brogrammer, n.: 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.
Ex: Oh my god, John is talking about football and chicks again. That guy is such a brogrammer.
See also: programmer, frat boy, bro, douchebag, developer
This is not a good stereotype to conjure up, even in some ironic-parody-hipster sense.
It isn't a joke, either; I've definitely seen programmers where I've worked who really do act like that -- and they are like toxin for introverted programmers. Most other programmers probably don't appreciate a "bro" constantly talking about his sexual conquests instead of interesting technical topics or hobbies.
Definitely. I can hardly imagine anything more off-putting. Alas, I have seen that kind of crude bragging in Hacker News comments every once in a while. The Hacker News readership skews young, so many of the participants here are still trying to establish long-term relationships. As someone who is approaching thirty years of marriage, I no longer have the preoccupation of finding the next girl--and I really never did, as I was looking for the ONE girl I could count on to be a good wife for a lifetime and a good mother for any children we happened to have. It has not escaped my notice that many Hacker News participants are still looking for ways to build a deep relationship with someone. I don't think bragging up one-night stands provides answers for the many readers here who have questions about that.
A lot of bigotry and exclusionary behavior is couched in terms of being "just a joke".
This led to mannerisms, interests, and an external appearance adapted from my peers, but also to a quiet (though dominant) side of me that spends 20 of 24 hours each day pounding away at my keyboard. If I ever came across another programmer in the wild I'm not sure how I would be received.
It's weird to not fit in anywhere. But these guys just sound like douchebags.
Truth be told this 'us vs. them' is a relic of the Revenge of the Nerds days. Saying things like "no you're a bro you can't be one of us" or yelling "neeerrrrrrds" is exactly the same thing. As time wears on, the techs will seem to get less awkward and the bros will seems to get less "bro-y." It's the convergence that occurs once the social stigma of the 80s has worn off.
It should be noted though that tech conversation and "testosterversation" are really difficult to mix. If you're in one mode you don't want to keep switching back to the other.
My predecessor at the current job fits the description - he was renowned for his sexist remarks and attitude. Don't know if he regards himself a "brogrammer".
Turns out a guy who doesn't give a shit what people think of his personality also doesn't give a shit about his code...
I would apply the term "brogrammer" to him in a strictly pejorative sense.
... and you don't have to be a bro to have fun.
In the dotcom boom, douchebags didn't program, they did MBAs and took for granted that as "business guys" they would have the lion's share of wealth and status just for being who they were. That many of them now feel compelled to join the profession their forebears saw as underlings and learn to actually do real work, while many of the rest are pleading for technical cofounders, are signs of a major shift.
Remember that video that did the rounds on HN a year or two ago about the Valley in the 70s? A typical technical cofounder would end up with 2% ownership and zero control. Compare that to Mark Zuckerberg retaining control of Facebook and extolling "the hacker way" in an SEC filing. It's a massive change in the right direction, and most of it has happened in the last 15 years and it's still accelerating. It will be interesting to see the social consequences. Annoying epiphenomena like "brogrammers" are inevitable, but deeper changes are the ones to watch for.
Thankfully I work with no brogrammers - this might actually start being a hiring disadvantage if companies are known to be brogrammer-heavy.
Do they self-identify as "brogrammers?" If so, did they do so before joining Facebook or only after the fact?
The self-described bro in the linked article appears to only "program" in PHP according to his own website, so I think my assumption that he's just a monkey is fair.
The point of this blog post is basically that it doesn't matter if you program or what, if you're a douche, you are a douche.
How long until we see "Brogrammer needed" ads
I think it's probably not a good recruiting strategy, because it telegraphs both that this might be a problematic opening for women, and that anyone worried they'll be deemed too egghead/nerdy might want to pass. Even if you don't care about sexism (which you should), a job ad that implies that nerdy programmers may not be welcome really restricts the size of the candidate pool. On the other hand, if that's the company culture, maybe it's better to know ahead of time...
I think a lot of people are repulsed by the idea of spending a career surrounded by the "programmer" stereotype (i.e. monomaniacal, male, introverts). Part of me wonders whether advertising a more traditionally social work environment might not attract a lot of talent that doesn't fit the "programmer" mold (including women!).
that's what I find funny about the whole thing. "we're hiring programmers! no nerds." that's an unlikely strategy for success even when programmers are easy to hire -- which they are currently not.
Try getting a technical job as with a popped collar. Even if you are technically very proficient, there is stigma and distrust from people like the author of the article
Most of those "drunk frat boys" someday grow up and get jobs somewhere. They're always the rare guy that everybody at their workplace hates, so I don't think anybody will ever legitimately associate programmers with party dudes. If anything, we're all lumped together as smug assholes who love to complain about other men's lifestyles.
I don't really care what someone does in their free time. If they can code well and they don't get in the way of my job, then they're fine. If their idea of a good weekend is going to a party with naked women, then I don't care. Claiming they're sexist is putting women on a pedestal, because some women chose to go to a party to meet such guys, and they're going to go back to their workplace and brag about the hot guys they saw at the party.
I'm not even a "brogrammer" by any means, but I hate how much male programmers go out of their way to claim to be morally superior.
The tech world is a meritocracy. If 'brogrammers' can live up to the standards then why shouldn't companies hire them? The question is will they make tons of sexist comments at work and make people uncomfortable? You have to hire a few and find out.
Kids these days...
The whole brogrammer meme reminds me a lot of DHH. Whenever you see him speak he is always dressed and groomed well and fashionably , likes to swear a lot and has a keen interest in fast cars.
It also reminds me of the sorts of people who are into PUA manuals.
If you take up a hobby just to appear cool then there's every chance you won't stick with it very long.
I'm sure there are many people who have taken up certain hobbies just to impress people and then found them legitimately enjoyable and fulfilling and they would continue to do them even if they became the most uncool thing.
Also since nerds have a tendency to hyper-focus on things in depth they will likely bring their nerd skills to something non nerdy and outdo the non nerds at it.
This is nothing more than the propagation of an unidea that people tolerate because it doesn't make any value judgements about either gender, or something.
The next generation of nerds distanced themselves from this somewhat by wearing heavy metal T shirts, having long hair and tattoos.
This became uncool too, so now we have the "brogrammer" with designer polo shirts and dark glasses.
It's interesting because nerds are regarded as "uncool" but I find it is quite often they are culturally ahead of the curve.
Care to elaborate? You say it like it's obvious to everyone that being into those manuals is a heinous crime, or at least prima facie evidence of humongous douchebagdom in a person.
I'm not justifying the "brogrammer" nonsense, but just arguing that it's a field that does more closely represent all parts of demographics, shedding its traditional nerdly people-like-me basis.
But equally problematic are the common beliefs that spawned the term in the first place; that programmers must always be obsessed with technology above all else, and to appreciate things like sports, fashion, or fast cars is somehow "bad" or "uncommon" for programmers.
There are a whole host of programmers who despise guys like DHH for enjoying fashion and cars. They seem to believe that somehow, those traits detract from his skill or significance as a programmer. That Rails is a "bad" or "fashionable" framework because of those things and is thus to be avoided. This kind of thinking is just plain ridiculous.
The spectrum on programming ranges from a hobby, to a career, even to the lengths of an obsession. But no one should be expected to act like the "norm". A programmer that cares more about the latest Ferrari than the latest web framework is not necessarily an undesirable programmer. They're just a programmer with different interests, and no one should be treating them differently because of that.
No its not. It's a description of an attitude. When used in a job listing as "looking for brogrammers", then that job listing is sexist. The term itself however is not.
I take strong issue with the idea that celebrating masculinity is somehow automatically misogynistic. It seems to me that the term has absolutely nothing to do with women.
Of course, there's nothing you can do about meat-zombies spamming crap to everyone.
That compares with more than 914,000 results for a people search of "programmer"
So listen, bros:
If you want to get drunk, and hit on chicks, that's your choice. But don't give in to peer pressure, and don't pressure your mates. Just be yourself.
I might jokingly label myself a "finance douchebag" but it's more a dig at my peers than an affirmation of the industry's behavior patterns.
The culture was becoming frat-house/locker-room long before the term was coined...(Now is there a feedback loop from memes like this, who knows?)
Getting upset over a meme seems kind of pointless. Plus the internets will always win.
That said, if you do happen to meet someone who takes it seriously and lives that "life", then they're dumber than you think they are.
Notice also how there's like no "brogrammers" in here giving us their side of the story? Almost as if they don't really exist? Or if they do, it's not a life or death to them, like it appears to be to the OP?
Funny to me because I wrote a rant about how Rails was no longer fashionable and Node is more fashionable these days. A few people dissed me for paying attention to tech fashion in the first place, but now HN is all up in arms, ready to break out the pitchforks and torches, over whether or not you wear a polo shirt.
Pretty much exactly what I expected.
In actual fact somebody probably wanted them to think this so that they could find a way to raid their wallets.
I hope he does not advertise himself as a UI designer.
"We're the cool programmers" is particularly offensive because it alienates people who have been doing work in this area for some time.
I can understand wanting to refine your image but do it without slapping labels on something that belongs to many people, not just you.
Like saying "I don't understand haskell but that's cool because I can totally bong a bear unlike you losers"
First he gets all pissy about stereotyping nerds as having pocket-protectors and then in the next sentence regurgitates his one dimensional view on what "frat-house culture" is and bros' attitudes towards women.
Oh my, stereotypes FTW...
Honestly, who does this type of recruiting really appeal to? Phrases like "crush code" have about as much of a cringe-factor to me as "wanted: code ninja".
I find this image of regular programmers nearly as offensive as the faux geek imagine hipsters try to acquire while wearing cheap prescription glasses they don't need.
The first is that of the Brogramming meme. The definition at Urban Dictionary is a joke in itself. It's a joke accept it, don't accept it. No developer in their right mind goes around proclaiming that they are a brogrammer and if they are saying that they are serious (like some say in the case of Facebook and Zynga) you are being deceived .
There is a second definition which that I think everyone clumps with this meme and that is of the asshole/douchebag/sexist employee. He is everywhere. Not just in software development. These individuals are the ones making the majority of sexist comments, makes sexist jokes while a female employee is in a cubicle nearby, trying to hit on female coworkers during work hours and going to bars every night. They have existed long before any reference to Brogramming.
Now, I will say this. It was not smart of this individual to try advertise the meme to the SfGate readership. Just based on the prefix "bro" alone will bring about perception of sexism even if the original intent was not to be.
Nobody is just one thing. I don't understand why America as a whole has such a trouble with this concept, in school and then in the working world too (look at "professionalism" and "dedication" from the eyes of someone who has more than one personal facet than their job).
If you want to attack "brogrammers" because their attitude annoys you, or you don't like their style (which I completely agree with. I personally find the style completely obnoxious) that's one thing. Those of you attacking them because they like sex, women, porn, naked parties, etc. - please stop to think about who and what you are painting with that wide, wide brush. I can assure you that the women I know in the BDSM, poly, swinger, sex club, goth/industrial, alt porn and other largely sex-positive communities would be offended not only by your generalizations that women do not like these things, but offended /at your offense./ Additionally, many of those women are not only in those communities, but some of them happen to be systems admins, developers, and hold other technical positions.
Please do not conflate "prudish people" with "women." The above mentioned communities will thank you.
i'm pretty sure the guy in the hot tub full of women is getting very upset with the trash people are talking about him on the internet. i'm sure he's taking time away from watching football and drinking natty lite to pen a witty response.
how about you all stop clinging to a false sense of identity , live, and let live?
Its a surprising slice of programming culture in that most who get into programming tend to be the polar opposite of frat boys. Maybe this is a side effect of The Social Network movie.
Its called free choice. To each its own; don't nag somebody's way of life and correlate it to their talent. Don't hate what you do not understand.
Brogramming is state of mind. If you let yourself immerse in it, you will see.