We call a group of musicians an orchestra. In the same way, what would we call a group of programmers?

  • 4
    I recommend you look up the definition of choreography and cinematography in a dictionary. I mean that literally: in an actual dictionary. (Also, only a specific type of musician groups are known as an orchestra. U2 isn't an orchestra, for example.)
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 30, 2015 at 19:46
  • 1
    All groups of musicians are not an orchestra nor even a band. They might just be a bunch of like-minded individuals at a party. A group of programmers working together on the same project is generally called a team but a group of programmers at a party might be called a geek squad ;-)
    – Jim
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:42
  • 5
    Well, if no-one else is going to say it... The collective noun for a group of developers is a merge conflict ;-)
    – Sam Burns
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:45
  • Why do we need a collective noun for this? An "orchestra" is an actual thing... you go to hear the orchestra. Very few groups of professionals have a collective term like this because there's not a reason to. This would be the equivalent of looking for a group of doctors or lawyers or teachers... It's a fallacy to compare orchestra to "group of musicians" because there's different types of "groups of musicians" (choirs, bands, etc) but I don't see a similarity to programmers, or any other professional group in general.
    – Catija
    Jul 31, 2015 at 0:08
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    A thunk of programmers. Of course there are also a byte or octet (8 of them), a kilobyte, etc. Depending on how much pizza they eat, we sometimes measure a group of them by the kilogram: There go 600 kilograms.
    – Drew
    Jul 31, 2015 at 2:05

5 Answers 5


http://all-sorts.org/nouns/programmers has a few suggestions for a collective noun of programmers.

An array of programmers has the most votes at the time of writing with
a heap of programmers three votes behind.

  • 1
    I would have said "a heap of programmers".
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 30, 2015 at 21:58
  • Oddly, a lot of those suggestions in that link aren't very good. Many are just "What's a word associated with programming (either actually or in the popular consciousness)? Compile! Neckbeard! Hack!" Jul 30, 2015 at 22:07
  • @iamnotmaynard All it takes for a suggestion to appear is anybody tweating a XXXXX of programmers #collectivenouns so, yes lots of those with no or few votes are quite unimaginative or obvious jokes.
    – Avon
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:09
  • And of course, being a programmer, it's hard for me to not take those words literally, so anything that's not actually a programming term for a collection seems incorrect. I do like array, heap, and cluster. And virtualhost after thinking about it. Jul 30, 2015 at 22:20
  • In case anyone's not aware, it may be worth pointing out that these are mostly jocular usages.  In general usage, chasly's answer is more appropriate.
    – gidds
    Feb 19 at 14:01

A team of programmers.

I head a small team of programmers. How do I make them appreciate quality that every line of code they write is well thought of and every UI designed is simply beautiful?


I'm not aware of an -ography for programming. The term is simply 'programming' or 'software engineering.'

  • 1
    Or possibly a, 'Company of programmers'?
    – chrisjlee
    Jul 30, 2015 at 21:12
  • @chrisjlee - I've never heard that used. Do you have a source? Jul 30, 2015 at 21:30
  • 1
    All I've ever seen come from programmers is porn-ography.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 30, 2015 at 21:58
  • 1
    @HotLicks of course they don’t produce it they just collect it ;-)
    – Jim
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:45
  • @Jim - You haven't seen some of the stuff the folks over at Stack Overflow are claiming is their code.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:47

It's a Pride of Programmers. Why you might ask?

When programmers group up and get that first preemptive glimpse at the codebase they're about to absolutely annihilate, they become lions in that moment. From then on they're eternally hungry, they need meat (code meat that is). I'm talking function gazelles, variable antelopes, the whole nine yards. When they're in their natural habitat (terminals) they are lethal, mystical beasts to behold.

Can they run? Hell yeah! They can run programs...They're animals.

So I leave you with a Pride of Programmers


I agree that groups of programmers or software developers are usually referred to as teams, although that does have the nuance that they're working on the same project or for the same company.

If they're not related in that way, it'd just be a "group" of programmers. For example, you might encounter groups of programmers at a programming-related or technology-related convention.

Really, there's no fancy or unusual term for them. If you're being poetic you could make something up, like an "arrogance of programmers"!

As for your second question, there is no "graphy" word related to programming. A person who makes software programs, and is a programmer.

A person can study choreography, or cinematography, or they can study programming. If you're fancy, you can call "programming" "software development" instead, but "programming" fills the same niche that the other two words do for their industries.

A sub-type of programmer will sometimes have the word "architect" appended to their title or description. Others will have "engineer". Perhaps that's what you're going for? But titles are highly interchangeable in the industry now and there's not any formalized definition between programmer titles (programmer vs. developer vs. engineer vs. architect) that isn't tied to whatever a specific company's HR department decides.

Source: Worked in IT for 10 years. Met a lot of programmers!


cohort (noun):

a group of people with a shared characteristic

'a cohort of civil servants patiently drafting legislation'

network (noun):

a group or system of interconnected people or things

'a trade network'

Source: ODO

a cohort of programmers; a network of programmers

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