Here’s a good article on dealing with eccentric programmers. I happen to know a few. Here’s a brief excerpt:
This guy is full of mystifying contradictions. He’s an introvert, but you might see him talking and engaging all sorts of people. He swings from being incredibly intimate to being incredibly distant. He ignores entire swaths of details as being someone elses problem, but will go out and solve the most random things that no one has even asked him to work on. What’s going on with this? At work, he might not even talk to a certain strata of people. But after doing some small task for them he might start dropping in to check on them and make sure they’re still happy. Over time, he’ll end up “walking a beat” and touching base with all sorts of people he’s worked with. (In college, he probably had friends from several contradictory “cliques.”) If people start causing disruptions near his desk, he’s liable to get up and make a round in spite of whatever he’s supposed to be working on. Random people will confide in this guy… and he’ll often take back his impressions from these talks and apply them to his secret projects.
My deepest sympathies to all wives and girlfriends of eccentric programmers like this.
© 2008 Scott Wiersdorf