What Does Dilbert Mean?

Dilbert is a term most commonly used in IT to talk about an individual with an aptitude for engineering or technology, a “geek” whose prowess with computers is a trade-off for less-than-stellar social skills. The term comes from the cartoon by Scott Adams of the same name.


Techopedia Explains Dilbert

The Dilbert comic strip first came on the scene in 1989, and an animated series was developed in 1999.

In addition to the Dilbert character, the cartoon strip has other characters representing stereotype elements of a technology workplace. The pointy-haired boss is an archetype for management technology, and the conflict between those who “make” technology outcomes and those who manage them. Throughout the comic strip, Dilbert represents a knowledgeable, capable and relatively reasonable figure, while the pointy-haired boss represents ineptitude, blithe inattention to detail and obtuseness.

Other characters like Alice and Wally round out the set, as representing different types of coworkers, for example, one who goldbricks and one who claims credit illegitimately.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…