Home > Coding > Shocker! People don’t search by programming languages on weekends so much

Shocker! People don’t search by programming languages on weekends so much

2009/08/16

So some engineering student used the StackOverflow.com data to see if C# and Java were ‘serious’ languages (i.e. languages that people used mostly at work) and Python and Ruby on Rails were ‘play’ languages (languages people used for fun). He figured that you would see this in the search terms – C# and Java during the week; Python and Ruby on Rails on the weekends. Here’s what he came up with:

StackOverflow results

StackOverflow results (normalized)

And then there’s some talk about big spikes on weekends and on Mondays. I’m not seeing anything that screams statistically significant. So I went to Google Trends for outside corroboration. Here’s the results for the last 30 days:

C# v Java v Python v Ruby on Rails v Lego

C# (red) v Java (orange) v Python (purple) v Ruby on Rails (green) v Lego (blue)

and threw in Lego, working on a similar assumption that more people would look up Lego on the weekends. Seems pretty clear—searches for C# and Java drop on weekends (and you can ignore the blip on the lower chart—that was related to the island of Java); Python and Ruby not so much; and Lego goes up on weekends. Not even remotely scientific, but I think a clearer case for C# and Java being used more for work than play given the dropoff. Obviously, for a real comparison, one would need better data for Python and Ruby on Rails in particular as well as a filter to remove Java the place from Java the computer language. I like that there are more searches for Lego any day of the week than there ever are for C#. That’s awesome.

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