60+ Best programming memes for 2023

To non-programmers, programmers are akin to witches and warlocks. They inscribe indecipherable runes — or code, as they lovingly refer to it — into their computers and in doing so instruct the inanimate (but likely magic) rocks within those computers on how to think. 

The thinking rocks are then able to do all the things that make life in the 21st century what it is — from maintaining our system of currency to enabling us to make and share memes.

Silly and reductive as this man teaches rock to think explanation is, it’s not entirely untrue, which makes it all the funnier. And if that doesn’t make for fertile meme-making ground, nothing does.

So, kick back, grab a coffee, and join us in this exploration of the programming condition through memes. 


Memes to help you understand developers

It goes without saying that the vast majority of non-programmers don’t understand how programmers can teach rocks to think. 

But, the thing is, sometimes programmers themselves aren’t sure how they did it either.

From god complexes to impostor syndromes, programmers experience a wide range of emotions through most days of coding. These memes will help you better understand them.

(And, if you’re a developer seeing this, enjoy laughing at your own pain — it sounds cruel, but we all know that’s why you clicked on this page.)

It was me
Meetings suck
Range of emotions
See what sticks
The bell curve
Weekend saved
Your old code
5 lines of code
Can't read my own handwriting
Code and documentation
Code comments
Code doesn't work
Code like Drake
Didn't hit compile
HR is the enemy
I wish I were at home playing video games
If it ain't broke
It was beautiful
It was me all along

Memes that depict code and its mysterious ways

As you might expect of thinking rocks, we don’t always understand how or why they work. Code has a degree of autonomy about it that can both delight and frustrate.

Worse performance
A surprise to be sure
Annotations in code
Hysteria induced laughter
I love democracy
It is a strange fate
Legacy code
Machine learning is insane
Negotiating with a machine
Penguin code
Semi colon
Spider bug

QA vs devs memes

For many developers, their code is their labor of love. Unfortunately, that code will be used by others — in most cases, by paying customers — so someone needs to make sure that the code will work no matter how violently the users smack it around.

This is the job of quality assurance testers, who sometimes have strenuous relationships with developers because of this.

Test feature
Critical bug
Deploying features
Dev vs tester, royal rumble
Me and my code
QA mantra
QA tester at peace

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you’re having trouble understanding some of these memes, perhaps it would help to get a general understanding of how software development works. This guide will help you do exactly that by walking you through the stages of a software development plan:

How programmers feel about users (and other non-programmers)

The brains of people who can teach rocks to think are wired differently from ordinary brains.

Consequently, features that developers feel are intuitive and simple to use and understand can end up feeling overwhelming and impossible for users who aren’t tech-savvy. 

This can lead to developers imagining users in some hilarious ways as depicted in the following memes.

Easy user interface
Works on my machine
Every time
Intuitive features
Sales impossible
Web developers
Why devs hate users

Programming languages be like

Code can be written in many different programming languages, each with its own eccentricities. Here are some ways in which particular programming languages drive developers insane.

Bernie is Java
Binary 10
British devs
c++ nonsense
HTML is not a real language
Javs(script) recruitment

Where developers get help from

Now we’re not saying that all developers steal code, but the very concept of stealing is seen a bit differently by the programming community than by most others. 

Developers have grown several platforms to share and instruct their kin and code is easy to copy-paste from these platforms, like Stack Overflow and GitHub.

In some cases, this is perfectly fine. In others, not so much, but it still happens on occasion.

In either case, this added context should help those who aren’t in the know understand (and hopefully appreciate) the following memes.

The archives
You are a pirate
Follower of github
Help me, GitHub
Just like the simulations

Conclusion: To procrastinate less and get more done, try Plaky

We hope you enjoyed procrastinating, but you should probably get back to work now.

If the reason you were procrastinating in the first place is poor organization, then might we suggest using Plaky to organize your programming tasks?

Plaky is a project management tool that works wonders for software development. You can see why Plaky is a great alternative to Jira by following this link — the short of it is that Plaky costs almost half as much while offering some features that Jira doesn’t support. It even has a free version that far eclipses its competition and allows for unlimited users, projects, and tasks.

With Plaky, if you still end up procrastinating, at least it won’t be because management has made it impossible for you to do your job.

✉️ These memes have been created through study and observation of developers, their complaints, and general interactions with others (including both people and code). If you feel that you have something to add that will expand on this humorous depiction of programming and programmers, feel free to email us at blogfeedback@plaky.com and we may include your memes.

VladimirSamolovac Vladimir  Samolovac

Vladimir Samolovac is a project management author and researcher who enjoys distilling various PM topics to their essence and presenting them to (aspiring) PMs in a streamlined and intelligible manner. As an experienced teacher and project management aficionado, his goal is to help create a library of useful resources that will positively affect his readers’ project success rates.