Programming socks is a popular online slang expression, used in reference to knee socks among those dabbling in IT, as well as weebs or otakus and crossdressers, or people who associate with all the above.
It is frequently implied of “programming socks” that they increase one’s coding skills by 9+10 while wearing them.
Although the exact origin of the association between knee socks and programming is not known, jokes started emerging on 4chan and Reddit in 2016.
A likely catalyst to the “programming socks” trope can be linked to screenshots of Amazon displaying The C Programming Language book as “frequently bought together” along with pink, striped knee socks.
Photoshop edits of knee socks named “Pink striped programming socks” on Amazon started emerging on 4chan around 2016.
Memes about “programming socks” would be posted on Reddit, Twitter, Imgur and iFunny following a surge in the trope’s popularity in 2017.
The trope is mostly prominent in the r/ProgrammerHumor and the r/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns subreddits.
The phrase “programming socks” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on June 3rd, 2020.