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Christmas coding: developers DO code on holidays

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According to answers to #1 and #2 questions on Quora, Christmas coding (and coding on weekends) is, indeed, real. Both Quora answers have fantastic stories that are a great read. 

Christmas coding in 2016

People were indeed active on Christmas day in 2016. How active?

The image below shows all the events that occurred on Christmas day. Developers are not only writing code on Xmas but they are also pushing it to Github.

Xmas coding

How does this compare to other days of the year?

There is on average $1M events per month on Github (total number of events divided by 30 in November 2016 is 991,058, rounded to 1M).

This means that activity falls 47% (1M average number of events in November compared to 466363 in activity from all open source contribution during christmas day). This is impressive and surprising.

Are developers working more on Christmas days each year?

Seems so. There’s a 50% increase every year (except for 2016 where it only grew 20%). This might be because Github is getting a larger user base and activity every year.

All of this analysis was based out of open source. I suspect that numbers for the industry might be much lower.

How about weekends?

According to Github, open source developers still work on weekends

This graph shows the activity of open source developers during the month of January 2017. On average activity drops to 70% compared to the average activity of the whole month.

This means that developers are pretty much active throughout weekends.

This was taken of Github and it only includes data from open source projects. I suspect the industry should have much lower numbers.

Why?

Some of the answers on Quora can shine light on why developers don’t necessarily stop working on common seen ‘off’ days.

I always remember the famous post about Maker’s Schedule Manager’s Schedule. Perhaps during traditional off days developers get the so needed time to really think about coding challenges.

Perhaps coding is also an escape where people find the full control over software or the well defined cycle of development dev > push > deploy to be relaxing.

A few people argue that down time is really mandatory for managing burn out.

I personally believe that great software development requires not only discipline but also love for the craft. And when you love your craft, you don’t get tired.


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