I just tried integrating my website with facebook. I got a lot of copy-paste code from the facebook developers site. I just put the code and it works fine. Do you call this kind of programmers "code monkeys"?

If you say I am a code monkey, in the same case what would you expect me to do?

  • 7
    Do you understand why the code works? As long as you're not using anything you don't understand, I don't see a problem with it.
    – Maxpm
    Mar 23, 2011 at 2:45
  • @Maxpm yes I understand that..
    – rgksugan
    Mar 23, 2011 at 2:49
  • 9
    I prefer Software Simian
    – DKnight
    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:40
  • 1
    It depends on how much you like bananas. Or mountain dew. Sep 21, 2011 at 11:09
  • possible duplicate of How can I deal with the cargo-cult programming attitude?
    – gnat
    Jun 9, 2013 at 11:34

3 Answers 3


A Code monkey is a computer programmer or other person who writes computer code for a living. This term may be slightly derogatory, meaning that this developer can write some code but is unable to (or not supposed to) perform the more complex tasks of software architecture, analysis, and design. It is usually applied to junior programmers or programmers hired in the USA. source

So, yes, but it is not as bad as you make it sound. It sounds like you are more scared of being a "script kiddie". Reusing code is not bad if you understand what it is doing. If there are good tutorials out there that satisfy what you need, you should not be spending your time re-inventing the wheel.

I think the real question is if you like Fritos, Tab and Mountain Dew .

  • 2
    +1 if you have a big warm fuzzy secret heart.
    – Dan Ray
    Sep 21, 2011 at 12:26
  • 1
    Is every [proper] developer a JoCo fan, or at least aware of him?
    – Martyn
    Sep 21, 2011 at 12:45
  • LOL...there must have been a code-monkey in all of us once Sep 21, 2011 at 14:51

the term you're looking for is "cargo cult programming"

a style of computer programming that is characterized by the ritual inclusion of code or program structures that serve no real purpose. Cargo cult programming is typically symptomatic of a programmer not understanding either a bug he or she was attempting to solve or the apparent solution (compare shotgun debugging, voodoo programming). The term 'cargo cult programmer' may also apply when an unskilled or novice computer programmer (or one not experienced with the problem at hand) copies some program code from one place and pastes it into another place, with little or no understanding of how the code works, or whether it is required in its new position...

[hey, sometimes it works!]

  • 1
    yes, copy and paste code, without understanding it, is cargo cult programming. I find these articles to do rather well at explaining the situation: blogs.msdn.com/b/ericlippert/archive/tags/… (start from the earliest post and up)
    – Ape-inago
    Mar 23, 2011 at 8:38
  • 1
    I'm currently part of a "Cargo Cult Cleanup Crew". It's always fun to be able to delete 50% or more of someone's code and not impact functionality at all... :-) Sep 21, 2011 at 13:03

Using code without any understanding or without any WANT for understanding would put you in the "code monkey" or "script kiddie" category.
A large number of experienced programmers grab code from old projects or that is already available on the web, the difference there being that they know how/why the code works the way it does, and know it's already been done, saving time and effort. So if you copied the code because it was convenient but understand the code, or if you didn't necessarily understand the code but are TRYING to understand it; then, no, one would not consider you to be a "code monkey".

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