Keeping it Small and Simple


A study of programmers’ political preferences

Filed under: Computer Programming, Humor, Politics — Tags: , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 03:16

Since this year is an election year, and people are collecting all sorts of statistics on all kinds of groups, including but not limited to women, black people, latinos, journalists and dog owners. I thought I’d help out by presenting the political demographics (don’t have a clue about what that means, but it sounds impressive so I’ll use it) of computer programmers.

If you represent a major news broadcaster and would like to offer me a job as a political commentator after reading this, just send me a mail. You don’t need to tell me which station you represent, I can see that from you email address. All I need is how much you are offering, and the name of the person who’ll sit beside me. Actually, forget the last bit, I’m not interested, just send me her age. That’s it. One mail, two numbers: salary, age. Got it? Good.

The next paragraph is intentionally left blank. It is supposed to contain the standard mumbo-jumbo about the margin of error or whatever they call it, but to tell you the truth, I had a bad Tequila-induced hang-over during statistics class, so I’m leaving this as an exercise for the reader.

[ This paragraph intentionally left blank ]

C Programmers

The C stands for conservative. Grand ‘Ole Party, all the way.

Java Programmers

These are the neo-cons, in the truest sense of the word. They used to be liberal but now feel comfortable rubbing shoulders with C programmers. They haven’t noticed that C programmers despise them.

Perl programmers

Life-style anarchists. Legalize it, whatever it may be.

Python programmers

Important update
A person with connections to the python community has come out to correct us on this issue. Python programmers are actually communists, not fascists. The person who gave me this information is none other than the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand-son of Brian. We Hail you, O Brian.

(Fascists). Communists. They want everything to be uniform. Indentation, coding style. Ideally everybody should use the same variable names. By the time Python 3000 comes out, Python programmers will be required wear the official Python uniform. There is a PEP about the official Python hairstyle, which will apply to both male and female programmers.

At Python rallies one can hear the battle-cry: “Exterminate Ruby!”. These cries are usually led my the fiercest and most notorious of the Python gangs, the infamous “Knights who say Ni”.

Ruby programmers

Naive liberals. This is the young crowd who think they’ve got it all worked out. They haven’t, but don’t tell them that. They’ll overwhelm you with arguments that could only make sense to a really young mind.

Historically, Ruby has its political roots in the life-style anarchism of Perl. Though there are a few Rubyists who still openly admit that “anarchism is cool”, most modern Ruby programmers pretend it’s all a historical lie. In fact, a large number of Ruby programmers are secretly conservatives. They are tomorrow’s Java programmers. They feel that they are being kicked upon and can’t wait until it’s their turn to do the kicking.

It has been found that a significant number of Ruby programmers of the Rails type are fairly paranoid, to say the least. They have conspiracy theories coming out of their as.. er, back sides. They favor Ron Paul.

PHP programmers

After many years of code abuse, most PHP programmers have been declared unfit to vote.

Haskell programmers

Haskell programmers have evolved beyond politics a long time ago. As a matter of fact, anybody who has truly mastered Haskell has achieved Buddhahood. Obviously one can not expect them to engage in worldly matters.

Ocaml programmers

Ocaml programmers are attracted to bureaucracy, and are ready to support any party that will ensure that life becomes as complicated as possible for citizens. Since Soviet-style communism is the best example of an overly complex society, this political philosophy has captured many Ocaml programmers.

Scala programmers

They are too young to vote, which is a good thing, because they are very young and very confused.

LISP programmers

LISP programmers statistically do not exist.

Scheme programmers

Will not vote, but they are developing a prototype of a politician that will be better than any other politician. He’ll do his basic arithmetic backwards, but somehow he will still be superior.

Mono/.Net programmers

The only thing I was able to learn about this crowd is that they are so accustomed to constant change that they cannot imagine supporting the same candidate, or even the same party, for two consecutive elections.

Final note: I tried to interview a few Pascal programmers, but they were all too old to parse the questions.


  1. You left out Javascript!

    Comment by raghu — 2008.02.15 @ 18:39

  2. Oh dear! How could I. Now where on the political spectrum do they belong? A-ha! You yourself gave me the answer:

    “You left out Javascript”

    They must be leftists then.

    Comment by Lorenzo E. Danielsson — 2008.02.15 @ 18:49

  3. You’re confusing fascists with communists. The rest of the Python description wouldn’t need to be changed. 🙂

    Comment by Guido van Rossum — 2008.02.15 @ 19:44

  4. Sorry about that. I’m colorblind so brown and red look the same to me.

    Comment by Lorenzo E. Danielsson — 2008.02.15 @ 20:17

  5. […] is what happened when a friend sent me a link to this one which led me to this and this. One of life’s pleasures – finding people with a sense of humor […]

    Pingback by What Happens When You Discover a Cool Blogger? « Dorai’s LearnLog — 2008.02.16 @ 00:58

  6. How do you know it’s really me though? 🙂

    Comment by Guido van Rossum — 2008.02.16 @ 03:12

  7. What I do know is that you are the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand-son of Brian. That is a fact. If you don’t believe me, read up on your family history.

    As for whether or not you are really you, or even the founder of Python, is something I have not commented on. So there!!


    Comment by Lorenzo E. Danielsson — 2008.02.16 @ 11:43

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