I have been accused of being a curmudgeon by more than one co-worker.  The short, pithy answers to the question of I got to this point would be “experience” or “it comes with age”.  But what is the real reason and does it have any benefit?

Firstly, I was raised in an Irish-German family which by default makes me surly and sarcastic.  At almost half a century of this habit I don’t see any change coming there.  I also find that most developers have similar traits along with a dry sense of humor.

The main thing that gained me the label of curmudgeon is the knack for identifying issues that could adversely affect a project.  Things like scope creep and knowledge voids that could push a project beyond its budget and deadlines.  This tendency has come from 20 years of being a technical lead and architect.  It is an attribute that has served me well.

The place where this becomes a thorn in some team members side is that with years I think I have become more blunt with my assessments.  I am still capable of tact, but probably need to employee a little more liberally.

Ultimately, I think being a self-aware-curmudgeon is a good thing.  As long as we continue to learn and strive to work with people a little surly is just the spice of life.