What makes Configuration Management (CM) professionals so unique? Is it the way we can view a complex task and break it down into meaningful activities? Is it the way we can bring some level of order to chaos? Is it that we not only want to understand the details on how things work, but we also like to understand the big picture? Is it our need to improve our environment? Or is it the way we persevere at difficult tasks in trying to bring together the pieces that comprise our deliverables?
This study was conducted as a means to identify if there are common traits amongst those professionals who work in the CM field. While some traits are derived from anecdotal evidence in discussions amongst CM professionals, this study seeks to identify a more precise characterization of personality traits using Myers Briggs types. Overall, this study is primarily an exploration to identify and raise awareness of common personality traits. It does not attempt to draw any grand conclusions and provides others with data points in which to continue further study in this area. With this in mind and a good boost by Neal Freeman who posted the question, “What kind of people are we?” to the CMCrossroads Forums, I began this study.
The tools of the study included:
- A simple survey which asked individuals to provide their Myers Briggs type. The survey included a link to the “Jung - Myers-Briggs typological test” found at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm) although the results from any Myers-Briggs test was acceptable
- The “CMTALK” email group and “CMCrossroads” newsgroup. The survey was emailed to the CMTALK email group ( email@example.com) and it was posted to the CMCrossroads newsgroup (see ) in the “Forums” section.
Overview of Myers-Briggs “The development of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator required the imagination and drive of two very gifted women, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. The original concept for the Type Indicator evolved from Katharine Cook Briggs's extensive studies of contemporary children's educational and social developmental theories. She combined these with the theories of the prominent psychologist Carl Jung to develop a testing method to help determine the best vocation for a child, what she saw as a key to their future happiness and well being. She was joined in this effort by her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s as she began raising a family of her own.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI] began life as the Briggs-Myers Type Indicator Test , which Katharine and Isabel constantly worked on further refining with the assistance of Edward Laney (a manager at The Pennsylvania Company who was the first to utilize and apply the MBTI concept to personnel management) under the auspices of Briggs-Myers Type Research, Inc. The name changed was to ‘Myers-Briggs Type Indicator’ in the late 1940’s.
From there it grew in several stages: in association with Educational Testing Service during the late 1950’s and into the early 1960’s, later publication through the Consulting Psychologist Press, establishment of the Typology Lab at the University of Florida in conjunction with Dr. Mary H. McCaulley, and the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) in Gainesville, FL.” (University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries Special Collections, Isabel Briggs Myers Papers Manuscript Group 64 - http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/Myers1.htm).
As a summary, the following is a brief overview of the specific Myers Briggs personality types. The Myers Briggs model of personality is based on examining 4 preference sets. The preference sets include:
- Introvert (I) or Extrovert (E) – Do you direct your energies outwardly with words (E) or