Architects & MyersBriggs [INTP]

If you have 5 minutes, you can get a reasonable idea about your personality type here:
http://www.haleonline.com/psychtest/index.php

I'm a strong INTP. Each of the four categories have two choices, so there are 2\^4 = 16 different profiles or personality types (see graphic below). You'll fall into one of those sixteen and will pretty much be that for the rest of your life - that is who you are. While it can be useful to know your own type, it is probably more valuable to know that of your teammates and companions - and use it to leverage the strengths that each brings to the table.

Since each of the four categories defines a "preference", you'll probably find that you have some tendencies described by both choices. However, if you really think seriously and honestly thru the questions, you'll find one more strongly defines your comfort zone and/or typical mode of operation when given a choice and the freedom do as you please. Note that you might associate negative meaning to the descriptors: "introvert" and "judger". They don't mean shy and critical/mean in this context, so focus on the introspective questions in each category, rather than the one word descriptors.

For me, the E/I category was more of a toss up. But I'm a strong NTP. Scott McNealy and Albert Einstein are/were INTPs too. It turns out that most Architects fall into this profile type as well.. That's good, I guess, because I'm an IT Architect. The role and personality seem to match and I love what I do. But as I suggest below, diversity is healthy.

As an INTP, I tend to listen more than I talk, and then think before talking. I tend to look at the possibilities and big picture, and  then figure out how to get there in interesting and creative ways. I am fact/truth based and am concerned with efficiency and forward progress more so than sensitivity or political correctness. I enjoy coming up with creative solutions and starting the process (architecting) more than I enjoy closure (implementing). And along the way, the "NT" in me enjoys a good debate about the best approaches and the logic that supports the decisions.

However, one of the benefits of knowing your own "type" is to explore possible challenges and how others might help complete the team. An INTP often spends too much time talking/thinking about what can be, and can be light on filling in enough of the details. We tend to over think and analyze.. always considering new options and optimizations, sometimes not executing promptly against the time line as desired by an "SJ" type (eg: a Project Manager). A "P" types get their max adrenaline rush and surge of productivity when the drop dead time is at hand.... whereas the "J" type maps out a step-by-step plan and manages to that (fixed) schedule.

Clearly, there is an advantage to a team that consists of a diversity of types.

I just completed the first 1.5 hours of the Facilitated Mentoring program that initiates a mentor/mentee relationship at Sun. I'm the mentor. My mentee is an ISFJ - almost my polar opposite. This should be a rich/rewarding experience for both of us. I highly recommend it.

Comments:

[Trackback] In the profession of IT, having a strong ego can benefit one's career immensely. When it comes to enterprise architecture I am firm in my belief that I understand how to apply it to a corporation's desire to use IT...

Posted by Thinking Out Loud: Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect on May 11, 2005 at 11:52 PM EDT #

SIXTYFIVE

Posted by guest on September 17, 2005 at 03:47 PM EDT #

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