As many people anxiously shelter at home, worried about their jobs, wondering when the grocery delivery will arrive, this pandemic has been a particular boon to sentient creatures who live in our homes— our pets. We love our pets so much we refer to them as “our children,” we spoil them, fawn over them, use photos of them on our mobile home screens.
While not actually anthropomorphizing our precious pets, the data center and cloud solutions company INAP offers levity: It created eight IT Pet persona personality types by surveying 500 IT professionals to assess which personality they see in themselves.
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Pets and our interactions provide affection and distraction when we would otherwise worry. Pets’ popularity is featured in viral memes and gifs, depicting pets who are overjoyed or suspicious of all the bonus time together.
And it is definitely a mutual admiration society. Shortly after most US citizens were asked to begin the practice of staying home, people were flooding rescues and shelters looking for a companion pet. CBS News reported that the coronavirus outbreak led to a major uptick in foster pet applications. Throughout the country, there has been a spike in adoptions.
INAP’s survey reveals insights into how IT professionals see themselves. Dogs and cats are the top two most popular pets in the US, so it’s not that surprising that the most popular personality IT professionals self-identify with is the dog, and 34% of respondents chose it as their primary pet persona.
While most people are not likely to be referred to as “dog-like,” (which, frankly, elicits negative connotations) being “cat-like” is a frequent reference to someone who’s aloof, stealthy, surefooted. However, cats came in a distant second, with 26% of IT pros seeing themselves as the independent felines.
Respondents were asked to choose their primary pet personality, by giving them a list of both household and exotic pets and corresponding characteristics. Most people are not are not completely one thing, and participants were given the option to pick a secondary persona. Consider that those outside of the IT industry are just as likely to think the entire profession as staid and stoic. But INAP’S report reads, “like any discipline, there’s a spectrum.”
Pet personality types
Thirty-one pros selected the dog as their only pet. Senior IT leaders are 17% more likely to be dogs than non-senior leaders. IT dogs are 42% more likely than IT cats to think their infrastructure strategy deserves a good grade, an A.
Felines came in second, and 26% of IT pros select it as a primary persona. They’re able to “work independently with little direction,” said the report, with 14% of respondents choosing the cat as their secondary person.
INAP chose eight types of pets with descriptions for users to choose; here as ranked from the most identified with:
Dog—always appear happy, thrive off of positive feedback and incentives; they’re loyal, but oftentimes to a fault.
Cat—need little direction and operate well independently, and come off as aloof or standoffish, despite having a hidden soft side.
Iguana—experts at adapting to whatever work environment they’re in; but camouflage true opinions during conflict and they’re hard to pin down.
Fish—experts at swimming through the backlog, but they sleep with their eyes open in anticipation of the next problem at work.
Tarantula—have eyes on everything and never miss an opportunity at work; they’re often respected, but intimidate colleagues and subordinates.
Parrot—are highly intelligent and absorb knowledge quickly, but are commonly thought of as arrogant and are prone to occasionally throw colleagues under the bus.
Turtle—work slow and steady and get the job done better than anyone else in the office, but they’d rather hid in their shell to avoid engaging in work conflicts.
Hedgehog—works diligently through the night, but can be reclusive and prickly if not managed to their likeness
The report features a breakdown of the top pet persona pairings across the entire sample.