Is good programming associated with ego? Should we expect all or most smart developers to be arrogant?

I tend to find that it is a common and accepted concept in some workplaces, they expect developers to be egotistic and hard to deal with as they are allegedly smarter than everyone else. I'd love to know what programmers think about this

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    FWIW, my manager(s) have never asked me to "improve my arrogance" or told me that I have "potential to be more arrogant". – Masked Man Nov 20 '16 at 14:25
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    My experience has been that arrogant programmers are bad programmers - they refuse to acknowledge they may be wrong and/or need to learn new things. Confident programmers are good programmers - they know what they can do, and what they need to learn. – HorusKol Nov 20 '16 at 21:29
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    "Should we expect all or most smart developers to be arrogant?" - Absolutely not. In fact, you should expect the particularly arrogant ones to be useless. Not only do they typically grossly overestimate their ability, but they're difficult to work with, generally bringing everyone else down as well. This is exactly one of the main reasons why I find working with other developers to be irritating. – pay Nov 21 '16 at 16:42
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    6 arrogant developers downvoted my post :P – Nickolozo Dec 21 '17 at 3:18
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    "Is good programming associated with ego? Should we expect all or most smart developers to be arrogant?" - This is clearly a question(2 in fact). The idea this is opinion based makes no sense. Where can you draw the line of opinion based? It seems most answers on workplace.stackexchange fall under the same category. This question is clearly disliked because of the nature of the question that is in a way against programmers. However, there are clearly disproportionately more arrogant programmers and it can be explained through things such as elitism, protectionism and being anti-social. – Damien Golding Nov 8 '18 at 0:48

No, there is no stereotypical 'good developer' in terms of their attitude. You can have arrogant developers who are useless, just as you can have arrogant labourers who are useless, and everything in between.

However don't confuse self-confidence with arrogance, a good, competent professional is confident in their abilities and that may come across as arrogance sometimes.

Social skills are important in a workplace. I actually find the best developers to be pretty easy to work with in terms of their ego's, just like any other professional. and the ones with the outrageous ego's to be often cowboys (although possibly they could do a great job if they buckled down and did it). Over here anyway.


There's no such thing as good skills leading to arrogance. A person who is good at something generally has a broader vision and to a novice programmer they might appear to be arrogant. As the negligence of novice one's could be irritating to some.

Consider My example

I started using stackoverflow for some very basic question which already had answers (and I continued that for a long time) and they got me a lot of negative repos. I considered the other users arrogant as I was getting negative repos all the time. Then after few month I've realized that I've been wrong for not realizing the norms and the way I should be using it.

And if not so then it could be the nature of the person which has nothing to do with programming.

  • That's a very good example Ishan, however, there are people who make things look harder than they are to boast in how they are good at such a hard thing and there are people who make it look easier than it is to boost the confidence of that novice programmer. How do you think a programmer should approach a novice question without coming off as arrogant? – Nickolozo Nov 20 '16 at 22:44
  • According to me knowledge is supreme power.The more you have the lesser mistakes you'll commit. – Black Mamba Nov 21 '16 at 17:18

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