Do programmers really work at night?
There is debate in our office. Do programmers really work at night? Is that true or just another myth about a computer geek’s life? Like many others…
Anyway, where is a rumor there is also a piece of truth.
The truth, the naked truth is that it…depends. Some programmers work better at night, some don’t.
One of our developers is a 100% Night Owl. And his statement is clear: Developers DO work
at night better!
And here is why:
The work of a developer can be compared to building a house. It starts with architecture and design and proceeds to building “the house” in several phases.
Whilst architecture definition may take place on a piece of paper, the building itself cannot. That is a distinctive features between these two types of building procedures. While building a house can be seized and touched – building a computer science solution runs in the head of the developer.
That’s mainly the biggest reason why programmers work at night – there is no one to distract them from work, which, may be “in the middle of fourth floor”, or “somewhere near ceiling” or maybe even “just at the basement”. It sometimes gets difficult to concentrate on a certain task due to many environmental factors.
However, that is not the only reason developers prefer night-time over day-time.
Working at night brings us also the darkness, which is steamed away by the display brightness. In other words, there is only one source of light during the night and it is computer’s display (if you don’t turn the lights on, of course).
This light keeps you awake and on track as there is no sun through your window to tell you that it is getting late.
That’s a downside of night-work, you can’t know for sure what time it is, until you take a look at the watch, therefore you only stop working when the feeling of ultimate exhaust catches you.
On other side, other developers just love to work at daylight. Nothing unusual. The human nature is as complex as it can be.
As any other workers, they have to keep in touch with their clients. With no specifications from the clients, a developer cannot start any project work. Also, during development clients can request some small releases to control the progress on the project. Or some unexpected changes may occur and the client would like to implement on the go.
All that communication takes place during the daylight time (except the cases when the client is in Argentina and the developer in Kamchatka).
That’s one of the reasons why some developers, along with the Project Managers have to work mainly in the daylight.
And after a day-long work, during the night, some developers are tired, and only some good hours of sleep can recover for the next day.
But don’t get too confused, this is not just another debate in our team, this is a real debate all over the programmers offices and even their families. That was the reason why Swizec Teller , our Slovenian colleague wrote a book on the subject Why programmers work at night. A book about programmers, by a programmer, a real dedication for programmers “wives and girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends, parents, siblings, managers, friends and programmers themselves”.
You can find the book here.
Or read his blog here.
Written by: Diana Guja, Andrei Lopatenco, Serge Stratan