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Nine Scarily Funny Tech and Programmer Halloween Costume Ideas

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Halloween. The perfect time to dress up in costumes and geek out over your favorite niche interests. But before you can pull off the perfect getup, you need the perfect idea (and no, a t-shirt with a piece of paper taped to it that reads “this is my costume” just isn’t going to cut it).

Need some last-minute costume ideas this Halloween? Never fear, your friendly Hackbright staff is here to save the holiday, with 9 unique tech Halloween costume ideas that are sure to be crowd favorites (or at least get smiles from the other coders at the party).

Meggie Mahnken and Katie Lefevre from the Hackbright education team add a tech-inspired twist to traditional costume ideas and help you really upgrade your soft…wear.


#1 – The Angel Investor

angel investor

Feeling angelic? Call on your inner businesswoman and go as an angel investor. All the startups will want to give you candy. Put on your best suit, add wings or a halo, and tack dollar bills into your pockets for maximum credibility.


#2 – RAM

RAMPlanning on going as a cute red devil? Put a technical spin on it. As we all know, the horns on the devil were inspired by the horns of a ram, so why not go as RAM? Paint your face and a sheet of hobby board green, tack a sweet gold belt down the side for the contacts, and cut up some black foam to be your memory chips. Get some of those huge staples for miscellaneous soldered bits.


#3 – Net Neutrality

blog photo # 4Hey Hippie Chick. Why not celebrate peace, love, and freedom this Halloween by going as Net Neutrality, man. But the Open Internet is really just a set of rules to abide by! Rules… not groovy… Against the Man… Tolerably groovy. Dress in your loudest flower child outfit, and if anyone tells you to tone it down, shout “HEY, NO CONTENT ACCESS THROTTLING.”


#4 – Password: 123456

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month in the US (Woohoo! Who’s excited about that? We are!). Why not go as one of the most common user passwords? Some of our favorites: baseball, dragon, mustang, password, and the reigning champion, 123456. Write it big and bold on a sandwich board or do yourself up in an LED rope for maximum visibility. If you catch someone blushing, maybe they’ll change their password. You’ll have done them a huge Halloween favor!


#5 – ConCATenate

We all know that dressing as a cat for Halloween is a timeless classic. Something that maybe NOT everyone knows is that cat is also a useful linux command that prints the contents of a file to the console. So, get your favorite cat costume or mask (if you’re going for privacy), and carry around a file with some papers. Hey, no one said you couldn’t be cute AND open source.


#6 – 404 Error


404-errorPerhaps you’ll want to go for something a bit spookier. Enter the grim reaper – a dark, hooded figure that’s sure to cast a dark shadow over anyone who dares come close. This is sounding more and more like the 404 Error, everyone’s least favorite status code. Throw a 404 on your cloak and you’re sure to insight fear and loathing wherever you go.


#7 – Web Browsers

Thanks to industry competition, there are several prominent web browser options all vying for recognition – and as luck would have it, most of them lend themselves perfectly to costuming. Firefox (a fox costume with some orange streamers attached) and Safari (khakis, boots, a safari helmet, and an oversized compass) are both great options. And depending on your opinion of Internet Explorer, you could get really mean (an Internet Explorer t-shirt plus some crutches sends a pretty clear message about browser speed). Or maybe get a Google Chrome t-shirt and spend the evening eating from a takeout box labeled “RAM”…

#8 – Programming Language of Your Choice: Ruby on Rails or Python

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 9.03.00 AMReturn hack from our previous Halloween costume list! Hackbrighters Halloween costumes are always fun and programming languages do make repeat appearances. Check out Lisa on the right as Ruby on Rails (It says “Rails” on Lisa’s shoes) and Sanby is Python and Flask. Other programming languages to consider: Javascript (carry a coffee mug and sheet of movie dialogue), Swift (make an iPhone costume out of cardboard, add a race bib, and run around at full speed), or Perl (get a camel costume and deck it out with some pearls).


Ada_Lovelace#9 – Ada Lovelace

Return hack from our previous Halloween costume list! Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of an Ada Lovelace costume. If you didn’t know who Ada Lovelace is, she is credited with being “the world’s first computer programmer” – in fact, she was 100 years before her time! This is the perfect costume for the woman who wants to be really geeky and really fancy at the same time.


Bonus Protip

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.51.38 PM

Spiders are a Halloween icon, but their internet namesake also known as web crawlers get little limelight. Instead of decorating those deliciously spooky Halloween cupcakes with spider web icing, draw this diagram of a web crawler. 

And if you want to dress as something that’ll REALLY scare, how about going as the Patriarchy! Jk, that doesn’t scare us!


Have cool tech-inspired costume ideas? Share with us below or post on social media with the hashtag #HackbrightHalloween!

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