This special piece is written by one of our team members who took the jump into dating a programmer before she had experience in tech, a few years back (while he picked up Python, she picked up Mandarin.)
When we went on our first date, he turned up with a backpack. In his defense, we did meet on a workday. I knew he was studying Computer Science at New York University, I knew a lot of programmers. It's hard to be an Indian and not have any programmers in the family.
Things went well. Both of us liked 'The Lord of the Rings' and had mutual respect for ramen. I was learning HTML and CSS and he knew his stuff so I thought hey, he can help me out. I'm sure he was laughing at me (inside) because it seemed like child's play to him. I struggled through the course and liked it enough. I grew to respect his work (a bit!) and the complexities of different languages. He was a polyglot – he knew a ton of programming languages. It gave me an inferiority complex of sorts so I started learning Mandarin and Korean – not comparable at all but more my speed.
When you date a programmer, you realize a few key things early on. His math skills will always be way above yours. I come from an Arts background and the most complicated math I do is calculating how much tip I have to leave at the end of a meal. He does complicated math-sy and science-y stuff every day so when I whip out my phone calculator to figure out the tip, he's already done paying. Also, it's not fun watching movies or show related to computers with him. He'll spot mistakes while watching 'Silicon Valley' and be really into 'Halt and Catch Fire' while I just zone out on all the jargon.
Once we moved in together last year, I feel like I really got to know him. He is a great human being with some sterling qualities but one thing I just don't get it is how can he sit in front of a computer screen coding for hours and then come back home and sit in front of a TV screen and play on the PlayStation.
I like playing games, don't get me wrong. I'm all up for an 'Assassin's Creed' or 'Metal Gear' marathon, but with just one condition – I like watching other people play them. I hate killing imaginary people/things in games but am all up for watching someone else blow the brains out of the Infected in 'The Last of Us.' I just don't understand the need to play 'Rocket League' for hours at a time. First you're playing soccer with cars and second, it's CARS!
Although I eventually got used to it, my boyfriend’s propensity to over explain things did get on my nerves. Ask him a simple question about anything computer or technology related and you get a long-winded explanation. He does try to simplify it for me, but I lose interest about halfway through and am like, I'll just Google it. For example, just the other day I asked him, “What's the difference between Angular JS and jQuery?” He'd been teaching himself Angular JS and it was just something bugging me.
His explanation started simple enough, how AngularJS is more client-side and you can build entire web applications in it and jQuery is more of a user interface thing which adds more functionality to a page. Then he popped off some acronyms like MVC and DOM and lost me. Then I tuned him out and started thinking about Luke Skywalker's fate and that was that. Pssst... he's sweet, though. He sent me a link to a great post which explains it all.
Also, I soon to came to realize, his first love will always be his gadgets. He might miss me when he's traveling, but the first thing he does when he comes back home is play a game on the PlayStation. His laptop is sacrosanct and his main source of income. So you can't leave even a sheet of paper on top of it. At home, that laptop has a place of its own. My laptop, on the other hand, suffers from an ignominious fate. I usually eat and drink while I'm working and crumbs travel. He calls it the most disgusting thing he's ever seen.
Both of us have our own idiosyncrasies too, it would be hypocritical of me to not recognize that. Anytime my devices act up, I just let it go and will try to troubleshoot them later. He, on the other hand, is all for solving the problem now. If my Android phone starts acting up at work, I know I'll turn to him once I get back home and he'll try to reset it. Then he'll get a teensy bit upset if I haven't backed up all my data, do it himself and then reboot the phone. Same goes for my laptop. For him, if he needs any help writing stuff or just do some research, he turns to me and I Google the heck out of it.
Last year was our first Valentine's Day together and I was looking forward to something special/ kind of different from our daily routine. He tutted at the cliches and all the symbolism of the day and turned back to his laptop screen. So, at the end of the day, we just stayed in and cooked food. I kept wishing for a blackout or anything to prevent him from lounging in front of the screen and playing the entire day, but my prayers went unanswered.