The Hogwarts Sorting Hat Explains Why You Should Be a Developer

icons depicting the 4 Hogwarts houses

What’s your Hogwarts House? It’s the millennial version of “what’s your sign?” Our company is mostly millennials, so this question get asked around here pretty regularly. (Side note: shouldn’t there be a dating site based on this?)

It turns out many things in life are sortable by a fictional hat – including the reasons why you should become a software developer.

Reason 1: The thought process is fascinating

Here’s one of our engineers, for example:

“Programming is like getting to see a problem and make a solution for it. If you’re troubleshooting I would liken it to solving a puzzle, because it can be a very long, tedious process, but once it’s done you know more from it and can use that knowledge to fix more problems. Additionally you can use anything you learn from troubleshooting to program better down the line.”

He is, clearly, a Ravenclaw. In the words of writer and developer Steven A. Lowe, “Software development is fundamentally an exercise in learning.”

Creating software is the perfect career for people who enjoy a solving problems and learning something for the sake of mastering it. And once mastery is achieved, a developer has to be willing to give it up and start again with the next language, framework or technology.

Reason 2: Helping others

Now, here’s a Hufflepuff take on the same role:

“There is nothing better than to have a business user show up with a problem (for example, we need to get this file to a client, but we can’t create it), then spend a few minutes coming up with a solution with your team, and then being able to tell someone, yeah we can get you that this afternoon. It’s very rewarding, both in terms of how you can help your colleagues, as well as an indication of the value you offer your organization.”

I think a large proportion of developers belong to Hufflepuff. They work quietly each day facing down the relentless logic errors and overcomplexity that programming creates. They stay humble, and understand that you need to get along with others because programming is really a group activity – you are always dependent on others, as they are on you.

Hufflepuffs may also be a good fit for a Product Manager role. Highly empathetic, they can understand how a user would interact with a software product. And they are able to get along with, and foster relationships between, the diverse end users, developers, sales people and stakeholders in an organization.

Reason 3: The thrill of hitting enter

Gryffindors are looking for excitement, and to prove themselves. And there are ample opportunities for both, even in an office job like software development. To Gryffindor developers:

“There’s always a moment when you hit the enter key or run a query for the first time. It’s exciting to see what you get, even if it’s just a syntax error. I really enjoy the process of perfecting the code in a loop of fixing, retrying, fixing again, adding more functionality, then testing, and back to fixing again. It’s even more exciting when you finally launch in production and get to see people actually using your software. Is everything working right? Did we miss something critical? “

Reason 4: A chance to excel

Not surprisingly, Slytherins get a bad rap. But, as a startup, we have our share of Slytherins, and we value their contributions. Here’s one Izenda Slytherin’s perspective on coding:

“It’s a simple way to demonstrate intellectual superiority. To people that don’t know how it works, it literally looks like magic. “

Slytherin coders are probably not going to be able tolerate working in obscurity at a large enterprise, but they are a great match for startups. That may seem strange, because we usually think of Slytherins as somewhat risk-adverse. (It may help that, in a startup, failure is acceptable – almost a badge of honor.) But also, working for a startup is a fast way to advance your career and prove your worth as a developer. Plus, you can have a real impact on the product, your organization’s success, the success of your customers, and even the industry that your software serves. Perhaps that explains why Quorans answering this awesome query tended to put Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Bill Gates into Slytherin, and why some startups that rocketed to stardom show up in Slytherin House in this infographic.

If you’ve reached this point, you may already have already sorted yourself into a Hogwart’s house. If not, head on over to Pottermore and get sorted.

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