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Brogrammers, this Girls Who Code video is for you

A new video from Girls Who Code and CollegeHumor pokes fun at dudes and encourages women to get into coding.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson
2 min read

These brogrammers want a robot that acts like their mom.

Girls Who Code and CollegeHumor

Silicon Valley has given us a great many things: sensors on anything you can think of, company names without vowels and the very blueprint of the brogrammer.

The brogrammer -- the collar-popping, protein shake-slurping, Nerf gun-wielding dude cranking out code -- is the subject of a new video, out Thursday, from education nonprofit Girls Who Code and CollegeHumor.

While a pair of women coders devise a program to check water for lead, their male counterparts discuss creating a robot that drives them to work and makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, just like their moms.

"I was imagining she would smell like vanilla candles," one says.

It's not a throwaway gag.

"Oftentimes, the tech industry is perceived to create technology to make life easier for the most privileged, essentially replacing their moms rather than tackling our society's most pressing challenges," said Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani.

The video, titled "The Problem with Brogrammers," also hits on the issue of workplace culture, commonly cited as a reason women in tech often don't feel welcome.

In 2014, a three-year study funded by the National Science Foundation surveyed more than 5,000 women in engineering. Common reasons given for why women left the field included a male-dominated culture, hostility at work and the inability to mesh care-giving responsibilities with unconventional work schedules.

A recent and widespread effort to get more girls and women into coding comes at the time when the White House projects a half million open jobs in information technology in the US. Yet only 18 percent of college degrees in computer science go to women. That combination could spell missed economic opportunity on the order of $299 billion, according to an October report from IT consulting firm Accenture and Girls Who Code.

In any case, Silicon Valley is ripe for the mocking these days. The HBO series "Silicon Valley" finished its third season of satirizing everything from the bean-bagged offices of tech startups to the hoodie-clad programmers who might actually change the world if not for their delusions of grandeur and states of arrested development. In 2015, BusinessTown on Tumblr presented figures like the Influencer, the Teenage Billionaire CEO and the Code Monkey in Richard Scarry-style illustrations, complete with explanations of what exactly they do. In October in San Francisco, a musical in San Francisco called "South of Market" poked fun at the tech industry.

Girls Who Code has used humor before to address culture issues for women in tech. In three videos released in May, young women offered absurd reasons why they can't code, like being too emotional or getting distracted by their own cleavage. Those videos end with "every other theory is ridiculous," pointing out that stereotypes are just as ridiculous as a robot that smells like your mom.