Letters: Brogrammers and older workers

Kai Ryssdal May 18, 2012

Before Facebook went public today, thousands and thousands of hours were spent coding. People — guys usually — writing the programs that would make the website work. And that gets us to our undisputed top letters story of this week, about the ‘brogrammer’ — young men and the work culture they can sometimes create.

Jesse Langham is a computer programmer in San Francisco. He wrote in to say way to go — in getting it so wrong.

Jesse Langham: As a programmer with social skills, perfect vision and pockets that never need protection, the coining of the world “brogrammer” is quite thrilling to me. Because the number of stereotypes that apply to me has increased to two. I no longer have to explain that I am not an awkward nerd when I tell people about my work. Now I just have to tell them I am not a sexist or tactless frat boy. So thanks for that, Marketplace.

We did get a lot of letters from women who agree the brogrammer is alive and well in their tech workplace. But not Lisa Schnettler. She’s been working in IT for close to 20 years, most recently in Jersey City, N.J.

Lisa Schnettler: These womanizing frat boys described as IT guys. I’ve never met one. Sci-fi nuts, definitely. Sometimes condescending until you prove your bona fides, sure. But disrespectful of me as a woman — never.

The economy is, by the broader numbers, getting better. But by each individual situation — not really. Earlier this week, the Government Accountability Office came out with a report saying the number of people 55 and over who’re long-term unemployed has soared since the recession.

Thea Belecz from McCall, Idaho, wants to know more.

Thea Belecz: I am 55 and fit this profile. I would love to hear you do a spot regarding how people in my age group are managing. Are they moving back in with their 90-year-old parents? How and what are they doing?

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