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A Serendipitous Intention » Blog Archive » Dating an Apple Developer

A Serendipitous Intention » Blog Archive » Dating an Apple Developer
I like to think that behind every good developer there is a good woman. No. A great woman. It takes a special breed to put up with the stuff that comes along with dating a computer nerd. Those of you who have ever been with a hard core geek know what I’m talking about. Some day I think it would be easier to date one of those guys who hangs out at the golf course all day with his buddies drinking beer.

This weekend I drove up from Nashville to see Justin. I knew he was busy with a Web development project, but I have dealt with that stuff before so it was no big deal. This particular project was for the Rails Day contest. This contest went from midnight on Friday to midnight on Saturday. While he was working I did some MacZealots work, caught up on sleep, cleaned the apartment and did the laundry. While I was folding some shirts I got to thinking about what life with a developer is like. I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

I started pondering this while I was doing the laundry because I noticed that 9 out of the 10 t-shirts I was folding were development or Mac related. Just to give you a general idea of what I’m talking about (and the embarrassment I have to deal with when we go out in public) let me describe a few of them. First, I ran across one that read “Steve Jobs is my homeboy.” Then there was the one that said “I am blogging this.” Next was a WWDC 2004 polo and an Apple Developer Connection shirt. And my personal favorite was the one that said “Code Different.” I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

I am used to all this stuff, and I adore Justin because of it, but what about girls who aren’t used to this sort of thing? What about the poor innocent souls who think they are getting a normal guy and then come to find out he has been sucked into the chaotic world of development? What about the little girls who dream of Prince Charming and end up with Steve Ballmer? What about the girls who never even dreamed they would know who Steve Ballmer is? I think someone needs to offer them a little advice. Seeing that I am a seasoned professional who has been dating a developer since I was 15, I think there is no one better than me to show them the way.

Following are 10 things you need to know when dating a developer (or any kind of techie.)

\1. When projects have a deadline approaching, all plans are tentative.

I don’t care if you sister is getting married or your grandmother dies. If your man has a project with a quickly approaching deadline forget about him being there. This has nothing to do with lack of support, and it is by no means a jab at the guys. It is simply a matter of dedication. I have tried setting alarms, e-mail alerts, etc. Don’t even waste your time. And try to be understanding when situations like this arise. If you’re supportive and that application or piece of software takes off chances are you’ll get a nice date for all your patience.

\2. Your body/sex appeal are nothing compared to the power of a processor.

The nice thing about most computer boys is that they don’t typically check out other women. The downside of this is that they don’t notice the other women because they are too busy checking out people’s cell phones and iPods. When it comes to boys and their toys your short mini skirt just can’t compare. Trust me - I have learned this the hard way. Anytime Justin and I set foot in the Apple Store I see the way his eyes light up when he sees a shiny new G5. I see his jaw hit the ground when new operating systems are released. I run after him in my sexy heels as he sprints to be the first one in line to buy a new piece of software. It’s sick and twisted really, but it comes with the territory. I know what you are thinking. Sex. That will turn any guys head, right? Nope! Sorry ladies, it just isn’t going to work. Unless you are sporting a lacy black teddy with an Apple logo on the crotch you really don’t have a chance if there is a project in the works. The plus side of this is that you could probably roll around in his sheets with Brad Pitt and he wouldn’t notice. Seriously, though, this doesn’t mean you aren’t sexy or desirable. I don’t know what it does mean - I’m still trying to figure that out for myself - but rest assured he still loves you.

\3. You will NEVER be the Apple of his eye.

Ha! Get it? Apple. I’m so funny.

\4. Profanity is his friend.

You have to learn to put on your earmuffs when it comes to watching him work. I know. You want to be supportive and sit in his office offering kind words of encouragement. Go right ahead! Just be prepared for his response to be something about the $4000 piece of shit computer that isn’t going fast enough or the mother f’ing code that doesn’t work right.

\5. If you love him you will be standing by with a lot of caffeine.

Red Bull. Bawls. Mountain Dew. Whatever it takes. He is going to need it. The late night brainstorming sessions and all-night coding marathons require some fuel. Nothing would mean more than you showing up on his doorstep with 64 ounces of goodness.

\6. There is no rest for the weary.

Plan on going to bed alone and waking up alone. Well, unless your bed is right next to the computer, I guess. I have occasionally found Justin in the wee hours of the morning with his head resting on the computer, but that’s the most sleep he’ll get when he is working on something. To be a developer I think you also have to be a perfectionist. This means until every bit of code is complete and flawless he’ll be staring at the computer screen.

\7. Rubies and Pearls are not what you think.

I once overheard Justin having a conversation with a friend of ours. He made mention of a ruby and a pearl. Seeing as how it was almost my birthday I immediately thought I was in for a great gift. Little did I know they were talking about Ruby on Rails and Perl. Later that week we went out for a Sunday afternoon drive. There is a jewelry store just across the street from the local Barnes and Noble. I, of course, thought we were pulling in to buy some bling. 30 minutes and two O’Reilly books later I figured out that my “birthday gift” was actually how-to manuals for programming languages.

\8. One screen is never enough.

When Justin first told me he thought he needed not one but two flat-screen monitors I thought he had finally started drinking. What on earth would require two screens? Now he is talking about getting a third! Oddly enough, when I glance over at him grinding away he has both 17 inches covered. So when he says he needs bigger this or better that, just go with it. At least you know he won’t be cheap when it comes to other things.

\9. if (loveBoyfriend = 1 ) {learn();}

I always thought this coding, development stuff was just nonsense. Then I learned a little bit about it and realized it’s actually very cool. Sometimes I can even offer a little help. The other day Justin spent hours working on something for work. He just couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t coming together. In a spat of frustration he showed me what he was working on. Miraculously, I was able to find the problem. I think it was the proudest he had ever been of me.

\10. There is nothing like being the one there when he completes something new.

I can honestly say it’s the greatest feeling in the world to be the one there when Justin gets out of the chair (for the first time in weeks) and is beaming at me (through red, puffy eyes) and dying to show me his newest creation. Somewhere between the annoying profanity and the lack of sleep he created something wonderful. So when you get frustrated with him just remember that maybe he’s working on the next Movable Type-ish phenomenon. Wouldn’t you love to be the girl behind the guy on the cover of Macworld?

It looks like Justin is about done with his Rails project. I’m gonna go curl up on the couch and watch a movie with him. And as I fall asleep tonight I’ll thank my lucky stars that my boyfriend is a crazy Apple Developer - the greatest guys in the world. I love you, sweetie.

Ladies, next time you go looking for a man, don’t check out the local bar scene. Think Different.

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