Computing

Microsoft: Sorry About 'Big Boobs'

The world of the brogrammer is a vague and hazy place of stereotyped sex humour and pseudo-serious trend pieces. And earlier this year we determined that the brogrammer never was.

And yet… Microsoft had to make a public apology recently, after it was discovered that some snivelling, man-child coder had written BIG BOOBS into a piece of computer code that connects the Linux kernel to a Microsoft “virtualisation” product. In fact, the offending characters were: oxB16B00B5. (Squint your eyes a little, you’ll see.)

On his blog, Linux developer Matthew Garrett wrote:

“At the most basic level it’s just straightforward childish humour, and the use of vaguely-English strings in magic hex constants is hardly uncommon. But it’s also specifically male childish humour. Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren’t welcome.”

Immature? Sure. Offensive? Not terribly. So it looks like the code reads BIG BOOBS. So what? Shouting “big boobs!” at a person is, in itself, not an incredible offence. It’s maybe just sort of weird and unattractive behaviour. The real apology is the one the guilty coder should make, to his (or her, let’s be fair, now) fellow coders, for perpetuating this pathetic stereotype. Alas. [DailyMail]