Code Monkey

Wednesday 26 April 2006

With all the TV shows about policemen and doctors and lawyers, why has no one made at least one TV show about software engineers? Our lives are full of drama and comedy, we should have a show. Until the J.J. Abrams of the world figure out the gold mine that is a cubicle farm, we’ll have to make do with rock music.

Jonathan Coulton has penned Code Monkey, a rock anthem to socially-challenged cubicle dwellers everywhere:

Code Monkey get up, get coffee.
Code Monkey go to job.
Code monkey have boring meeting.
Boring manager Rob.
Rob say Code Monkey very diligent.
But his output stink.
His code not functional or elegant.
What do Code Monkey think?
Code Monkey think maybe manager want to write
goddamned login page himself!

And then there’s the romance...

PS: this is my first entry in both the music and development categories.


Simon Brunning 6:36 AM on 26 Apr 2006

TV show about software engineers? There is The IT Crowd, which isn't far off.

Bill Mill 8:29 AM on 26 Apr 2006

And is (amazingly) actually funny! I certainly don't have all the episodes ripped onto my computer, in case you wanted to see them.

Simon Brunning 8:32 AM on 26 Apr 2006

Not that amazing. The guy who wrote it had a hand in Father Ted and Black Books, two of the funniest british comedies of recent years, so expectations were always high. And were met, thankfully.

You can watch them on-line at the Channel 4 site, I gather.

Bill Mill 8:42 AM on 26 Apr 2006

You can only watch them online if your IP says you're in the UK, so you have to find a proxy to watch them from the states.

Also, I was surprised it was funny because a) it was British (sorry) and b) it is about computer geeks, who are always depicted wildly inaccurately.

In this show, however, there's all kinds of cool geek in-jokes, like EFF stickers, spaghetti monster stickers, Got Root shirts, etc. Also, Roy, while definitely still a dork, is not completely sexless - a first for a computer guy I've seen on TV. My girlfriend (not a geek, and who also enjoys the show) was begging for him to hook up with his (rather attractive) boss by the end of the season.

Pete Lyons 10:20 AM on 26 Apr 2006

Hey, I have a music and programming post too (, although the song I reference requires you interpret it bit with more poetic license to fit.

It's almost surprising it's taken this long to get the life of a modern cubicle worker described in song. There's a long line of coal mining, railroad worker, carpenter songs. Given so many developers are also musicians, why not more overlap.

Pete McKinstry 12:04 PM on 26 Apr 2006

There is a new show out called 'what about brian' in which the title character & his business partner write video games. Granted it's not business applications in an IT dept, but it's something. :-)

Bob 1:48 PM on 26 Apr 2006

The IT Crowd episodes are available on

Brian 4:07 PM on 26 Apr 2006

I always thought of The Office as our show. The fact that they're not software developers is sort of inconsequential.

danny 8:35 AM on 27 Apr 2006

Whose life is not full of drama? Thats mean in near future there will only be TV shows about one or the other. TV show about software enginners? Then the audience will only be IT crowd.

Dave 10:41 AM on 27 Apr 2006

There was a show in the dotcom boom days called "Dweebs". It only lasted about 4 episodes, though.

Chris Siebenmann 12:58 PM on 27 Apr 2006

There's Stan Rogers' White Collar Holler, from 1979, with the semi-immortal line "puttin' out the data on the Xerox line". It may be too early to really qualify as a programmer/IT song, though.

Stan Rogers 8:16 PM on 27 Apr 2006

Whaddaya mean?

"And it's ho! boys,
Can't you code it?
Program it right!
Nothin' ever happens in this life of mine,
I'm howlin' out the data
On the Xerox line!"

It was definitely from an earlier era, though -- mostly about cross-correlatin' and batch runs.

(By the way, my name was Stan Rogers before that other guy got famous, and my dad's was Stan Rogers long before that singin' dude was born.)

joe 12:59 AM on 3 May 2006

Dear, everybody's life is full of drama. And the TV shows about software developers. Please give me a break. Do u want to have only IT audience. Is there any show about Brad Pitt or Jonny Depp?

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