Many developers have their side projects. Some tinker with code for fun; others think they can turn an idea into a viable business. But what kinds of technologies and programming languages do they use for these pursuits?
A new analysis by Stack Overflow might give us some idea. The Website, which hosts thousands of question-and-answer threads about programming, crunched data (specifically, non-deleted questions and tags) from 10,000 questions in order to determine which programming languages are used most on weekends.
Which tags made up a larger share of weekend questions than they did of weekday questions? Whereas Sharepoint, Transact-SQL (T-SQL), Powershell, and Soap dominated weekday discussions, the weekend saw Haskell, Assembly, OpenGL, and Pointers took the lead in frequency. Here’s Stack Overflow’s chart:
“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,” Stack Overflow’s Julia Silge wrote in a note accompanying the data. No big surprises there, as those are the technologies that power many businesses.
On weekends, the hobbyists come out of the proverbial woodwork. As a purely functional programming language, Haskell offers developers a way to quickly prototype new ideas; in addition, features such as lazy evaluation and clear syntax make it easier to use (for those with the knowledge) than other languages. “We see 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,” Silge added.
Weekends also see an increased focus on video games. “If we look for the tags that have increased the most in weekend activity, we see the game engine Unity3D, as well as a number of tags used for building mobile apps,” the posting noted. “It looks like developers are designing more games and apps on the weekends now than in previous years.”
It’s clear from Stack Overflow’s research that many developers don’t regard programming as a 9-to-5 job. Even during their off days, they’re exploring what programming languages can do, and testing out new concepts that may evolve into interesting products.