Soemarko Ridwan

iOS & Web Developer ⟡ Coffee Addict ⟡ Scuba Diver

Code Monkey

No, it's not about that Jonathan Coulton's song, though it's somewhat related. It's about Chinese developers that are burning out before 30 years old;

He is so focused on keeping his start-up alive that he can't sleep at night. She was asked in an interview if she would be willing to break up with her boyfriend for the job. A young couple want their own family but have no energy for sex after work.


Tech firms in China typically expect their employees to work long hours to prove their dedication. That means a so-called 996 schedule: 9am to 9pm, six days a week.


There are many derogatory slang words for software developers in China, such as manong (码农), which literally means “coding farmers”, and chengxuyuan (程序猿), a play on words that translates to “programming apes.”

That last part, "programming apes," it's basically code monkey, the song was released in 2006. It's nothing new. But other than that, everything else is pretty fucked up. The thing is these situations aren't that far off here in Indonesia, especially if you're a lower ranked developer. The code monkey. The companies here won't force you to do the 996 schedule, but they just won't pay you enough so you'll need to pick up some side gigs to cover basic living costs.