[linux-elitists] Hacker ethic, brogrammer ethic

Andy Bennett andyjpb at ashurst.eu.org
Sun Jul 6 08:33:52 PDT 2014


> class BrogrammerEthic extends HackerEthic -- apply the
> Bro Code if possible, fall back to hacker principles
> where the Bro Code is silent (like US law referring
> to English common law).

I didn't really ever attribute "ethics" or "principles" to brogrammers.
I'm not saying that they don't have any, I'm just saying that I never
really thought they were defined by them.

I always assumed that brogammers were what PHK was referring to when he
said 'programmers from the “lost generation” who have never heard about
Peter G. Neumann or Robert Morris.'
 -- http://phk.freebsd.dk/sagas/md5crypt.html

It's easy for "post Facebook" or even "post millennium" programmers who
might once have become hackers to become brogrammers because of the
"Eternal September" effect and the relative ease with which it is now
possible to meet other people at a similar larval stage of



This combination of a large influx of new blood that couldn't be well
mentored by the existing incumbents as well as large, noisy forums and
communities which distracted from the core act of programming (and
learning on ones own) combined to create a much more mainstream culture
that rewards the "vocal minority" and people who conform to certain
social mores.

The user-centric web also had its influence: people came to programming
and hacking much more from "design" and "photoshop" backgrounds and with
(maybe more) tangible "products" that they wanted to build or "end
games" that they wanted to achieve.

Whilst we can debate separately whether that is a "good" or "bad" thing,
what is definitely true is that people from those kinds of backgrounds
have a very different set of values and goals compared to traditional
"academic" hackers.

This leads to a very different "personal development pathway" for the
individual and I guess what frustrates a lot of the old-timers is that,
despite that difference in personal development, they still end up
making the same old mistakes along the way. What makes it especially
frustrating is that it is very difficult to encourage someone who has a
very specific end goal in mind and doesn't see the immediate value in
it, to do the kind of deep, broad, slow learning that is so advantageous.


andyjpb at ashurst.eu.org

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