According to a 69-question Myers-Briggs Personality Type Test for programmers, I am an ENTP: barely extroverted (6/5), strongly intuitive (14/6), thinking (13/6), and perceiving (12/7). The results describe people like me:

Very freedom-oriented, they need a career which allows them to act independent[ly] and express their creativity and insight.

These descriptions of ENTP types in Wikipedia resonated with me.

In Socionics ENTps belong to the club of the Researchers, the alpha Quadra, and are named “Seeker” or Don Quixote.

Really, it’s not as important as you think.

They are stimulated by difficulties, quickly devising creative responses and plunging into activity, trusting their ability to improvise…. They respond to challenging problems by creating complex and global solutions.

They admire competence, intelligence, precision and efficiency.

Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems, but may neglect routine assignments. Apt to turn one new interest after another. Skillful in finding logical reasons for what they want.

I felt these passages on the test site’s ENTP page described me well, or were tendencies I should keep in mind.

Profile

They may be several steps ahead of others in encouraging and valuing change. They hate uninspired routine and resist hierarchical and bureaucratic structures that are not functional.

Living

They enjoy creating projects and following interests that are unusual and different.

When things do not go as they want, they use their ingenuity and cleverness to bring people and situations around to their point of view.

The worst job for them is working for someone who demands considerable rule following or tries too often to tell or order, rather than make suggestions to the ENTP.

Throughout their careers, ENTPs want their work to be enjoyable, with interesting possibilities for applications. Additionally, having their work widely acclaimed and accepted as a unique contribution would be highly gratifying for ENTPs. They also weave in vacations whenever possible and want a flexible work schedule.

Learning and Working

When the subject matter interests them, they are able to find meaning in whatever they are studying. Knowledge is important to them, but they may not feel the need to show this to their teachers and therefore may be somewhat lackadaisical about assignments and tests.

ENTPs look at the logical foundations in others’ thinking and build on them to develop their own conceptual systems.

They view limitations as challenges to be overcome and look for new ways to do things. They need to find a niche for themselves in order to be free to maneuver. They prefer the start-up phase of a project rather than the followthrough or maintenance phase. Once the project is designed, they prefer to turn it over to someone else.

Or, to keep redesigning it to “make it better”.

While they like status and titles, they ultimately want to be judged on their innovative accomplishments. They take advantage of changing circumstances and work those circumstances into their plans.

Loving

When scorned, ENTPs use their powerful and broadreaching analysis to explain the reasons why the relationship was not good in the first place

Profile by David Keirsey

The ENTP is the most reluctant of all the types to do things in a particular manner just because that is the way things always have been done. They characteristically have an eye out for a better way, always on the lookout for new projects, new activities, new procedures. ENTP’s are confident in the value of their pursuits and display a charming capacity to ignore the standard, the traditional, and the authoritative.

Where the introverted NTP sees design as an end in itself, the extraverted NTP sees design as a means; the end is the invention that works, the prototype that is replicable. Ideas are valuable when and only when they make possible actions and objects.

Rather, the faith of the ENTP’s is in their ability to improvise something, and they display an unusual talent for rising to the expediency of a situation.

They value adaptability and innovation and thus respond quickly and adeptly to another’s shifting position.

A rough draft is all that an ENTP needs to feel confident and ready to proceed into action, counting on the ability to improvise as a situation develops. Because of this tendency to depend on ingenuity and improvision, they may neglect very necessary preparation at times. After repeated failures in situations where improvising has met with defeat, the ENTP may develop ways of avoiding such situations as a substitute to thorough preparation.

Career

If a project in which they are engaged is no longer challenging, they tend to lose interest in that project and fail to follow through-often to the discomfort of colleagues…. ENTP’s are good at innovative projects and can administer them well if dull routine is not involved.

ENTP’s enjoy outwitting the system and use rules and regulations within the system to win the game-whatever it may be. They understand well the politics of institutions and deal with these realities very well, always aiming to understand the people within the system rather than to judge them.

Home

They are gregarious, laugh easily and often, and are typically in good humor…. They are usually easy-going, seldom critical or nagging. At their worst, they can show undependable, fickle characteristics and may be rather easily discouraged.

Orderliness in the routines of daily living is not apt to inspire them

Although usually good providers of economic necessities, ENTP’s at times engage in brinkmanship with their careers, placing them in jeopardy and behaving as if unaware of the consequences; they may thus offer unnecessary challenges to those who have power over their professional success. When challenges elicit negative responses from superiors, ENTP’s are apt to react with delight at having an opportunity to improvise a solution to the crisis and, more often than not, they succeed in doing so.

ENTP’s are likely to have all sorts of hobbies and to be experts in unexpected areas, but they are not apt to share these hobbies with their mates or children in the sense of teaching them. In fact, ENTP’s may be very inconsistent in the attention given to offspring. Usually, it is feast or famine.

Midlife

At midlife ENTP’s can allow their tendency to experiment recklessly to get out of hand and may destroy or discard the work of half a lifetime, both in personal relationships and in careers. Energy spent in sorting out priorities and values may be a good investment at this time. Developing an increased awareness of emotional reactions and expanding the intensity and range of these through self-development work may be something ENTP’s might want to consider at midlife. An increased repertoire of introverted-type activities; for example, gardening, painting, or reading may be a source of pleasure to ENTP’s.

Mates

The inventor, also broadly conceived, is bent on replacing whatever tools, operation, or enterprise now exists with a better one. Out to exercise his ingenuity in bettering things, the ENTP is of necessity iconoclastic and tends to be so seen. So he can get into a bit of trouble with the elders, who usually are not all that pleased to see their tried-and-true tools, operations, and enterprises blithely set aside for the ENTP’s better mousetrap.