"Brogrammer" or "tech bro" are slang terms often used to label a stereotypically masculine programmer. Brogrammer is a portmanteau of bro and programmer. It is often used pejoratively, 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. An example sometimes cited of targeted advertising toward "brogrammers" is an early 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.
Brogrammer culture has been said to have created an entry barrier based on adherence to the image presented by its participants, rather than ability. It can be viewed as antithetical to geek culture, which emphasizes ability and passion for field over image.
Effects on participation of women in computing
In a 2015 interview, Megan Smith, then-President of the United States Barack Obama's top policy adviser on technology, 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 brogrammers culture as a contributing factor to the issue.
In a dissenting article in Gizmodo, Sam Biddle argues that the sexist effect of the brogrammer culture has actually been overblown by the press. 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.
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- 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 scholarworks.umb.edu.
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- Kang, Cecilia (2015-07-09). "Obama's top tech adviser takes fight for Silicon Valley diversity to Washington". Washington Post. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
- Biddle, Sam (2012-05-07). "There's No Such Thing as a Brogrammer". Gizmodo.com. Gizmodo. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
- Gangbang Interviews" and "Bikini Shots": Silicon Valley's Brogrammer Problem at Mother Jones
- In war for talent, 'brogrammers' will be losers at CNN International
- A Few Takes On How To Fix The Tech Industry's 'Bro' Problem at NPR
- Most Developers Are Middle-Aged Married Folks, Yet Brogrammers Persist at ReadWrite
- Silicon Valley Is a Big Ole Fraternity at Thewire.com
- Meet the 'Brogrammers' at Jezebel