What is it with backend developers and %@$*! phones?

Hi, I’m Jakub, the platform team lead at Datawrapper. I take care of our under-the-hood code and servers. Today’s Weekly Chart starts with a story:

“The buttons are so big and small at the same time!” said a support engineer typing a message on my phone. We, the Datawrapper team, were in Perugia for the International Journalism Festival and I, a backend developer, needed someone with good communication skills to contact our apartment owner. Another colleague overheard the conversation and chimed in: “Yeah Jakub, what is it with backend people and sh*tty phones?” Wait, what?

A classic stereotype goes like this: frontend developers — who work with the user interface, text, colors — are better at human communication, whereas backend developers — who work with servers and databases — prefer to talk to computers. Maybe so, whatever, we backend people don’t care. But the suggestion that this difference includes phone hardware quality is interesting.

One poll later…

Indeed, this tiny sample shows that the phones of my backend teammates are older than our colleagues’. Does it mean they’re also worse?

Of course everyone likes their own phone. But objectively?

I guess that settles it.

Of course, there is more to a phone than age and likability: price, privacy, ecology… Several Datawrappians (it's a term) expressed a preference for refurbished phones. But that can be a topic for another Weekly Chart. We managed to send the text message just fine and had a great time in Perugia.

That’s it for my Weekly Chart! Next Thursday, our support engineer Margaux will present another one. We’ll see you then.