A website which features tutorials on coding explicitly designed to resemble internet porn has created outrage online.
The site - 'Codebabes' - could be a joke. Or it could be awful. Or it could be both. To be honest, it's quite hard to tell.
Either way it currently features 22 videos which take you through the extreme basics of learning to code in HTML, CSS and other programming languages, only presented by young ladies with revealing clothing.
Soon after the controversy hit the site appeared to go down under the weight of traffic, but its videos are still available on YouTube. Not all of the videos on its site appear to be working.
Sexism is a topic of huge controversy in the tech industry, and incorporates a number of issues. They range from the long-running use of 'booth babes' to promote products at trade shows, to a consistent lack of income parity and women at top positions within tech companies.
Naturally, Codebabes has not gone down well. The area of the site generating the most controversy is the "philosophy" page, which is almost inexplicably direct:
"We go fast, each lesson is a quicky, we’re pretty sure you won’t mind re-watching them :), pause it when it gets to fast, or.... ya know, FAP," it says.
"You WILL learn something. Sure, we’re entertaining, but the courses are damn good at teaching fundamentals and best practices of web development and coding. Double threat."
Here's the full thing, for what it's worth:
You can browse through the lessons by 'All Babes' or 'All Courses' and learn everything from 'where to stick your CSS' to 'variables in programming'.
The lessons are short and basic, though do cover some of the more complex areas of coding for beginners including building PHP databases and loops.
On one area of the site users are asked to send in offers for topics they want to learn. The site says it will "help you craft a bodacious course that people will never forget". The site also offers women the chance to 'Become a Codebabe' where they are asked to input their details and why they are interested.
The site adds:
"We’re not for everyone, if you want to troll us, feel free to hit us up on twitter @CodeBabes, or just be passive aggressive, we don’t care, honey badger don’t care!!!"
The site's terms and conditions list its registered address as 'HotCode', a company based in San Francisco.
On Twitter the official Codebabes appears to do little except fluctuate between extreme irony and something some have perceived as more sinister.
"If we’ve offended anyone, well, let’s just say there are a lot bigger problems in the world to worry about. This is the natural evolution of the internet, bringing together a Triforce of Babes, Code and a healthy dose of Memes. Hopefully it brings coding and web development to a butt load of new people."
Meanwhile the reaction from actual coders has been almost universally straightforward:
I am so done with this shit. Fuck everything. https://t.co/zD1s8ZwWi3— Dan ಠ_ಠ Pearson (@Danbojones) April 25, 2014
This website exemplifies everything wrong with coding and the tech industry in general - the sexism is appalling http://t.co/QP8ieB98XP— Sailesh Patel (@SaileshPyPatel) April 25, 2014
@2HitAdam I wouldn't put the link in the tweet because it would act as free advertisting for those Sith Lords.— Gnerkus (@gnerkus) April 25, 2014
But this is the internet. So not even something clearly awful can be universally hated.
Here are some people who apparently think it was a good idea:
Hot chicks + coding = success https://t.co/PgCuaKVpOS— Jad Jabbour (@JadChronicles) April 25, 2014