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"Brogrammer" or "tech bro" are slang terms for stereotypically masculine programmers. Brogrammer is a portmanteau of bro and programmer. It is often used pejoratively to describe toxic masculinity and sexism in the technology industry, but some programmers self-describe themselves as a brogrammer positively as a word for "sociable or outgoing programmer", and it also tends to represent a subculture within the greater tech industry.[1][2] An example sometimes cited of targeted advertising toward "brogrammers" is an early (before 2012) Klout hiring advert posted at a Stanford University career fair as "Want to bro down and crush some code? Klout is hiring." The company later described it as a joke and as an unfortunate misstep.[1][3]

Brogrammer culture has been said to have created an entry barrier based on adherence to the image presented by its participants, rather than ability.[4] It can be viewed as antithetical to geek culture, which emphasizes ability and passion for field over image.[5]

Effects on participation of women in computing[edit]

In a 2015 interview, Megan Smith, top policy advisor on technology to President of the United States Barack Obama, said to an audience gathered at Capitol Hill that tech companies acknowledge that their hiring of women is less than stellar; however, "despite promises to do better, only those that make it a top priority will see progress." Smith also noted brogrammer culture as a contributing factor to the issue.[6]

In a dissenting article in Gizmodo, Sam Biddle argues that the sexist effect of brogrammer culture has been overblown by the press.[7] He does not deny that there are "brogrammers", rather he argues that "the brogrammer as phenomenon is mythology, a fairytale figure conjured up by the confused and outmoded to explain progress in an old and stodgy industry." Whether or not the "brogrammer effect" is significant, many new initiatives have arisen that seek to promote women in computer science and counter hostile culture.


  1. ^ a b MacMillan, Douglas (2012-03-01). "The Rise of the 'Brogrammer'". Businessweek. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2016. "Do push ups with one hand while coding with the other"
  2. ^ "'Brogrammer' Definition". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  3. ^ Gross, Doug (7 May 2012). "In tech, some bemoan the rise of 'brogrammer' culture". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  4. ^ Parviainen, Mia L. (22 September 2008). "The Experiences of Women in Computer Science: The Importance of Awareness and Communication". Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge. 6 (4). Retrieved 27 August 2016 – via
  5. ^ "the definition of geek". Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  6. ^ Kang, Cecilia (2015-07-09). "Obama's top tech adviser takes fight for Silicon Valley diversity to Washington". Washington Post. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
  7. ^ Biddle, Sam (2012-05-07). "There's No Such Thing as a Brogrammer". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2016-08-27.

Further reading[edit]