The word "brogrammer" showed up in a tweet for me the other day, as part of promotion for a women's development conference. I had no ideas such a word existed. But apparently it's been floating around for a while. It's the negative side of the trend I've often appreciated that developers aren't just the heads-down, cube-bound, geeks they once were. The whole thing reminded me of an argument I was having with two (female) high school classmates via Facebook about whether The Big Bang Theory was a.) funny and b.) accurate. I know Big Bang isn't about developers, but I feel the writers think it's inclusive of all geek culture. I disagree, and I think it promotes a male-centric culture of developers/geeks. The only way women can break into that culture is to be exactly like the men or so sexy they can't be ignored. That's damaging. Worse, it's simply not true. Some of my favorite geeks - real geeks, not self-identifying wannabees - are women. Both online (ahem, Felicia Day) and at work.
So what is this brogramming nonsense? I like the urban dictionary definition, because it includes the assertion that brogrammers are not a good thing, even as far as other male programmers are concerned.
A programmer who breaks the usual expectations of quiet nerdiness and opts instead for the usual trappings of a frat-boy: popped collars, bad beer, and calling everybody "bro". Despised by everyone, especially other programmers.Want a more AV-centric look at brogrammers? Here's a taste at Quora.
It's mainstream enough even CNN feels they need to weigh in. My favorite part of that article is not the waste of space it takes to talk about brogramming, but all the comments. For example, MattQu:
... As a recent college grad in the tech field, I can verify that the "brogrammer" is just a tongue in cheek joke that has been blown in to it's own fluff piece. The young and hip atmosphere is not all booze and parties, that's a nice romantic idea, but it's completely wrong. It's a lot of young twenty somethings working their butts off by competing to see who can work the most on the least amount of sleep. The festive feel is being created by mega corporations who are competing for the best and the brightest minds right out of college. GoDaddy is a joke of a website to use as the example company in the article. Any admin worth their weight knows this. Yes, they have huge flashy commercials, but that's so they can get the mom and pop domain registration jobs. This insulting to young programmers by saying they're all now party frat boys, when in fact we're getting some of the most brilliant minds going in to CS rather than finance or economics. These young people (both women and men) are working hard to push the tech barriers. They're the ones that built the infrastructure so that Doug Gross could publish this fluff piece online.As an avid bicyclist, I do think something of a bro culture exists in the bicycling community. One of my favorite films of the last few Bicycling Film Festivals is Dudey Free Zone, produced right here in the Twin Cities...
Dudey Free Zone from Laila Davis on Vimeo.
Snarky: Are we brogrammers?
Title: No, we're future MANagement.