I used to be solidly in that introvert group, accepting that it was completely fine to want to be alone, that it was who I was and that I should be proud of it.
I went through a huge shift in college (one of the reasons I believe college is a great experience) and now I'm far more extroverted than I used to be, truly a sea change.
I believe that this change has been incredibly positive for me, and I wish I hadn't held myself back so much by being too complacent with my personality.
You are who you are, and you shouldn't hate yourself or do anything harmful to your self confidence, but don't be afraid of change either! And for pete's sake, don't pigeon-hole yourself into a category just because you think you fit it. Over your life, you will change more than you know, and hopefully for the better—there's no reason to limit yourself.
So my recommendation is to collaborate as much as possible, go outside your comfort zone, break the barriers that make you cringe, and learn from it to grow as a person and as a coder.
Shyness "is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people"
Social Intelligence "describes the exclusively human capacity to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments"
Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life".
When I was younger, I was told that all of these things were the same , and I was very confused. While I felt more connected to my inner world than the outer world, I had no problem dealing with situations (such as parties, events, etc) where I met a large number of people. I wouldn't actively seek these types of encounters out, but would navigate them (often with compliments) when they came up. However, afterwords I would feel physically and mentally exhausted. Only later in life did I learn a more nuanced view about introversion/extroversion that dealt with which situations one finds more or less rewarding.
I personally find small teams, often just me, highly rewarding and engaging. Afterwards I feel mentally recharged, and can continue such encounters for very long amounts of time. Conversely, I find that large groups are very draining, and I have to take more time to recharge.
I would generally rank in the middle-lower levels in shyness. I don't actively seek out encounters with strangers, but I do not feel a high level of apprehension or awkwardness. For social IQ, I'd rate myself as average. I can talk someone's ear off, understand empathy, and social situations do not generally throw me off balance. However, for introversion I'm near the top. Given any particular situation, I would prefer to be alone or in small groups, even to point of possible negative social/group consequences (which I generally understand and accept as the cost of the trade-off).
So while I agree with you that some introverts are pigeon-holing themselves, there are people, like myself, who value their introversion and do not feel that it is a limitation.
Thanks for all the links, great definitions and resources there for people who may not understand the differences.
Irony: I'd classify myself as introverted and antisocial. But not anymore. Now I'm just introverted ;)
I'm happy to collaborate with others, meeting and then going off to my own (quiet) space to think further and to implement.
Electronic communication also helps me, as I can control the level and times of sensory input / stimulation it provides. And even while interacting, I'm less overwhelmed by the immediate physical presence of another person or people.
If you are like me, I recommend not straining overly in an attempt to force yourself to "adapt" to today's typical, noisy and distracting physical "collaboration" environment. I've been at it for several decades, and it just doesn't work.
People simply love the work I do, when I'm given the resource and left in peace to do it. (I do engage with others, freely; however, this is not -- incessantly and counter-productively and irrelevantly -- forced upon me.
Please save yourself the aggravation I've gone through. Leave bad environments, until you find one that accepts how you function and fosters your excellence within that context. Do work to grow and expand your abilities; however, beware of demands that are instead excessively stressing you, diminishing your productivity, and wearing you down. That is a long-term course to failure.
P.S. I'll add that I tend to be very good at teaching and training, because I really pay attention to the other person or people and work from where I find them to be at, in knowledge and conception. I've often received thanks and comments from people who've told me that it's the first time they've really gotten the topic at hand.
If there are lingering doubts about my ability to collaborate and work with others, I'd cite this as a prime counter-argument.
Love the idea of getting a bunch of these solo hackers together in the same room to see what they can accomplish.
That's probably a team thing though.
Oh, okay then.
Or 'participant' or 'contributor'. Making the terminology a little more descriptive seems to make it easier to not end up with gendered terms, and I can't speak for anybody else but -I- certainly need all the help I can get to not screw this sort of thing up.
Edit: after doing some more thinking/research, I now believe that the non-gendered form is "guys", but that is still gender-biased: if you were in a room and said "can all the guys sit on this side of the room?" the women would likely not move to that side of the room. Similarly, if you were describing a robbery and you said "a short guy with a purple hood", it would not be ambiguous that you were talking about a male robber.
Interesting. What would happen if you said "can all you guys sit on this side of the room?"
I agree that other words avoid this problem and are more descriptive.
Yeah, I don't broadcast my life -- but I talk about things that are interesting to me, and the Internet gives me a nice medium that I can use without feeling the willpower drain that comes from having constant face-to-face interaction.
The output of help re-flows when the window is re-sized. But the output of other 'commands' didn't reflow. I'm not sure if that's a feature or not.
But it's a really nice way to present information.
I could never attend a "normal" hackathon because, while I really enjoy being sociable and interacting with others, I struggle with my focus. I need quiet and solitude to really get any coding done.
would increase readability.
Very nice interface.