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. Several image macro memes can be found online about these threads, highlighting how they can increase one’s performance in coding, as well as gaming.
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” meme 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, growing the lore of the meme.
Memes about “Programming Socks” started being posted on Reddit, Twitter, Imgur and iFunny following a surge in the trope’s popularity in 2017.
The subject is mostly prominent in the r/ProgrammerHumor and the r/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns subreddits, although it reaches across countless other websites online, inlcuding the aforementioned platforms.
The phrase “Programming Socks” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on June 3rd, 2020.
Despite a slowdown in the 2020s, “Programming Socks” are still a popular joke online, as of 2023.