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Coding on weekends: These are the most popular weekend programming languages

Gabriela Motroc
weekend programming languages

Hello Weekend text image via Shutterstock

Weekend coding — it’s not taboo but it might turn into a heated, lengthy conversation. Stack Overflow explored the differences between questions that are posted on weekdays and weekends and revealed which languages are used most on weekends.

Weekend coding is a choice — some developers use their spare time to code while others just want to get away from the computer. Choosing not to program in your spare time doesn’t make you a bad developer; you can definitely become a good software developer even if you don’t contribute to open source projects or play with new programming languages during the weekend. This can turn into a heated discussion so let’s leave it alone for a second and focus on the people who code in their spare time.

Most popular weekend programming languages

Julia Slige, data scientist at Stack Overflow, set out to discover which are the most popular weekend programming languages so she used Stack Overflow’s public StackLite dataset on Kaggle to explore differences between questions that are posted on weekdays and weekends. She revealed in a blog post that they used non-deleted questions and tags used on over 10,000 questions and defined weekends using UTC dates. 

The fact that all tags are busier on weekdays did not come as a surprise. Instead, she decided to explore which tags made up a larger share of weekend questions than they did of weekday questions and vice versa.

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Stack Overflow analysis

The findings show that the functional programming language Haskell is the most popular weekend language while SharePoint is more often used on weekdays.

Slige noticed that

  • Some low-level technologies are popular on weekends, such as C, C++, pointers, and assembly, as well as tags related to math, such as algorithm, recursion, and (of course) math.
  • Heroku and Meteor are app platforms often used for rapid prototyping, which may suggest they are being used for weekend hobbyist projects.
  • Many of the weekday-shifted technologies are connected to Microsoft, including tags related to Excel, SQL Server, VBA, and T-SQL. Others include enterprise technologies such as Oracle.
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Stack Overflow analysis

This figure shows that “most of the popular tags that are weekday-shifted are connected to Microsoft (C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, Excel, VBA) and many of the weekend-shifted tags include technologies like C and C++, as well as newer languages such as Swift and Node.js,” Slige explained.

She also examined how developers have changed how they use these technologies over time and discovered that developers used tags like Ruby on Rails and Scala at a higher rate on weekends several years ago. However, they currently use them at a lower rate on weekends and more on weekdays, which might suggest that “they are now proportionally part of more developers’ weekday work lives.”

You can find all the data here.

Do you spend your weekends coding?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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