Developers love competition. Why? Based on my experience, they enjoy showing off their skills and they enjoy the intellectual challenge. And, of course, some of them just plain love to compete.

But it’s not just my opinion. We recently completed a Developer Media study about personality types. I’ll share the results with you later, but the short version is that 70% of developers fit into 5 personality types. To further drill down, we found that 52% of developers have “NT” personality traits vs. 14% of the regular US population. What’s NT? Well, we used the Myers-Briggs Personality Index (MBTI) (R), and correlated that with the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Here’s what we learned:

The NT personality types are described as “rationals,” and according to Keirsey, they’re driven by a desire to master everything in their domain. Keirsey says these folks love to achieve and are driven to work — in order to show that they have mastered a particular skill.

There we have it: actual science, not just my opinion, helping us understand what drives devs to compete: it’s not only their desire to look good in front of peers, but it’s more likely to be their desire to prove to themselves that they have mastered a technology.

(Note: we’ve conducted many contests and competitions on behalf of our clients, and we’ve learned a lot about how to run a contest that developers will respond to. Check out the Intel App Innovation Contest 2013 we’re currently promoting.)