There is an interesting post about Rockstar vs. Jazz programmers. What kind of programmer are you? I would rather be a true mathematician or a real Unix programmer. Often they are a bit strange, have little or no communication skills, a beard is not uncommon, and they have a weird hairstyle. Like the bearded guy named “Silent Gary” in this Dilbert cartoon :

For the typical Unix developer the length, bushiness, and unkemptness of the beard is directly proportional to the owner’s expertise (think of Richard Stallman, Alan Cox or Ken Thompson). Someone on SlashDot asked Alan Cox, one of the world’s most famous Linux kernel hackers, what he should do to make it big in the world of UNIX gurus:

“I’ve been programming a computer since I was 8 years old. I’m 29 now. That’s 21 years of “experience”. Lately, however, I’ve come to the realization that I’m never going to make it “big” unless I grow a Big Ole Programmer’s Beard. I’d like to think it’s possible to be a wise UNIX guru without one, but I think it would be easier if I had a beard. A big one. My question is: Since my wife won’t let me grow the Big Ole Programmer’s Beard, what should I do to make it “big” in the world of UNIX gurus?”

Alan Cox said: “You could try a disguise kit”. :-)