This quote boggles my mind:
Let's be blunt and up front here. I'm good at what I do, and I do a lot of things that a lot of people can't manage. Parrot's first mark and sweep garbage collector was put together in about four hours while I was sitting in my local public library (no wifi but comfy chairs) and it worked pretty well. The hardest part about it was doing the dull stuff involved with it. I'm reasonably certain that's not normal. And no, I don't know how to say "Yeah, I'm good at doing that stuff that makes your head explode -- it's easy" without coming across as an arrogant prat, so I don't. (Say it. I've no idea about the arrogant prat bit)
One of the running jokes was that we'd know Parrot was ready for release 1.0 because all the code I'd written and checked in had been rewritten. I cultivated this, to the point of occasionally checking in bad (working, but crappily written) code on purpose, partially to give the code gnomes something to gnaw on and partly to enhance my rep as an adequate but not great coder. If people thought the code was deeply magic they wouldn't want to touch, and I knew we needed people not afraid to touch.
It's from Dan Sugalski's public postmortem of Parrot, circa 2005.