It turns out, as if we didn't know already, that we at Razor are a pretty mixed bunch. Recently everyone at Razor completed the Myers-Brigg test, which involves selecting how much you agree or disagree with a list of statements and takes around 10 minutes to complete. There are 4 categories of personalities: Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels, and Explorers, each of which are divided into 4 sub-categories. Your test result is 1 of the 16 personality types. The descriptions for each type goes into a whole lot of detail about you, from what you're like as a colleague to even how you are/will be as a parent.
4 measures are used to determine your personality type:
- Extraversion v Introversion: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
- Sensing v Intuition: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
- Thinking v Feeling: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?
- Judging v Perceiving: Do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?
My result was a Debater and its description was scarily accurate. However, as a former scientist, I’m naturally a little sceptical of most things, and wondered if the descriptions were just generic enough to apply to everyone in the same way that horoscopes are. Grouping everyone into 16 personality types seemed like an overly-simplistic approach, almost like Buzzfeed quizzes that decide which Harry Potter character you are (Snape, obviously). Given I am a tester here at Razor, I decided to read the descriptions for a few other personality types in order to determine whether they also described me and they didn't fit at all, so I’m fairly convinced.
Different roles suit different people
At Razor, the general trend seems to be that those of us that are more "technical" and do more of the development heavy-lifting, but have fewer interactions with clients fall into the Analysts category. This makes sense as analysts are generally adept at problem-solving but are more direct when discussing things and have less appreciation for small talk and niceties. I imagine a lot of developers across the industry probably fall into this category and it’s why so many people can find working with "techies" challenging. Fortunately, at Razor, the training time we have also focuses on improving “soft-skills” as well as technical knowledge; there's no point having all the answers if no one wants to listen to you! Maybe we should start referring to them as “hard-skills” as opposed to “soft-skills”.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Diplomats. They are generally in "people-focused" roles such as project management or human resources. They are in their element when they are interacting with people, whether that is clients or colleagues. They are specialists in seeing the bigger picture, keeping everyone informed and translating the needs of customers into defined requirements.
In the middle, we have the Explorers and Sentinels. These are the hybrids and specialise in carrying out some "technical" work, whilst also being involved in the client-facing processes. They are a key link that helps bridge the gap between the "techies" and the "talkers". That's not to say our "techies" are kept in a cupboard and don't talk to anyone, though I can think of one or two that would probably be quite content with that!
Focusing on what connects rather than divides us
We've focused on what makes everyone at Razor different, so now let's think about what we all have in common:
- We all work well as a team, everyone's opinion is listened to
- We are all ambitious and driven people who strive to continually improve through marginal gains
- We all specialise in certain areas and share this knowledge with others
- We all enjoy solving complex problems
- We are all a bit weird, sorry, I mean quirky
We're hiring and we still need a Protagonist, a Logistician, an Executive and an Adventurer to complete the set. So if you fit into one of those types then that's a bonus, but don't worry we won't hold it against you if you don't! Have a go at the test yourself here.
You might be wondering which is the best personality type? Well, of course, it is the Debater and if you don't agree then I'll happily argue about it with you all day!