On Technological Debates

Debater (ENTP) is a person with the Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Prospecting personality traits. They tend to be bold and creative, deconstructing and rebuilding ideas with great mental agility. They pursue their goals vigorously despite any resistance they might encounter.


I was easily triggered into heated arguments with one co-worker. At some points, it was near-shouting.

He was full of bluster. He goaded me on. He reveled in stirring the pot. To him, everything was an emergency, everything was a competition, everything was make-or-break, do-or-die, black or white.

In response, I argued passionately for ASP.NET MVC to replace our use of ASP.NET WebForms. I argued for using MVVM pattern. I argued for using WordPress instead of .NET to build content management systems.

Years later I took a personality test: my personality apparently is that of a “debater.” I started protesting the results, giving the reasons I most certainly was not a debater. It was a no-win situation. If I accepted the results, I would be a debater, and if I debated it – I was proving the point.

I realize now this begins and ends with me. There is no argument that can be won by getting louder. I can’t control other’s behavior, and I don’t want to. I can control how I react to it.

I realize now he was the one acting foolish. There was no reason I needed to feed his ego by putting on my own jester hat and joining in on the act.

The only way to win was to not play the game.

There is a way to constructively discuss ideas and approaches, and it’s not debating – it’s collaborating.

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