As someone who has been coding for over 4 years, I've seen plenty of toxic behaviour from developers. It's worth writing about.

This isn't I've just noticed, either. For instance, StackOverflow recently adjusted their rules to make it welcoming for newer developers due to being many questions from newcomers being shunned.

Being mocked for asking dumb questions

If you're learning how to code and ask a dumb question, a lot of developers get mad at you and/or mock you. This has happened to me several times, especially when I was just starting out.

It's really toxic. How can you expect someone to be well-versed if they're a beginner? Learning how to code is hard, and most of what you learn isn't obvious to newcomers. This means they're going to ask dumb questions.

And not only that, asking stupid questions is a really fast way to learn. If people are afraid of asking questions because they don't want to be mocked, then they're not going to learn anything.

Toxic lurkers on help forums

From my experience, it seems like the developers who do this aren't actually there to help people. They're snarky and aren't welcoming.

It appears like they lurk forums not to help people, but so they can assert their superiority over others. As if they're a part of some elite club where the cool kids "know how to code" and everyone else is an idiot.

Judging others for the technology they use

Who gives a shit what tech someone uses.

Yes, some technologies and practises are objectively better than others. But just because someone doesn't do those things doesn't mean you should look down on them.

The tech someone uses comes down to personal preference. Practices that are a must in enterprise development aren't as important in other situations, such as if you're an indie developer.

A good example are makers such as Pieter Levels. They're solo developers building businesses. For them coding is a means-to-an-end, they're not interested in the art of software development as much as building a profitable business.

These people get way more done than most developers who obsess about technology and best practises. They're in a different game where your code quality isn't as important as shipping products. Therefore judging them for prioritising speed is unfounded.

Personally, I think there needs to be a balance between speed and doing things properly. I'm someone who likes to take my time and follow best practises, but I don't obssess over it to the point it's counterproductive. And I don't judge other developers who do things differently because it's a matter of personal preference.


Overall I think the developer community is great. People usually offer honest, constructive feedback, and many developers dedicate a lot of their free time helping others and contributing to open-source.

This post is merely addressing the toxic side of it and the things I wish would change.