of the stay in the zone.

Fire Chief

A lot depends on the workplace — you could just be thrown into a Fire Chief position, or create on for yourself while being Launcher.Fire Chief is so disorganized he/she has no idea what to do until a user comes with a fire to put out. Fire Chief only brings quick dirty fixes and ultimately creates much more work for everyone… but who cares? The fire got put out.


In search of perfection, Seeker looks for a new platform/language/process because he/she is currently unsatisfied with how much work is going into trivial tasks. Seeker never really lasts, and ultimately reverts to Guardian.


Guardian is completely satisfied with his/her current situation, even if it can be done faster/better in another environment. Guardian will even gladly do more work and brag about how ‘it compiles faster’. Guardian is the cause of just as many problems as Fire Chief, the problems created by Guardian are just much longer lasting.


Bartender operates under many aliases – most notably Dude-From-Office-Space-Construction-Worker. All Bartender can do is think about how badly he/she wants to not be working with computers ever again. Even with less money, it’s worth it to Bartender. Bartender never takes action.

Feel free to comment additional ones =)


2 Responses to Web Developer Work Mindsets

  1. RickP says:

    Hilarity, man! Only thing I see is, you mention ‘Launcher’ but don’t have it split out.

    Otherwise, I can identify with each and every one of those personas at some point in time… and as you said, oft times, I find myself in many or all of those mindsets in a given day.

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