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March 4, 2012 3:45 PM   Subscribe

"Tech’s latest boom has generated a new, more testosterone-fueled breed of coder. Sure, the job still requires enormous brainpower, but today’s engineers are drawn from diverse backgrounds, and many eschew the laboratory intellectualism that prevailed when semiconductors ruled Silicon Valley.... At some startups the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that it’s given rise to a new 'title': brogrammer."
posted by dw (175 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
businessweek begins competing with new yorker for crown of spurious trend pieces
posted by p3on at 3:47 PM on March 4, 2012 [24 favorites]


I rate this trend: TOTAL BROLOCAUST.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:52 PM on March 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Want to bro down and crush code?

If this were to sound any more homoerotic, I'd be in the scrum already, brah.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 PM on March 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


Business Week: yesterday's news, reported today...because it's hyper relevant to tomorrow! Trust us, for serious!
posted by trackofalljades at 3:55 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


So from this I gather brogramming = being a professional programmer who wears sunglasses in situations in which sunglasses are not warranted.
posted by deathpanels at 3:55 PM on March 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


No, this was an actual thing that started at a tech conference. I'm a programmer. I kind of think this thing is mean spirited. It feels like the latest tactic in determining who gets to be considered a real programmer and who is not. Personally, I'd like to see the profession leave all that nerd competition behind and just become an actual profession where dressing well, having a social life, and having interests outside of anime isn't considered shameful. I thought we were supposed to be scientists and engineers. Can't we judge things on actual merits instead of resorting to stereotypes? No?

Also, I'm probably overreacting to something that's supposed to be a funny joke, but given how difficult it's been for the programming community accept those who don't fit the mold, you'll have to forgive me for being a bit paranoid.
posted by chrchr at 3:56 PM on March 4, 2012 [36 favorites]


Dear god kill me now.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


“We got invited to a party in Malibu where there were naked women in the hot tub,” says Stern-Sapad, 25. “We’re the cool programmers.”

Translation: There was one girl who took off her shoes and put her bare feet in the tub. She was getting hit on by marketing guys while this brogrammer stood in the kitchen and drank.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:57 PM on March 4, 2012 [29 favorites]


I've got a buddy who works at a bay area startup. He's told many tales of the collar-popping "broject manager" he works with.

What this suggests to me is that male nerds are every bit the assholes other subspecies of dude are, once it's their jobs, hobbies, and priorities that receive full societal sanction.

Pity the sports-inclined child of geeky millennial parents. His sister plays with Mindstorms and writes Pokémon fanfiction, his parents constantly wondering aloud why he can't put the basketball down, come inside, and be more like her.
posted by pts at 3:58 PM on March 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


Holy Fuck. I thought it was just here, We have a room full of them, I call them "box-o-noobs" I like to think we had more going on at that age (shooting guns in the woods and building crazy stuff, as opposed to just console gaming)... but I'm probably just old.
posted by djrock3k at 3:58 PM on March 4, 2012


brogramming = being a professional programmer who wears sunglasses in situations in which sunglasses are not warranted

I wear my sunglasses at night.
posted by Nomyte at 4:01 PM on March 4, 2012


I'm with chrchr and just about everyone else on this thread. I resent both the stereotype and the people who embody, embrace, and promulgate it.

The Bay Area isn't the place for this frat party. Our culture deserves more and different than this.
posted by doteatop at 4:04 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Schimdtt approves.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:05 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not just the Bay Area. I have a friend who started at a very large Seattle-based tech company last year, and the way he describes his group, it's some kind of testosterone marathon, where guys are constantly trying to out-guy each other, some nearly coming to actual blows. Crazy. I'm thankful for working with sane, non-violent, non-bro programmers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:09 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how they read what's on the screen with their polarized sunglasses filtering the polarized light coming from the LCD.

I have the worst feeling that it's not really relevant with these schmucks.
posted by Talez at 4:14 PM on March 4, 2012


Cliffery B is the proto-brogrammer.
posted by narcoleptic at 4:16 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The easiest way to fuck up your team is to create a locker room culture that burns out or alienates many of the most talented developers in the field today. Eventually these teams flame out, leaving more excellent devs for me. Brawesome! *fist bump*
posted by phooky at 4:19 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Le barf. I'm currently the only woman on the 7-person dev team at work, but all my coworkers are sane and down-to-earth. Better worlds are possible!
posted by estherbester at 4:21 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Personally, I'd like to see the profession leave all that nerd competition behind and just become an actual profession where dressing well, having a social life, and having interests outside of anime isn't considered shameful. I thought we were supposed to be scientists and engineers. Can't we judge things on actual merits instead of resorting to stereotypes? No?

A thousand times this.

though I still like anime
posted by heathkit at 4:22 PM on March 4, 2012


I'm not a programmer, but if I was, I wouldn't want co-workers who looked and acted like the bullies and jocks who picked on me in school, all grown up.
posted by KHAAAN! at 4:23 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can verify from down in the trenches that brogrammers do exist. I work with at least one guy who both codes and lifts, and he walks with a swagger unbefitting his profession. I chalk it up to web development acquiring status as a "real" profession in the SocialMedia/FaceTumblr/Web2.0/Web3.0/ohfuckwhatever era.
posted by deathpanels at 4:24 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Haterz.
posted by LordSludge at 4:26 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm already seeing the next trend piece:

Walk into any startup today and what do you see? Dungeons and Dragons? Posters of anime? Gone are the days of acne faced, anti-social programmers and in are the seer suckers and mojitos of prepgrammers. You're more likely to see discussions of second homes and Paul Simon's Graceland than whether Superman or Batman will win in a fight.
posted by geoff. at 4:28 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


I thought of this great pun. Surely we can track down some guys to write about that would let me use this great pun?
posted by straight at 4:30 PM on March 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


I've always been the lone woman software developer in a rather niche market (cg for vfx) and luckily the men I work with are not like that. Some of us have fairly rich and interesting non-work lives....and they most certainly do not behave like bully boys.
posted by bloodplum at 4:32 PM on March 4, 2012


Le barf. I'm currently the only woman on the 7-person dev team at work, but all my coworkers are sane and down-to-earth. Better worlds are possible!

This just illustrates that these trend pieces live in their own bubble. 99% of programming happens outside of the confines of Facebook/Google/Twitter/SF startup. It is a culture unto itself. I sit next to a former Division I football player and a guy who rushes to band practice after work. If you didn't know they programmed you wouldn't know they were programmers.

If anything programming is skewing towards architect/ad exec "cool" and that's what I'm seeing, not frat guys. Frat guys don't ... dress like that.
posted by geoff. at 4:33 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


No way, if I wanted to dress up and use my meager social skills I would have chosen a different job, maybe gotten an MBA.
posted by humanfont at 4:41 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow... thanks for the laughs... what a silly idea.
posted by MikeWarot at 4:53 PM on March 4, 2012


Anyone who wants to express themselves in a particular way, and participate in a social subculture, marked by fashion, a language sub-dialect, behavioral patterns and social expectations, is entitled to do so within the parameters of their situation.

If that situation is a clique of members of that subculture in a workplace, sure, whatever. This is approximately the same as having a company with a half dozen Russian or Brazilian programmers who speak their own language and have their own culture.

That said, I would not feel comfortable working there, in much the same way I would not feel comfortable working in any workplace that is not an accepting and open environment where I can be myself, communicate effectively, and feel included.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, this entire idea doesn't have to boil down to "look at these people-who-are-slightly-different-from us, that we poorly understand, aren't they weird in the way they dress/do-their-hair/speak, shouldn't we make them more like us?"

If it comes down to workplace conflict, then there are perfectly normal corporate organisational ways of approaching, analysing and dealing with workplace conflict.

If it comes down to "they're different lets be all indignant" then where does it stop? Gay workplaces are bad? Straight workplaces are bad? Workplaces with immigrant workers? Workplaces that have a large number of Christians? Workplaces with a large number of Muslims?
posted by Jerub at 4:57 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I chalk it up to web development acquiring status as a "real" profession"

Hasn't it been a real profession for quite a while now? What do you mean?



Anyway, I'm holding out for the NYT article about bronygrammers.
posted by mulligan at 5:05 PM on March 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


I.. this.. this might be the stupidest thing I have read this year...
posted by spiderskull at 5:07 PM on March 4, 2012


I associate brogrammers with Ruby and Rails and saving repositories to GitHub and 11" Mac Airs and laughing at PHP or .NET programmers for their terrible security record.

Anyway - Enough of that. I'm finished here & I just need to check out Hacker News. There's no way the cool kids are currently embroiled in a ridiculous, obvious and utterly preventable brouhaha involving a four year old security hole and the purveyors of the largest software repository software providers out there.

And??? Wha!!!!

Oh, you crazy brogrammers. You've made easy website hacks cool again.
posted by zoo at 5:07 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh and that macho (but ironic) programmer bullshit...
Been going on in one format or another since Unix time began.

Here's an early (but famous) example.
posted by zoo at 5:13 PM on March 4, 2012


I associate brogrammers with Ruby and Rails and saving repositories to GitHub and 11" Mac Airs and laughing at PHP or .NET programmers for their terrible security record.

Hey that sounds like my office :-) Although we have Mac Book Pros.

But, we're more a "drinking Fat Tire and listen to Die Antwoord" group than this "Brogrammer" crap.

Although, I'm the old and wise veteran in the office at 31 years old, so they could be "bro'ed up" and I'm too old to notice.
posted by sideshow at 5:15 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're more likely to see discussions of second homes and Paul Simon's Graceland

Hey look even a stopped clock is right twice a day okay.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:15 PM on March 4, 2012


I chalk it up to web development acquiring status as a "real" profession

Web development isn't programming.

This "brogramming" thing is what you do when you know you aren't really a programmer (or a very good one) and you are overcompensating.

I channel the spirit of Mel and kick all brogrammer ass.

Also, I have actually been programming since before most of these idiots were born.
posted by localroger at 5:26 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just as this brogrammer thing went viral (erm, a few months ago now? Weird that it's just now showing up on the blue) my team somehow hit a tipping point and became a little too bro-y for me. I think a lot of them read it and at first they were being sort of self-conscious and joking about working out together and talking excessively about sports and stuff, but it eventually stopped being ironic and now they actually do work out together. And, like, make jokes about stuff that happened in the gym, and give each other crap about how they'll never develop muscle if they keep eating carbs. What?? It gives me the creeps.

In any case, I'm leaving that team, so I guess that's my anecdote of how not to act if you want to keep the only woman on your team around. I just felt like our work area turned into a place that didn't have space for me to be myself anymore. Thanks, brogramming meme.
posted by troublesome at 5:28 PM on March 4, 2012


I have worked with programmers who lifted, and half my current team are rock climbers. Note that neither of these is a team sport. They're still nerds.
posted by mr vino at 5:33 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


…whether Superman or Batman will win in a fight.

Spiderman or Batman. Get it right, n00b!
posted by Nomyte at 5:35 PM on March 4, 2012


Yes, it really is a shame that some people lift weights, and enjoy it! If only they could be like the "good" programmers, plagued by back, neck, and hand problems!
posted by vorfeed at 5:40 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


“We got invited to a party in Malibu where there were naked women in the hot tub,” says Stern-Sapad, 25. “We’re the cool programmers.”

Shit, man, I've met people who throw those parties and ... are not cool.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:47 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Web development isn't programming."

That's an interesting assertion. I know several teams of well-compensated and highly-respected java developers who would beg to differ with you.
posted by webwench at 5:57 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the 1970's there was a textfile that went around about "real programmers" and one of the bullet points was "real programmers wear mountain climbing boots to work, even in the CPU room, in case a mountain should sprout up spontaneously from the floor." It's not as new as these guys seem to think.
posted by localroger at 5:58 PM on March 4, 2012


Fuck startups. Work 12 hour days for something that probably won't pan out. Only recent grads have an excuse for letting themselves get conned into that.

But yeah, I've seen this type of culture, and it is truly abhorrent. Like, proving how manly you are by how many hours you can work a week. Lots of those guys are really into weightlifting, too. I came of age during the era of BBSes; these people are not my people.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:59 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Long loathed, bullied and mocked underclass suddenly discovers the pendulum of fortune, power and respect has tipped their way, decides to act ... exactly like their former oppressors.

Oh, the humanity.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:01 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I will note that my team of developers currently has two women on it, and three weightlifters, and.... two of the weightlifters are women. ;) So I'm rather inclined to not blame weight training for the lousy behavior exhibited by brogrammer types.

Anyway, didn't we go through a lot of this in 1998-2000 when suddenly everyone who worked at a dotcom was really cool?
posted by lyra4 at 6:03 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I know several teams of well-compensated and highly-respected java developers who would beg to differ with you.

I know lots of people are better compensated than me who are dumber than rocks. One of the more prominent at the moment is a nationally famous radio broadcaster.

FWIW you can do crap like Javascript and Ruby and be a programmer, but if that's all you can do then you are not a programmer. Can you pick up an Arduino or a Parallax Propeller Quickstart and, being totally unfamiliar with it, get it doing something useful in a day or two? If so, you're a programmer. If not, you're a scripter at best.
posted by localroger at 6:03 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


localroger: "Web development isn't programming."

Sometimes it is; sometimes it isn't.
posted by wierdo at 6:04 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also, if you can't bitbang serial interfaces in assembly on at least three different architectures, you aren't a real programmer.
posted by wierdo at 6:08 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


wierdo, I've done web development that I'd consider programming; I coerced an AnyBus embedded ethernet card into doing a lot of shit that is only supposed to be possible with much more advanced webservers. Doing that was programming, and in Javascript on browsers which is one of the most awful dev platform/language combinations I have ever experienced. And I have hand-compiled hex codes, burned to UV-erasable EPROMS, which had to be manually swapped out to try code changes. Javascript is worse than that.

Doing the stuff that you do once you have that functionality, which most web developers have from the get-go via frameworks and such, is not programming.
posted by localroger at 6:09 PM on March 4, 2012


Wait a second -- if you're not writing the equivalent of a device driver -- you're not doing real programming? I call major bullshit.
posted by smidgen at 6:11 PM on March 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


Also, if you can't bitbang serial interfaces in assembly on at least three different architectures, you aren't a real programmer.

That's really unfair. I'd say if you have ever bitbanged serial, IIC, or SPI on any single platform, you're a programmer.
posted by localroger at 6:12 PM on March 4, 2012


Another fun fact about Brogrammers: They all eat a paleo diet (exceptions made for beer) and read The Game. True story.
posted by melissam at 6:13 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


if you're not writing can't write the equivalent of a device driver -- you're not doing real programming a real programmer?

FTFY.
posted by localroger at 6:14 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just really like to say "bitbang".

Bitbang, bitbang.
posted by genehack at 6:14 PM on March 4, 2012


Web development isn't programming.

I've been programming a long time too, and yes, I can write (and have written) programs by keying in raw machine code, though I prefer to do it with a hex keypad instead of toggling switches or using magnetized needles, so maybe I'm not quite a real real programmer.

Still, I can state with some authority and confidence that while web development may have its share of dilettantes and douches, for non-trivial web apps, it's certainly software development just like anything else is. Except when you have thousands and thousands of simultaneous users, and then it's arguably its own unique challenge, every bit as demanding as writing robust code for embedded systems and maybe even more.

There is a real problem with web development and startup culture right now, though. Lots of fashion and buzzword driven decisions, lots of displays of status and attention-seeking behavior. Maybe it's time for another web crash.
posted by weston at 6:15 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


In fact it's likely if you know what serial, IIC, and SPI all mean you're probably a programmer, or will be soon.

On review: bitbang. bitbang bitbang bitbang. chitty-chitty-bitbang.
posted by localroger at 6:15 PM on March 4, 2012


If you see a cannister of that protein shake shit on a desk then run.
posted by Artw at 6:15 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm not sure how they read what's on the screen with their polarized sunglasses filtering the polarized light coming from the LCD."

Only people who go out in actual sunlight wear polarised sunglasses.

"Also, if you can't bitbang serial interfaces in assembly on at least three different architectures, you aren't a real programmer."

Fuck that. If you can't bit-bang serial interfaces in electromechanical hardware, then you aren't a real hacker…

(I knew all that Telex & FUR-LT training would come in handy one day!)
posted by Pinback at 6:17 PM on March 4, 2012


Except when you have thousands and thousands of simultaneous users, and then it's arguably its own unique challenge, every bit as demanding as writing robust code for embedded systems and maybe even more.

I would certainly agree that this level of webdev is programming. Not many are doing that though.
posted by localroger at 6:17 PM on March 4, 2012


At a startup I worked out we had a group of programmers who would wear popped collars, all lived in the marina, all were very misoginistic and liked to pick up girls using all kinds of demeaning manipulation.

I am perfectly fine working with all kinds of people as long as they are competent and help productivity, this guys were terrible. I realized one of them was "negging" me in code reviews to get me to do his work.

One got fired for throwing empty champagne bottles from the rooftop, another one for sexual harassment, a third one for getting into a fistfight at a company event. Two more were laid off because they were in the least productive team, and they had terrible reviews.

The last one became a broject manager, and made a couple million dollars when we sold out.

The lesson we learned: don't hire cool candidates you would love to have a beer with if their coding test is not stellar.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 6:17 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Of late I have experienced my almost helpless impotence in the face of an extremely powerful toolset with an almost unapproachably towering library of features and functions; accomplishing anything with the tools is a matter of learning the arcana to figure out which mysterious black levers to pull in what sequence. It is much more akin to the job of a telephone operator with scores of jacks and plugs and wires than the job of a telegraph operator who knows a single skill fantastically well, or perhaps the skill of an polyglot translator of languages instead of the skill of a monolingual wordsmith. Back in the 80s we called them application programmers rather than systems programmers. In the 1880s "systems programmers" made the tools, dies and moulds for product production; they were called patternmakers.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:22 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can you pick up an Arduino or a Parallax Propeller Quickstart and, being totally unfamiliar with it, get it doing something useful in a day or two? If so, you're a programmer. If not, you're a scripter at best.

And yet it's the Java guys who keep coming to my desk to get help on JavaScript because they just can't grok it. Mention PHP and they start to shake.

I've contended that what makes it hard to be a developer at my current employer isn't that it's a Java house, it's that it's a Java house that produces a web application written in HTML/CSS/JS, and anyone who comes in thinking that HTML/CSS/JS is "not programming" gets their ass handed to them repeatedly until they learn to respect web development.

Sometimes, all I have to do is say "Have you tested this in IE7?" to get them to sigh deeply.
posted by dw at 6:24 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Real programmers" are so often useless grandstanders who hold themselves above the nitty-gritty of Web Development that I'd be happy if more of them stayed out of the field.
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, if you can't bitbang serial interfaces in assembly on at least three different architectures, you aren't a real programmer.

You forgot to put "brah" at the end of that sentence, broheim.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:39 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wait a second -- if you're not writing the equivalent of a device driver -- you're not doing real programming? I call major bullshit.

I'm a relative newbie: I've only been programming for about fifteen years or so, and the first couple years were primarily ramp-up learning-by-error as part of a peripherally related job. But I can now look back and say that I've written software professionally in C, C#, Java, VB, Perl, PHP, Python, and Javascript. I've met good and terrible programmers and seen serious and stupid projects in all of those languages.

The best part is that this kind of chest-pounding is a big part of the spirit of "brogramming" as lampooned in the videos and unironically aped by the various collar-popping types. At the end of the day it's no different than the "Real writers do literary fiction" or "Real artists do installation pieces" or "Real chefs grow their own herbs" randomness.

If you are using a programming language to create or modify instructions that are later executed by a computer to perform tasks, you are programming.
posted by verb at 6:40 PM on March 4, 2012 [21 favorites]


More like douchegrammer.
posted by Catblack at 6:41 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you are using a programming language to create or modify instructions that are later executed by a computer to perform tasks, you are programming.

In PASM (Parallax P8X32A assembly) that is the *only* way to do indirect addressing. You also have to observe the pipeline and execute at least one other instruction between modifying the instruction and executing it.
posted by localroger at 6:47 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


localroger: FWIW you can do crap like Javascript and Ruby and be a programmer, but if that's all you can do then you are not a programmer. Can you pick up an Arduino or a Parallax Propeller Quickstart and, being totally unfamiliar with it, get it doing something useful in a day or two? If so, you're a programmer. If not, you're a scripter at best.

So, if I code in Haskell or OCaml, am I a programmer?

Or am I just weird
posted by destrius at 6:53 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd say if you have ever bitbanged serial, IIC, or SPI on any single platform, you're a programmer.

I'll settle for anything substantial done without the help of a compiler or interpreter, esp. after you've been told that it cannot be done.

The C= 64 and Amiga demoscenes were filled with Real Programmers. Mel, of course, is the apotheosis of the Real Programmer.

Real Programmers don't whinge about how they don't have function X. Real programmers *implement* function X, come hell or high water. What Real Programmers do is write fast, stable code that works, despite the limitations of the platform or the law of leaky abstractions.

It is quite possibly hell to maintain and completely undocumented, of course. I never said being a Real Programmer is a positive trait, did I?

So, if I code in Haskell or OCaml, am I a programmer?

Or am I just weird


Why the exclusive or?
posted by eriko at 6:53 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm looking forward to reading about the wave of fratty dudes entering the field of colorectal surgery: broctologists.
posted by neroli at 6:56 PM on March 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


Back when I worked for other people I had a "Real Programmer" supervisor that decided he had to review any code I wrote. Of course he would always find something I'd done wrong or in a non-standard way that would need to be fixed, surprisingly even when I'd given him something that he'd written himself.
posted by the_artificer at 6:57 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


destrius: Sorry to call it dude, but weird programmer.
posted by localroger at 6:58 PM on March 4, 2012


eriko: Why the exclusive or?

I did use "or" and not "xor"...
posted by destrius at 6:59 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


the_artificer: even when I'd given him something that he'd written himself.

Sorry, that's not about being a programmer, that's about being an asshole.
posted by localroger at 6:59 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I chalk it up to web development acquiring status as a "real" profession"

I actually find web programming pretty baffling compared to the normal system and application programming that I've been doing for a decade and a half so I'd call it real programming. I'm fine writing low-level C stuff for unix but PHP defeats me.
posted by octothorpe at 7:00 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, if I code in Haskell or OCaml, am I a programmer?

AFAICT, Haskell is for the fashion of the moment one of the languages that will mark you not only as a programmer, but as intellectually curious and serious about programming or something.

Plus you can laugh when Java programmers talk about how they like Java because of type safety.
posted by weston at 7:01 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh well. Anyway, if we're going to be bandying around what you must be to be a "programmer", I put forth that a programmer is somebody who can learn any new programming language in a month and use it effectively*.

* Insofar as it can be used effectively, to account for Malboge.
posted by destrius at 7:04 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you see a cannister of that protein shake shit on a desk then run.

And you better run fast once you shit on it. Those Bros be *huge*.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:06 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


In PASM (Parallax P8X32A assembly) that is the *only* way to do indirect addressing. You also have to observe the pipeline and execute at least one other instruction between modifying the instruction and executing it.

In all seriousness, why is your dick out, and who is supposed to be measuring it?
posted by verb at 7:07 PM on March 4, 2012 [39 favorites]


Are some of you people really having a pissing contest over who's a real programmer and who isn't? As if it's some kind of sport? Because that sounds kind of.. oh nevermind. It won't solve anything to point out the obvious.

But I will point out this: programmer X likes to go to the gym, see the world behind a pair of aviators, talk to people considered attractive, and pop their collar. If this purported douche{b|h}ag can write good code on time, and isn't otherwise offending or giving roofies to anyone, then I may hire this person.

And to be sure, I have some serious obnoxious douchebag hatred. Like --I've wanted to burn down all of Seattle's Belltown on a Saturday night-- hatred. But come on. Fire them because they're a shitty programmer, not because they eat steak and eggs (wtf?).
posted by hanoixan at 7:17 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


BTW, that line about bitbanging serial interfaces? It was thickly veiled sarcasm. I've known plenty of talented programmers whose expertise is in some (now) esoteric language like RPG. Obviously, I wouldn't expect them to be bitbanging serial interfaces. OS/400 would get rather upset if you tried it, after all.

Even people who program macros in Excel are programming. Perhaps not terribly advanced programming, but programming nonetheless.

Now, is it true that there are a lot of web "developers" who are terrible programmers who can't even string together snippets without introducing nearly unfixable bugs, but that doesn't mean they're not programming. They're still programming, just badly.

I've also seen some people who are complete wizards technically but can't/won't adapt to the patterns in a particular project. That's pretty much useless for anything that needs to be maintained, which is almost everything.
posted by wierdo at 7:18 PM on March 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Web development isn't programming.

You're the guy who didn't think that automation code was practical. Why should I care if you think what I do is programming or not?
posted by asterix at 7:19 PM on March 4, 2012


All you computer geeks don't really do anything, get a real job and produce something. *flexes*
posted by narcoleptic at 7:22 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, this discussion is degenerating in exactly this direction, where grunjstars = guru/ninja/rockstar:
Brogrammers trust each other, teach each other, and help each other.

Grunjstars like to lecture, pontificate, and criticize. They look over your back and are watching their own.
...

Brogrammers are confident collaborators who search for pragmatic solutions to fit everyone’s priorities.

Grunjstars are arrogant individualists who espouse fundamental principles and miss the point of Getting Sh*t Done.
posted by meowzilla at 7:24 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


seanmpuckett, I think you're approaching a distinction that I've noticed but haven't previously been able to describe. I've seen some Django and Rails code where the framework was doing so much that I almost felt like the programmer was reduced to configuring the framework. Another place I've had this feeling is in some Java code that was hardly more than a series of library calls strung together with some fairly trivial glue---unpack the return value from one call, munge the relevant bits into the input format for the next call.

But I've also written similarly library-heavy code that feels really elegant. Like, you stare at the problem for a long time and write a correct solution and stare at that for a long time and write another and eventually you reduce the whole thing down to a singular value decomposition in some weird space man was never meant to contemplate and hey, there are libraries for pretty much all of linear algebra, so suddenly you can solve the NetFlix recommendation problem in five NumPy calls plus I/O. (And then you write a comment longer than the rest of your code, so your partner doesn't kill you and you don't have to reverse-engineer it next week.) That feels great!

Unfortunately, I haven't yet come up with a good way to distinguish these two cases except by appeals to "it feels cool!"

By the way, destrius, thank you for mentioning OCaml in the same sentence as Haskell. For once, someone remembers the other functional language with System F types! You just made my day. This has nothing to do with the fact that I know OCaml rather well but have never been able to wrap my head around that silly point-free style the Haskellers like so much. Nothing at all.
posted by d. z. wang at 7:26 PM on March 4, 2012


d. z. wang: By the way, destrius, thank you for mentioning OCaml in the same sentence as Haskell. For once, someone remembers the other functional language with System F types! You just made my day. This has nothing to do with the fact that I know OCaml rather well but have never been able to wrap my head around that silly point-free style the Haskellers like so much. Nothing at all.

You're most welcome; I was raised in the school of ML, which can be a pretty lonely school with all the Lispers and Haskellers out there. I've never really gotten the hang of Haskell either; that may be something to do with my teachers insisting that ML is the only language that matters and everything else sucks. I only agree with this assertion when I'm drunk
posted by destrius at 7:33 PM on March 4, 2012


The guy who uses code reviews as an opportunity to bully and belittle people? I've worked with that guy. He was a little old to be a Brogrammer but otherwise 100% of that type.

I'm don't have much to do with him day-to-day, but I'm still at the same company and believe me, that guy and the management structure that let him happen are going to be top of my list of reasons for moving on when I do.
posted by Artw at 7:39 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Keep Calm and Chive On, doodz
posted by Flashman at 7:45 PM on March 4, 2012


I'm just going to assume that every single post in this thread up until mine (including the links in the original) are all attempts at sacasm and irony.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 7:46 PM on March 4, 2012


If you've ever implemented a TCP/IP stack on a cave wall architecture using nothing but stone tools and the charred bones of a slain mammoth, you're a crogrammer.

(Though real crogrammers prefer wildebeest.)
posted by cortex at 7:55 PM on March 4, 2012 [23 favorites]


Who doesn't like to talk to people they consider attractive?
posted by adamdschneider at 7:55 PM on March 4, 2012


There's a simple test to determine your value as a programmer - how many people's lives have been made easier or more fun by your software? Languages, architectures, algorithms and geek purity metrics are so far outside relevance to that question that they can be written off as pure wank.

Sure, experience with the full stack from transistor gates to CSS can often help you achieve that goal better or more quickly. But they're not the end in themselves. If anything, we've spent the last half century improving development tools to the point where you don't HAVE to know all that stuff to build software, so it's kind of silly to complain when we reach that point.

If a guy can whip up a website with PHP that solves a problem, I don't care if he's wearing a polo shirt with popped up collar. If it makes him a shitty coworker or employee, that's a different problem and has nothing to do with programming specifically.
posted by vanar sena at 8:28 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


You're not a real programmer until you've hacked the Gibson.
posted by brundlefly at 8:32 PM on March 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


brundlefly: "You're not a real programmer cracker until you've hacked the Gibson."
posted by wierdo at 8:34 PM on March 4, 2012


Does this mean I'll finally be able to talk sports at work with someone other than the receptionist?
posted by rocket88 at 8:36 PM on March 4, 2012


BTW, that line about bitbanging serial interfaces? It was thickly veiled sarcasm.

Brah, if you ain't bitbangin' the interface, you ain't bangin', son.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:39 PM on March 4, 2012


The "real programmer" puffery stems from a natural progression in many technical fields where tools of the trade become increasingly sophisticated to the point where tasks that were previously very difficult and tedious are abstracted away, invoking a jealous sort of nostalgia in those who didn't have it so easy. And often the young whippersnappers may indeed lack the same sort of deep foundations their predecessors had, leading to less elegant solutions caused by leaky abstractions and ignorance about the fundamentals. But typically their work is "good enough" and they make real money as a result of creating something of real value, so it's easy to brush off the criticism from the neckbeards.

The cool thing is, we still need the low level programmers, perhaps more than ever before. And they have high-level tools at their disposal to allow them to push their capabilities further than ever before. And then they build new foundations and tools with which the previously impossible becomes reality.

I think most higher-level software developers are perfectly content being called "developers" instead of "programmers." The term "developer" has a more professional, white collar sterility to it which some find perfectly acceptable. I don't think there's really a clear-cut distinction (at least one that could be reasonably agreed upon) unless "programming" literally means "embedding machine code directly into a computer at the lowest possible level," but you can always push these definitions to absurd boundaries and there's a rivalry there that can cut in both directions: "so-called real programmers do the grunt work of building the scaffolding on which software developers solve so-called real-world problems."

You could also argue that the "real programmer" distinction involves building elegant patterns and algorithms based on a computer science / mathematics education. It is true that you can develop full-fledged "enterprise-class" software without ever grokking things like linked lists and stacks and sorting algorithms and memory management techniques. And you could say that this soft of development is more of a "trade" than a "science." I'll concede that, but ultimately a passion to create elegant works of art is what matters and what separates a good programmer or developer from a hack. Arguably you could say that "real programming" is sufficiently difficult as to completely select "hacks" out of the field.

I think we can all agree that it's OK to tell someone who works strictly in the realm of HTML/CSS design (no JS) that they aren't programming :)
posted by aydeejones at 8:46 PM on March 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


I recently started working with a guy who's a bit of a bro. He said I "crushed" a bug and he likes to get drunk and paintball on weekends.

You know what else? He bends over backwards to help me get acclimated to a new job. He's a great guy. If you could replace every alpha-geek who's more worried about dick measuring than being a part of a team with a guy like that, workplaces would be 1000% improved.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:53 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


1000% imbroved
posted by cortex at 8:59 PM on March 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


aydeejones: " And you could say that this soft of development is more of a "trade" than a "science.""

Programming is applied science anyway, in the same way engineering is. I don't think a person writing a compiler is any more a scientist than, say, someone writing the backend for a logistics management website. Granted the compiler guy may need more knowledge of the relevant science than the logistics guy does, but that doesn't make him a scientist. Worrying about how many cycles an instruction will take to execute so it lines up with the completion of a memory fetch isn't science either. People in the physical trades need nitty-gritty knowledge like that all the time.
posted by vanar sena at 9:19 PM on March 4, 2012


"At some startups the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that it’s given rise to a new 'title': brogrammer."

IOW, Aspergers-prone geeks are still geeks, whether they wear shades or not... but entirely too many of them are funneling that emotional insensitivity into obsessive, self-obsessive, testosterone-fueled douchebaggery, Randian wish-fulfillment, and the quest for the almighty buck.

Congratulations, capitalism! You've managed to turn a generation of young geeks who could make a difference and actually address our most serious problems into the dotcom equivalent of Wall Street sociopaths.
posted by markkraft at 9:33 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can you pick up an Arduino or a Parallax Propeller Quickstart and, being totally unfamiliar with it, get it doing something useful in a day or two?

Dude, check out the analog audio shield I made so I can play dubstep on my Broduino!

Fistbump Bitbang!
posted by zippy at 9:37 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


if you're not writing can't write the equivalent of a device driver -- you're not doing real programming a real programmer?

FTFY.
Don't do this. I mean, fair enough, you can have your literal interpretation -- but I still think it boils down to what I wrote (perhaps replacing writing with written)

You are dismissing those who haven't jumped through the same hoops you have. A theoretical ability ("can") means absolutely nothing because someone's competence always will remain up in the air until they execute the particular test you've devised. Therefore, at least up until this point in the thread (you've added further acceptable criteria later on), someone who hasn't written the equivalent of a device driver hasn't yet earned the title of a "real" programmer by your measure.
posted by smidgen at 9:41 PM on March 4, 2012


Can you pick up an Arduino or a Parallax Propeller Quickstart and, being totally unfamiliar with it, get it doing something useful in a day or two? If so, you're a programmer. If not, you're a scripter at best.
That, to my mind, is the heart of brogramming without the Raybans and Natty Lite. Assert that programming is limited to a talented, dedicated, intelligent few who are real programmers while everyone else is a "scripter at best", as if these domains are hierarchical and we are about to compare the length and girth of our genitals.

How unselfaware can a brogrammer (my bad) “programmer” be?
posted by mistersquid at 9:44 PM on March 4, 2012


We programmers don't like sports, so we gotta find somewhere else to put our competitive urges. Therefore, "real programmer" discussions, Vim vs Emacs and brace style.
posted by ymgve at 9:52 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vim vs Emacs and brace style.

Don't forget tabs vs. spaces!

I work with a bunch of tabbers. It's horrible, horrible I tell you!
posted by asterix at 9:58 PM on March 4, 2012


Wow, tough crowd. Look, whethre you like it or not, brogrammers are the only ones really pushing the envelope in areas like brobject-oriented programming and cellular brotomata. I think some of the naysayers here would reconsider their opinions if they just took the time to read seminal papers such as Broto considered harmful and of course the classic A Mathematical Theory of Brommunication.
posted by No-sword at 10:05 PM on March 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


Everyone in this thread that's dismissing anyone that lifts weights or exercises as a jerk by default or doubts their ability to write software is part of a bigger cancer in the tech industry than some group of frat boys with macbooks. This thread is full of "Donald Sutherland at the end of Body Snatchers"-level discourse.

Signed, a brogrammer of sorts, apparently. (Though, since I lift weights I probably can't be very good at my job and should demote myself to some kind of bro-intern.)
posted by thedaniel at 10:08 PM on March 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the weight-lifting connection is really weird. I've read both On Lisp and Starting Strength. Last summer I commuted 15 miles each way by bicycle to an internship where I wrote OCaml. Haven't popped my collar yet, though. Maybe that's the Rubicon?
posted by d. z. wang at 10:23 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please. The Brobicon.
posted by No-sword at 10:24 PM on March 4, 2012


This is ridiculous, I've had a broad range of male colleagues from many backgrounds (former nightclub doorman, former doctor, former police officer, former archaeologist, etc) in most of the 30+ sites I've worked at as a developer. A programmer who likes to lift weights is nothing new. A handsome programmer with an eye for the ladies is nothing new. A programmer who is a total fucking moron is also nothing new.

The variety of people is one of the nice things about the job. I just wish I'd seen more than 5 female developers in that whole time.
posted by dickasso at 10:44 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


The weightlifting reference is interesting to me because it makes me think immediately of Microserfs, specifically of Todd and Dusty's undeniably somewhat bro-tastic but simultaneously very geeky and sympathetic obsession with bodybuilding as a sort of biohacking parallel to their programmer lives. Whatever else you might say about Coupland's work there, he did a great job of playing with the theme of the laser-focus hacker mentality across a bunch of different character themes.

Programmers come in all shapes and sizes. A style piece on "brogrammers" is itself foollish as a way of specifically reinforcing lazy stereotypes and bifurcations. Fortunately most of the coder types I know don't buy into this divisive shit either. If you can program, you can program. If you have annoying personality traits, you have annoying personality traits. Few people so thoroughly embody the platonic ideal of either (a) programmer or (b) annoying personality trait that they're actually practically reducible to that in the eyes of any but the lazy or the uncharitable, and most people recognize that even though they themselves are capable of lapsing into uncharity or laziness in the pursuit of snark or venting.

This thread is full of "Donald Sutherland at the end of Body Snatchers"-level discourse.

Dude, c'mon. Bronald Sutherland.
posted by cortex at 10:59 PM on March 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


You know what I like most about where I work? Getting to avoid this whole brogrammer/real programmer crap. I do a fair amount of programming (only I call it "web stuff" — most of it is Javascript and PHP, with the occasional bit of Python) on top of my other work (mostly HTML/CSS with some print design and occasional project management) and everyone treats everybody else like a normal person. Most of us aren't programmers at all, we've all got our jobs to do, we're all professional about it, and we're all basically nice to each other. I probably wouldn't qualify as a "real" programmer to a lot of people on this thread but I'm not bad at what I do and I try not to have to much of an ego about any of it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:09 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I only worked with one "programmer" I would have considered a bro. He only really cared about drinking and fighting. Despite having been a top college athlete he didn't even care about sports. He was why off the charts inappropriate, it was not unheard of to go out drinking with him after work, watch him drink shot after shot of tequila until declaring "no shirt party" at which he whipped off his polo and danced shirtless. That was my queue to leave. Without fail he would show up the next day to work with bruises in his face from fighting, or worse, not show up at all because he had been arrested.

The real problem was he was not a good programmer. He asked me for advice one day about some windows GUI bit we was working on. He had along running task in the GUI thread and was dumbfounded as to why the GUI was frozen. He even threw in some thread.Sleeps in there thinking it would wake up the GUI or some insane thing. I fixed it for him but made him fund me for a night out. Unfortunately, he ordered "10 of the most girly drinks you gave" and ended up downing 10 strange blue curaçao concoctions in rapid succession and hurled his sunglasses at the wall behind the bar getting us thrown own. Guess the last laugh was on him.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:34 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sigh... so we're officially in the age of douchebags wearing sunglasses while using a computer. I want to go back to the days of plain old nerds sitting at desks with dignity.
posted by hellslinger at 11:45 PM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, all I have to do is say "Have you tested this in IE7?" to get them to sigh deeply.

What are the other possible responses? Swearing?
posted by Zed at 12:05 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't give a fuck about "real programmers". "real programmers" think I should use vi even though I'm 1000x more productive in Eclipse or even Gedit. "real programmers" can go to hell. If you think the best way to prove your engineering mettle is to display your mastery of 1970s text editing technology, then no, I don't want to work with you.

I'm sick to shit of devs who get caught up in their tooling. I could give one tenth of a fuck whether we're using git or perforce or whatever. If I'm not working on an interesting project, the toolset is irrelevant.

What matters is the work. Amazing how people lose sight of that.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:56 AM on March 5, 2012 [11 favorites]


It's cute to see all the various flavours of programmers argue about who is the most real and macho and tough, when every tester knows any of them can be reduced to a quivering wreck by five minutes playing around with their precious programmes.

Especially when you try out their new patch for the third time in as many days and you can still get the fscker to crash just by looking at it.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:05 AM on March 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Translation: There was one girl who took off her shoes and put her bare feet in the tub. She was getting hit on by marketing guys while this brogrammer stood in the kitchen and drank.
Look, it doesn't really require a genius to be a programmer or even really enjoying programming. I have some friends I met in college who were in the CS department because they thought programming would be a good career, or whatever. One's a now graphics designer/UI person and another is a statistician. They are both competent programmers, and now they have good jobs that revolve around working in tech but not doing a lot of coding themselves.

Anyone who could be a wall street douche bag probably has the brains to be a silicon valley douche bag just as easily. In the 90s you saw the dotcom boom and the explosion of CS into something that had a lot of cultural import. Everyone knew programming was a way for smart people to make money.

In the past, you'd have mostly grew up loving code, learning on their Atari or C64. With the dot-com boom you had millions of people who saw it as a way to make a lot of money. And like I said. It's not really all that difficult.

Anyway, the idea of a "brogrammer" reminds me a lot of reddit. I remember seeing someone post about how they were hiring (programmers) and they wanted to hire "redditors" because they thought they would get along better with them in terms of "office culture" or whatever. That certainly seems like a good way to recruit 'brogrammers'
This just illustrates that these trend pieces live in their own bubble. 99% of programming happens outside of the confines of Facebook/Google/Twitter/SF startup. -- geoff.

I associate brogrammers with Ruby and Rails and saving repositories to GitHub and 11" Mac Airs and laughing at PHP or .NET programmers for their terrible security record. -- zoo
Yeah, exactly. They're also the people who think some random new iPhone app is going to revolutionize the world and obsess about valuations and crap like that. One aspect of that that really bothers me is the new "fuck the user" attitude, exuded by companies like Facebook. People who thought the thing with Path stealing people's address books was no big deal. That's the one thing that really does bother me about this 'trend'. And of course it's not "brogrammers" specifically, but rather just unethical people who have realized that you can make more money without ethics then you do if you have them.

Other then that, I don't really have any kind of 'problem' with it. I think programming should be taught to everyone, like math. I think it's something most people could actually grok, if it wasn't so mystified. "hard core" programmers have an interest in keeping it mystified because it makes them feel like they're doing something that most people can't do. But programming just means expressing your ideas in code. Once you get that past that part, you're programming. But then, you run into the whole question of what kind of ideas you're capable of coming up with.
But, we're more a "drinking Fat Tire and listen to Die Antwoord" group than this "Brogrammer" crap.
Die Antwoord? Sorry, that just makes you a hipster bro
Web development isn't programming.

This "brogramming" thing is what you do when you know you aren't really a programmer (or a very good one) and you are overcompensating.
Oh come on dude. Obviously some platforms are easier then others, but you can do 'real programming' on the web, just like on anything else that can be coded. It's just that you can also come up with something really cool with only a little code.

Probably a good measure of whether or not you're doing 'real' programming is the computational complexity of your code. If it's O(1)... probably not. O(n), maybe If It's O(n * lg n), you probably are. If It's O(n2) then... you are but you're not doing a good job, in most cases. (actually this is so context dependant it's kind of a useless metric)
wierdo, I've done web development that I'd consider programming; I coerced an AnyBus embedded ethernet card into doing a lot of shit that is only supposed to be possible with much more advanced webservers. Doing that was programming, and in Javascript on browsers which is one of the most awful dev platform/language combinations I have ever experienced. And I have hand-compiled hex codes, burned to UV-erasable EPROMS, which had to be manually swapped out to try code changes. Javascript is worse than that.

Doing the stuff that you do once you have that functionality, which most web developers have from the get-go via frameworks and such, is not programming.
The problem is, what if you want to get your code to people? What are you going to do, mail them an EEPROM? If you code for the web, all you have to do is give someone a hyperlink. People have written NES Emulators in JavaScript, and got the linux kernel to boot That stuff requires just as much low-level bit-bashing as anything else.

Also, frameworks won't hold your hand all the time. Java has a great collections API, but what if you want your objects stored in a memory mapped file? Well, you're out of luck.

I had a project I was working on where I wanted to store a large, sparse matrix. Large as in, multiple gigabytes. What I ended up doing is using a red-black tree implementation with all the data stored in what java calls a ByteBuffer, basically a giant array. Using memory mapped files you could map a file in a few milliseconds, access it just as fast as any other RAM on the system (provided it was smaller then system memory) and then close it with all the changes saved. Basically the only 'abstraction' you're given here is the ability to get bytes, and set bytes. They also let you get and set 16/32/64 bit chunks, and you get a 'cursor' to keep track of a position in the buffer. That's it.

But here's the problem: If you just have a large block of data where you keep adding things on to the end, if you remove anything, the space is just lost.

(You could do something like 'vaccum' where you copy all the live data to a new file with just the live stuff, but that's just tacky and the fact, the files could be so large that only one could be mapped at a time anyway. Plus, I just thought of that now, it didn't occur to me at the time)

So what I did is, I implemented my own version of malloc using my own red-black tree system to keep track of the free blocks of memory. When you deallocated, it would expand any contiguous free blocks into the space you had allocated.

In order to make sure it worked, I wrote a test system that would randomly allocate and dealocate memory millions of times over, to make sure the allocate didn't leak memory.

Oh, and the last thing: arrays in Java are indexed by 32bit ints. So I had to actually manage a bunch of 'pages' if I wanted to load more then 2gb at a time. Which I did. Ultimately, while the system was perfectly fast if you kept it under the 'real' RAM limit, as soon as it started paging, it became way to slow to be useful. So I ended up buying extra ram just to run this program

(Oh, and java doesn't use pointers? Well, in this thing every data structure that referenced another data structure did so by storing it's physical location in the buffer as a 64bit integer. And the allocate had to allocate it's own memory to store locations of unused space as it started to become fragmented - there wasn't some initial space for the allocate to store it's own data. Looking back at the code, the initial structure took just 108 bytes at the start of the file. And an 'empty' data structure took just 96 bites. I decided to start the data structure at byte 128. So a complete, newly allocated data structure took up just 224 bytes. And this thing would grow as you added data up to multiple gigabytes.)

I probably could have used something like Berkely DB, (although I doubt it would have been anywhere near as fast in the end) or I could have switched to C/C++ and used STL allocators, which let you use STL collections with whatever memory system you want. But, usually I prefer doing something the hard way.
Of late I have experienced my almost helpless impotence in the face of an extremely powerful toolset with an almost unapproachably towering library of features and functions; accomplishing anything with the tools is a matter of learning the arcana to figure out which mysterious black levers to pull in what sequence.
Which is why I always prefer doing stuff myself rather then using libraries. It's more fun to code then it is to read documentation. Especially since a lot of stuff has super-shitty documentation. If something doesn't have really good docs, I won't mess with it. My feeling is, if it wasn't worth writing good documentation, then it's not worth using.

Usually what ends up happening is that I'll implement whatever it is the library does myself first, then later on when something similar comes up I'll use a library if it ended up being a lot of work, or re-implementing it if it turned out to be easy.

---
Speaking of which, the first "web app" I wrote I used raw TCP sockets and wrote my own implementation of the HTTP protocol (which is really, really simple). It was pretty crazy - a web based front-end to my university's mail system that actually opened another TCP socket to the university's Telnet server, then read your mail by running Unix commands (and by the way, Telnet is actually a pretty complicated protocol if you want to connect to a server. There are low-level binary 'options' that you have to handle properly. It's not just sending raw text back and forth.)

This was in late 1999, my freshman year. Over winter break, the University launched their own web-mail system. Theirs was way uglier then mine, and it wasn't compatible with the existing Unix mh system. My code let you keep all your old email folders, etc, while the new system put all your email on a completely different server. But, theirs handled attachments properly, which was a problem when you have to echo everything through the standard in. I was working on it, though. But at that point, it was kind of pointless.

Oh and at this point in time I wasn't really all that great of a programmer. I wrote my own webserver because I had no idea what I was doing. This was in '99 when web development tools were in their infancy as well. Most people were using Perl and CGI I think)
There's a simple test to determine your value as a programmer - how many people's lives have been made easier or more fun by your software? Languages, architectures, algorithms and geek purity metrics are so far outside relevance to that question that they can be written off as pure wank.
That's like saying Micheal Bay is the best director, because so many people love his movies. Or Justin Beiber is the best musician.
Sigh... so we're officially in the age of douchebags wearing sunglasses while using a computer. I want to go back to the days of plain old nerds sitting at desks with dignity.
SO lately I've been messing around using some data I pulled off newegg. One thing I've discovered is that they have a section called computer glasses What are computer glasses? I have no idea. But they seem to cost hundreds of dollars. Apparently they are supposed to relive eyestrain? I thought maybe they were like reading glasses but that doesn't seem to be the case. And some of them are tinted
posted by delmoi at 3:59 AM on March 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The troublesome thing about this extends further than CS/IT. Not everybody *is* very good at social stuff, not everybody works out, whatever. There have always been certain niches where those people could still be successful. This was one of them. The trouble isn't the sort of person who doesn't fit the "nerd" mold, it's the upper-level mentalities that think that sociability and good clothes and whatnot deserve rewards more than other skills which are arguably more important for the jobs being done. And somebody who is That Kind of Person--I hate this 'bro' thing, especially since women can be the same way, and it's not just in programming--can still have those skills! But when interviewers for jobs that require a lot of technical skills start dismissing candidates because of failure to play the right social games, when guiding roles are occupied by those with the schmoozing skills instead of the necessary knowledge, everything suffers.

Or, in other words, the problem isn't who's becoming a programmer, it's that marketing people run the planet. If *all* fields evaluated people on their real skills, the nerds would be welcome everywhere and wouldn't need to feel threatened in one of the few areas where many people still realized that ability to wear nice trousers and make small talk should not be prerequisite to every single job in creation.
posted by gracedissolved at 3:59 AM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've never worked at a tech gig where almost everyone didn't have some sort of athletic pastime - Usually outdoorsy stuff like hiking, kayaking or rock climbing, but where I'm at now, there's an enthusiastic bunch of people into racquetball and yoga.

The issue with the "brogrammers" isn't that they lift weights or wear popped-collars, but that they're cliqish and intimidating to other team members who aren't on board with whatever they're into, either outside of working hours or during the day. They're not content to let the weirdo tech people be weirdo tech people, and so they're a problem when trying to integrate a talented introvert, minority or woman into the team, and they resist direction that comes from outside their social group.

This kind of team dynamic can generate results, but it's not stable over the long term. It doesn't surprise me it's taken root at startups.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:23 AM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


'Brogrammers' are nothing new..
posted by PenDevil at 5:49 AM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]



I can verify from down in the trenches that brogrammers do exist. I work with at least one guy who both codes and lifts, and he walks with a swagger unbefitting his profession. I chalk it up to web development acquiring status as a "real" profession in the SocialMedia/FaceTumblr/Web2.0/Web3.0/ohfuckwhatever era.


I once worked with someone like that; a swaggeringly macho cockstar named Miles, though known to all and sundry as Alpha Miles. Pretty much every act of his had undertones of territory marking. I got the impression that he only ended up coding because there had been no places in fighter pilot school at the time.
posted by acb at 7:44 AM on March 5, 2012


Is this Metafilter or some kind of collegiate board where the different cliques throw 'witty' barbs at eachother. As an old fart, I'd like to let you young folks know that you are all idiots and to get off my lawn.
posted by jonmc at 8:29 AM on March 5, 2012


My dick, let me show you it.

A few years ago I was having a very bad case of impostor's syndrome. I was working with very good real programmers, each with many years of experience and impressive stuff in their resumes. I was an engineering drop out with a degree in graphic design, who only knew JavaScript and actionscript from two years of doing web design. I did not even know what a callback function was.

So I did the logical thing. Bought a bunch of atmega microcontrollers, a breadboard, a box of components and some wire. I built an arduino from scratch, and used a serial to parallel adapter to program it.

At one point I accidentally set the read only fuse on the micros, and the only way to unset it is with a high voltage programmer. The good thing is that the chips can be programmed in high voltage mode with a .25hz clock signal, slow enough for me.

I taped together a bunch of baterries, and using a dip switch as a clock and aligator clips for the input I reprogrammed the chips.

I can bitbang (not exactly, this had 7 parallel inputs) a micro controller with alligator clips while I generate my own clock signal. How does that make you feel, Mr. PhD from Stanford?

I hope it makes you feel like you are not going to fire me.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 9:24 AM on March 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


When you have snatched the error code from the trap frame, it is time to leave.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:00 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The variety of people is one of the nice things about the job. I just wish I'd seen more than 5 female developers in that whole time."

Eh... what kind of music do you usually have here?!


Just the idea that we are talking about "brogrammers" here might be a big hint that we are also talking about a culture that discourages and discriminates against women, as well as other minorities, and provides a culture that others might find uncomfortable.

"They say that sexism in Silicon Valley isn’t blatant but it is there — on multiple occasions, I have doubted my intelligence and aptitude because of an unpleasant interaction with a condescending male where my voice was literally bulldozed over with a constellation of overwhelming facts and rationalizations. Sadly, I never experienced this before coming to Silicon Valley. There were always various reasons for my silence, but this wasn’t one of them. I was always smart, confident in my quiet, industrious nature, and bold when it came to advocating for things that really mattered to me. But here, I find myself uncharacteristically quiet. Quiet not because of my personality, but quiet because I’m afraid." - Karen Song, Founder, Newsfly.org

"minority leaders picketed Google’s Mountain View headquarters Thursday, asking the Internet giant and other large valley companies to disclose their workplace diversity data . . . minority leaders criticized Google, Apple and 20 other Silicon Valley tech companies that refused to share their work force diversity data with them. The leaders called on the federal government to review the H-1B work visa program that technology companies use to hire engineers from abroad unless the companies comply. The groups are filing a complaint with the federal government, saying that of 34 Silicon Valley tech companies from which they requested work force data, only 12 agreed to share it."

I worked in the Silicon Valley for many years... and all I can say is that I've seen this problem in practice, especially amongst predominantly male, disproportionately white coders and engineers. Hiring is *already* skewed towards who you know in such groups, but when you have tight-knit departments where everybody on the team interviews with -- and needs to sign off on -- new hires, it's especially problematic. I've seen talented women and other minorities rejected, simply because one person on the team didn't like them... or liked a friend -- usually of the same sex and ethic background-- that they were trying to promote for the job, more than they liked the potential applicant. And, indeed... why wouldn't they like their friend better? Especially when there is a healthy referral bonus for new hires?

Want to know what I have never seen happen before in the Silicon Valley? A woman successfully referring another woman to a job in programming or engineering, over similar applicants put forward by her male coworkers.

Really, the problem is so bad and so prevalent that these major companies really should take serious action at the top-down level, first by being transparent and obvious about their diversity data, and then, if necessary by putting together different, diverse, tight-knit groups oriented towards minorities in order to start opening things up. And then, once the levels of minorities are *somewhat* more in line with reality, they should start making new, diverse teams.

Small, tight-knit, oftentimes competitive groups are very effective when it comes to development, but they are really, really bad when it comes to encouraging true diversity, or promoting a more friendly, inclusive culture.
posted by markkraft at 10:59 AM on March 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just wish I'd seen more than 5 female developers in that whole time.

I have friend who works in fashion (nerdy design bit not marketing) who says the the exact same thing but with males. Needless to say I swiftly enrolled in a night class doing pattern cutting.
posted by Damienmce at 11:07 AM on March 5, 2012


Doing the stuff that you do once you have that functionality, which most web developers have from the get-go via frameworks and such, is not programming.

Oh, it's you. I recognize you, from the cube to mine. You're the EE-turned-Java-developer who still works for my company even though you are utterly and completely lost in OOP. The one who can make the toaster do backflips with a couple hundred lines of assembly, but who can't handle a basic class hierarchy to save his goddamn life. The one who is obviously mapping most ideas he has into registry assignments, and who had the hubris to think "oh, hey, strings are objects that know their own length, this framework makes it all so easy, I can pick this up with a Java class 2 nights a week for 2 months!" The one who would happily (and has!) write entire "projects" consisting of one monolithic source file, thousands of lines in length, which is little more than a giant, multi-hundred-case switch statement running in a
for (;;)
wrapper because "that's what it's going to look like after the compiler gets through with it." The ones whose architectural messes I have to clean up every day, because he thinks he's the only real programmer in the bunch, and that the rest of us are just dealing with frivolities.

We're all programmers, guy, and we can all tar each other with the same broad brush. Let's forgo the dick-measuring contest for a bit, and instead focus our contempt on people who talk down to us for not writing Rails webapps for startups because "that's where all the real excitement is!"
posted by Mayor West at 11:18 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


disproportionately white coders and engineers

Okay, I'll bite. Where are these disproportionally white shops in the Bay area? I'm white, and since moving here, I've been in the minority everywhere I've worked.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:34 AM on March 5, 2012


I'm handing sunglasses out to everyone in this thread that called someone a non-real programmer for not using a technology they feel is manly enough.

That's more sunglasses than should be necessary in a MetaFilter thread, guys! I'm going to have to make several trips to CVS.
posted by ignignokt at 11:44 AM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I'm not complaining or anything. In fact, I think it's really cool that software engineering is a field where you're pretty much guaranteed a diverse team)
posted by Afroblanco at 11:48 AM on March 5, 2012


I think it's really cool that software engineering is a field where you're pretty much guaranteed a diverse team

For certain values of "diverse". I've met very few African-American and Latino engineers, and very few women as well. (And the sexism I've seen in engineering organizations is really, truly astounding.) We still have a long way to go.
posted by asterix at 12:01 PM on March 5, 2012


Women have more goddamn sense than to go into the profession
posted by thelonius at 12:34 PM on March 5, 2012


Asterix: nice to meet you. Mexican engineer here, working at one of the big ones in Silicon Valley. In my last startup, at one point 17% of engineers were Mexican, three of them from my high school.

My best friend is also a Mexican engineer, and half his team are women, and not white.

I have never been in a team with African-American engineers, but my last PM was an African woman from Nigeria.

I would say the demographics at my office are more diverse with respect to nationality and ethnicity than most cities I have been to, but we still need more women in tech positions and more US born minority people, as opposed to immigrants, but this last thought belongs in a quality of US public education post.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 1:34 PM on March 5, 2012


"Where are these disproportionally white shops in the Bay area? I'm white, and since moving here, I've been in the minority everywhere I've worked."

White males in the Silicon Valley are a minority. In San Jose, for example, only about 21% of the population are white males.

Were you working in a group where significantly more than 21% of the programmers were white? Well... that's disproportionate. You are probably more likely to work with someone on a work visa from India than someone who is Hispanic, even though they're about 1/3rd of the local population.

The truth of the Silicon Valley is that it is very diverse... but also rather segregated. And you're much more likely to get an "in" to the best jobs if you happen to be white and happen to be male.
posted by markkraft at 2:53 PM on March 5, 2012


(But yes, I have worked in groups where well over 50% were white males. In fact, I have worked in departments where the programmers/engineers were 80-90% white males.)
posted by markkraft at 2:57 PM on March 5, 2012


That's more sunglasses than should be necessary in a MetaFilter thread, guys! I'm going to have to make several trips to CVS.

Real programmers would never use CVS.
posted by verb at 3:05 PM on March 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


I can bitbang (not exactly, this had 7 parallel inputs) a micro controller with alligator clips while I generate my own clock signal.

Fuck. Now I'm gonna have to build a computer out of mechanical relays and speaker-mic over air delay lines to maintain my cred.
posted by localroger at 3:06 PM on March 5, 2012


Afroblanco: "I don't give a fuck about "real programmers". "real programmers" think I should use vi even though I'm 1000x more productive in Eclipse or even Gedit. "real programmers" can go to hell."

Yeah, it's not enough that I use vim for editing config files or whatever other one off stuff. When I start up an IDE they call me a sissy.

</sarcasm>
posted by wierdo at 3:06 PM on March 5, 2012


What is vim?

Oh, I remember: vi for mock programmers.

localroger:

For a high school science fair three friends and me once implemented a tic-tac-toe playing neural network using glass marbles and paper cups. It became unbeatable after 2 hours. We were beaten to first place by a team of cute girls making liquid nitrogen ice cream (where is the science in pouring LN over fruit juice?)

Next year we built a little electro-mechanical robot that could be programmed with hand perforated cards. We lost to a team of jocks with different samples of bull semen under microscopes, and who were taking bets for the fastest sperm. It was not bull semen.

Lesson learned: If you want to win avoid quaint implementations of interesting computer science concepts and go straight to free food and public exhibitions of the products of your masturbation.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 3:47 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


AR&G: Oh my, that's some horrible judging. My school wasn't nearly that bad but I did gauge the need for a cutesy factor and advanced to regional in 9th grade, at which competition I noticed that (a) there were money prizes and (b) the criteria were completely different and much more serious, emphasizing experiment and results rather than demonstration.

I made it to the ISEF my senior year and got third place there in physics, on an investment of under $200 with no sponsors and about 3 weeks of work. With a negative result -- my hypothesis didn't pan out, and I think the ISEF judges were actually impressed that I recognized the usefulness of that. And I had to hand code an assembly language program in 8080A machine code, in hexadecimal, which ran while a nuclear gamma radiation source sat atop the RAM chips inside my computer.

Oh, sorry about that if my dick is blocking your view. I'll refrain from mentioning the part where I got to walk around under the space shuttle Columbia D'OH
posted by localroger at 4:58 PM on March 5, 2012


That's not your dick bro, it's just an old rs-232 cable.
posted by humanfont at 5:14 PM on March 5, 2012


Dude, in my day RS-232 cable was freaking huge and you could beat the crap out of somebody with it.
posted by localroger at 7:01 PM on March 5, 2012


Spiderman or Batman. Get it right, n00b!

Spiderman Spider-Man or Batman. Get it right, n00b!
posted by limeonaire at 7:08 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The first place I saw this explicitly laid out was this Quora question on how to become a Brogrammer and I love it just as much now as I did then. Lift weights, drink red bull, say things like 'totes mcgoats' I don't care. You ship code you're a programmer. Ship good code that doesn't make me curse your name in six months when I have to read it and I don't care if you're the physical embodiment of the Twilio video above I'll be happy to work with you.

By the same token, make the place feel like a frat house's locker room and I don't care if you are Mel, you're out or I am.
posted by Skorgu at 7:13 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You win on the nerd side of things localroger, but once in highschool a girl told me I had cute eyes.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 7:15 PM on March 5, 2012


I work at one of the companies mentioned in the article. It's a joke here, and the reporter was told so. I am about 180 degrees from "bro" and very rarely get along with anyone who could described as such, but I really like, admire the competency of, and get along with everyone I work with.

"Brogramming culture" may exist, but it's certainly not being celebrated here. At the same time, most of us are not super-nerds on all axes... and some of us are. We all like each other. Some people watch sports, some of us ignore it, no one cares. It's almost like we're adults or something.
posted by flaterik at 8:20 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tech’s latest boom has generated a new, more testosterone-fueled breed of coder. Sure, the job still requires enormous brainpower, but today’s engineers are drawn from diverse backgrounds, and many eschew the laboratory intellectualism that prevailed when semiconductors ruled Silicon Valley.... At some startups the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that it’s given rise to a new 'title': brogrammer."

Cool story.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:32 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Brogramming culture" may exist, but it's certainly not being celebrated here. At the same time, most of us are not super-nerds on all axes... and some of us are. We all like each other. Some people watch sports, some of us ignore it, no one cares. It's almost like we're adults or something.

You'll never write for Slate with that attitude.
posted by verb at 9:22 PM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


"They say that sexism in Silicon Valley isn’t blatant but it is there — on multiple occasions, I have doubted my intelligence and aptitude because of an unpleasant interaction with a condescending male where my voice was literally bulldozed over with a constellation of overwhelming facts and rationalizations. Sadly, I never experienced this before coming to Silicon Valley. There were always various reasons for my silence, but this wasn’t one of them. I was always smart, confident in my quiet, industrious nature, and bold when it came to advocating for things that really mattered to me. But here, I find myself uncharacteristically quiet. Quiet not because of my personality, but quiet because I’m afraid." - Karen Song, Founder, Newsfly.org
The problem, though is that it's not like these guys don't talk to each other the same way.
The truth of the Silicon Valley is that it is very diverse... but also rather segregated. And you're much more likely to get an "in" to the best jobs if you happen to be white and happen to be male.
I have a friend from China who works in SV. At her old job she was complaining about her PM, and I realized that a lot of people working there must also have been Chinese. Then, when she got a new job at a new, earlier stage startup we were talking about the offer and again most of the people at this new company were also Chinese.
Yeah, it's not enough that I use vim for editing config files or whatever other one off stuff. When I start up an IDE they call me a sissy.
I really don't get the love for these text editors that were designed for use with systems that used paper teletypes and stuff. I still use pico when I'm on unix. It works for me. And I usually use eclipse for Java.
For a high school science fair three friends and me once implemented a tic-tac-toe playing neural network using glass marbles and paper cups. It became unbeatable after 2 hours. We were beaten to first place by a team of cute girls making liquid nitrogen ice cream (where is the science in pouring LN over fruit juice?)

Next year we built a little electro-mechanical robot that could be programmed with hand perforated cards. We lost to a team of jocks with different samples of bull semen under microscopes, and who were taking bets for the fastest sperm. It was not bull semen.


Were the other students voting on the entries or something?
posted by delmoi at 10:01 PM on March 5, 2012


Ah, vi, the one true modal editor, as it has two modes: one in which it beeps and one it which it doesn't.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:48 AM on March 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


"I have a friend from China who works in SV. At her old job she was complaining about her PM, and I realized that a lot of people working there must also have been Chinese. Then, when she got a new job at a new, earlier stage startup we were talking about the offer and again most of the people at this new company were also Chinese."

This exists too, due to wealthy Chinese / Taiwanese founders, who usually leverage their connections with those in the manufacturing supply chains back in Asia to create companies that are primarily hardware-based, competing for a niche on the low-price end of the market.

(I've also seen practically entire departments in the semiconductor industry be Asian. That has more to do with that niche, and the fact that niches in the market such as CMOS design and hardware manufacturing in general are increasingly Asian in the valley. That says more about the US failure to hold on to those jobs overseas and not possessing the experience anymore than anything else... but a big part of that is that those jobs and the hardware in question have been commoditized. It's a high-tech ghetto, of sorts, where the opportunity for having solid engineering, manufacturing, and design skills can easily trumped by having the ability, for example, to develop web-based games for Facebook. That's where the money and attention is flowing nowadays...)

In fact, I worked at a company like this once, when I was in my early 20s, where I was one of a few white guys. We made, configured, and shipped PCs and bar code systems nationally. The hardware we put into our stuff varied every day, based on whatever deals the owner could source back in Asia. For that reason alone, the quality varied wildly.

The thing worth remembering is that when you do get these rather segregated startups -- most of which will never be anywhere near the NASDAQ -- we're also talking about segregated -- and oftentimes lessened -- opportunities. There's certainly money to be made, if only because there are loads of inexpensive doodads made in China that can be shipped, repackaged, reconfigured, and rebranded for an American market... but when you have unprofitable companies like Twitter able to be valued by investors at $100B, and everyone there before the IPO who saves their stock and purchases their options becomes a millionaire... well, that's a world apart from these kind of places.

These segregated, US-based startups may be primarily Chinese... or perhaps Indian... but they are rarely Latino or Black... and rarely primarily geared to and run by women. So while you can have online games and communities where the proportion of females users is impressive -- often in excess of 60% -- you're extremely unlikely to see the coders be women at that ratio. And that opportunity difference and unintentional segregation is both avoidable and unfortunate, all the way around.
posted by markkraft at 6:46 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The problem, though is that it's not like these guys don't talk to each other the same way."

They do, yes... but a lot of that is high-tech penis waggling and technical ideology staking, as opposed to having much of an actual point that will positively effect the delivery of quality code by x date.

Most women -- yes, even women coders -- are well-rounded enough when it comes to their personality, skill sets, priorities, emotional maturity, and tact to not really want to engage with Mr. ÜberCoder on the merits of vi in the first place... especially when he's being a dick about it and senses blood in the water.

You're right. That's a problem. And not one, btw, that can be fixed with sunglasses and weightlifting.
posted by markkraft at 7:06 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Java-brogrammers often crash on dates because of null pointer exceptions. These problems are best avoided with a unit test.
posted by humanfont at 8:53 AM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look, there are always stability tradeoffs involved in rapid brototyping.
posted by cortex at 9:05 AM on March 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Most women -- yes, even women coders -- are well-rounded enough when it comes to their personality, skill sets, priorities, emotional maturity, and tact to not really want to engage with Mr. ÜberCoder on the merits of vi in the first place... especially when he's being a dick about it and senses blood in the water.

Exactly. Some guys once made fun of me for not using vi. As if it affects my ability to do my job. It's that kind of culture that alienates, though people like me eventually learn the "right" answers to such dick-measuring questions, while we continue to use the editor that works best for us (I suspect some of the vi snobs are also using such editors).
posted by melissam at 9:17 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that I think about it, maybe making fun of me for not knowing vi was a way to "neg" me so they could get a date. Didn't work.
posted by melissam at 9:18 AM on March 6, 2012


Tell them you prefer ed.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:41 AM on March 6, 2012


Better yet, tell them you prefer TECO and that full-screen editors are for sissies.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:47 AM on March 6, 2012


Except emacs, of course.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:49 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Exactly. Some guys once made fun of me for not using vi. As if it affects my ability to do my job."

Some might argue that a culture which allows you to be mocked and demeaned for not fitting in *does* affect your ability to do your job effectively... certainly more so than whether you choose to use vi or not.
posted by markkraft at 10:34 AM on March 6, 2012


Some might argue that a culture which allows you to be mocked and demeaned for not fitting in *does* affect your ability to do your job effectively... certainly more so than whether you choose to use vi or not.

I meant that using vi doesn't affect my ability to do my job, which I do perfectly fine in a text editor I actually like.
posted by melissam at 11:07 AM on March 6, 2012


*nods* Just wanted to make the other point.

Using vi really doesn't matter much, in the big scheme of things... but workplace culture does.
posted by markkraft at 11:36 AM on March 6, 2012


Remember ms-dos's debug command. Fun times.
posted by humanfont at 11:49 AM on March 6, 2012


At a previous job, I was involved in migrating VMS based applications to AIX; the admins of one particularly important programme, the one that amongst other things was responsible for sending out their own salary payments to the banks each month, were less than impressed that they now had a job scheduler based on standard unix cron functionality, which could only be edited through vi.

Not impressive when you're used to the much more user friendly text and line editors on VMS...
posted by MartinWisse at 1:10 PM on March 6, 2012


Exactly. Some guys once made fun of me for not using vi.

One of the smartest sysadmins I've ever worked with had a cheat-sheet of vi commands pinned to his cubicle wall. Yes, you need to know it to get by, as it's installed on everything with a command line going back to the 1930's, but no, you don't need to know it that well.

In this day and age, everyone is using Text Wrangler, anyway, unless the lucky stiffs got their bosses to splurge for BBEdit.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:16 AM on March 7, 2012


Call of Duty case mod has spinning gatling gun, energy drink fridge - ultimate Bro-puter, I can see the hideous energy drink fridge in particular becoming a standard feature.
posted by Artw at 10:21 AM on March 8, 2012


Call of Duty case mod has spinning gatling gun, energy drink fridge

... ok, that is pretty awesome.
posted by Zed at 10:30 AM on March 8, 2012


A quick switcheroo at a LAN party and you could end up with bros, in a fit of Xzibitian recursion, icing bros while bros ice bros.
posted by cortex at 10:39 AM on March 8, 2012


These segregated, US-based startups may be primarily Chinese... or perhaps Indian... but they are rarely Latino or Black... and rarely primarily geared to and run by women. So while you can have online games and communities where the proportion of females users is impressive -- often in excess of 60% -- you're extremely unlikely to see the coders be women at that ratio. And that opportunity difference and unintentional segregation is both avoidable and unfortunate, all the way around.

There was just a thread about pinterest, mostly female userbase, but founded by dudes.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 PM on March 10, 2012


Turns out brogramming goes well with sexism. Who knew?
posted by parudox at 3:05 PM on March 20, 2012


Jugalogramming is the future.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on March 20, 2012


Fucking Huffman Encoding Compression Algorithm, how does it work?
posted by Flashman at 5:21 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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