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In Google Summer of Code, they use the phrase 'flip bits, not burgers':

provide students in Computer Science and related fields the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits during the summer (think 'flip bits, not burgers')

Doing a Google Search only turns up results which talk about this and not meaning of the term.

I think its used in computer science too...

What does it mean?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Flipping bits refers to manipulating computers usually in low level memory and so is not exactly an accurate term for doing Summer of Code programming, but is just a way to twist the burger flipping metaphor. Fast food service usually being considered an entry level position requiring little skill, and presumably inferring that programming voluntarily for Google would be a more worthwhile endeavor.

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...and a job working at a fast food place is often described as "flipping burgers." And working at fast food joints is a common summer job for students. – Kit Z. Fox Aug 1 '12 at 17:19
...And most programmers would rather a job flipping bits than burgers... You're making me hungry! – American Luke Aug 1 '12 at 17:27
...And most programmers working at a fast food restaurant would probably end up programming something using burgers as physical bits anyways... Maybe. – Darthfett Aug 1 '12 at 19:14

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