New Nokia Developer Music Video Proves Brogramming Is Alive and Well

In a new music video, “Dev City” – parodying Tyga’s club hit Rack City – two meathead programmers spread stacks of floppy disks in a club as scantily clad women in Elvis Costello glasses writhe suggestively. Just another would-be YouTube viral sensation gone wrong, right? Except that this video is officially sponsored by Nokia Developer as a promotion for its conference, and if it’s a mirror of programming culture circa 2012, then it might be time to burn it all down and start fresh.

How bad is it? Here’s a sampling of the lyrics, as performed by Sixx and the Product:

Hot damn, pull away from the pack
Localized it so I’m big in Japan
Tat, t-t-t-tatted up, gettin’ stacks

Steve Ballmer loves me
You know how it is

Dev city kid, dev, dev city kid
Dev city kid, dev, dev city kid
Dev city kid, dev, dev city kid
Hacking code on them apps and I’m getting checks

Dev city kid, dev, dev city kid
Dev city kid, dev, dev city kid
Dev city kid, dev, dev city kid
Ten ten ten twenties and them fifties, Smixx

Picture that, with women gyrating and hanging off our intrepid hero-coders, and you might begin to see why it’s a problem. The “brogramming” trend in the developer scene has been problematic enough already. Earlier this year, the Boston API Jam tried to entice devs to its hackathon by promising beer delivered by an exclusively female staff. Instead, the event wound up alienating women coders and losing its sponsors.

The problem was even in evidence at the most recent South by Southewest (SXSW) in Austin, with a Mother Jones reporter noting the disgust caused when Path exec Matt Van Horn warned against “gangbang interviews” and talking about how he used “nudie calendars” to win investors. Welcome to the age of the frat boy brogrammer, and if you’re wondering why there aren’t more women in technology, well, you’re looking at it. The fact that this is from as huge a market force as Nokia only compounds the crime against taste.

Gizmodo says that the ill-advised video was shot at a Nokia office in Boston by one Aaron Perkins Jr. But there’s a wrinkle: The video has been set to private on YouTube, and Nokia says that it’s “investigating” it. Could it have been a marketing move gone horribly wrong? If Nokia ever wants to hire another female coder again, it had have better been.

Geeklist, a fellow offender, thanks to a promotional video featuring a female dancer, has formed a committee specifically to address the gender gap in the tech sector as its mea culpa. An apology is a tricky thing, but this kind of humiliation should be a reasonable deterrent.

Incidentally, despite Nokia’s backpedaling, the Internet heroes at The Next Web rehosted this atrocity for posterity, so you can decide for yourself if it’s simply bad or the worst thing ever.