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I want an idiom for this situation.
If a brilliant programmer worked with a group of mediocre programmers for quite a long time, he would eventually become a bad programmer (with/without his knowledge)

I have found the following in google resutls
One bad apple spoils the whole bunch

But i need something like One good apple is spoiled by many bad apples
good apple should not be mixed with bad apples

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+1 Take a shot at The Workplace as well. They have great ideas and use interesting idioms. –  Kris Feb 7 at 6:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

"If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas."

I love dogs though...

Also these:

  • Tell me with whom thou goest and i'll tell thee what thou doest. (tell me who you go with and I'll tell you who you are)
  • Man is known by the company he keeps.
  • Evil companions bring more hurt than profit.
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I need something like "If you hang around with average programmers, you will find yourself become one among them". The people in question are not bad people as such... I too love dogs –  dynamite Feb 7 at 5:09
Well, you can apply idioms/proverbs to specific conditions like yours also. They have greater meaning than the meaning of the individual words in it. There is also "lose your edge" that may fit: idioms.thefreedictionary.com/lose+edge –  ermanen Feb 7 at 5:17
lose your edge is really a great answer.. thanks ermanen –  dynamite Feb 7 at 5:23

A couple come to mind:

"You are who you hang around"
"You become who you surround yourself with"

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