Stack Overflow: Like sleep? Don't code in C

In analyzing its traffic, Stack Overflow found that C developers keep the latest hours, while C# is the language for early risers

Stack Overflow: Like sleep? Don't code in C
Credit: Adam Lynch

When it comes to developers' work habits and the languages they use, C# programmers tend to start and stop work earlier than C programmers, who stay up later. But for programming outside of the common 9-to-5 workday, Haskell gets the nod.

In analysis of programming traffic on the Stack Overflow online community over for four weeks last August, Stack Overflow Insights data scientist David Robinson, found that traffic spikes during the workday—unsurprising since the site is used by programmers to help them do their jobs. "You can even see a dip at 12 p.m. when developers eat lunch," he noted.

For his report released today, Robinson focused on four languages: C, Python, JavaScript, and C#. While C# programmers start work earlier, they tend to use the language less in the evening. "This might be because C# is often used at finance and enterprise software companies, which often start earlier and have rigid schedules," he postulated.

C's usage trend had developers starting and stopping a bit later but continuing to use it in the evening and staying up the longest, suggesting C may be particularly popular among hobbyist programmers who code during free time or among summer school students doing homework. Python and JavaScript developers, meanwhile, start and end the day a little later than C# users and are a little less likely than C programmers to work in the evening.

Technologies used outside the workday include web frameworks like Firebase, Meteor, and Express, as well as graphics libraries like OpenGL and Unity, but Haskell dominates the category, with half of its visits coming after hours. The workday, meanwhile, is dominated by many Microsoft technologies, such as SQL Server, Excel, VBA, and Internet Explorer, along with technologies Subversion and Oracle, which are frequently used at enterprise software companies, Robinson found. "We can see that of the most used programming technologies on Stack Overflow (more than 100,000 visits a day), C#, SQL, SQL Server, and Excel stand out as being disproportionately used from 9 to 5, while Android, iOS, Swift, Node.JS, C++, and C are more visited outside of work hours."

Robinson also found that cities in western Europe, such as London, Paris, Madrid, and Amsterdam, kept the strictest 9-to-5 hours. On the other hand, developers in eastern Asian cities like Quezon City, Tokyo, and Seoul, or eastern European cities like Moscow and Kiev were most likely to visit outside local working hours.

This story, "Stack Overflow: Like sleep? Don't code in C" was originally published by InfoWorld.