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Most people will readily admit that computers, technology and the software behind them are critical in making the modern world go around. But for every piece of clever software in existence, there is a programmer (and often teams of programmers) behind the scenes, solving problems with clever code, cloud security solutions, and intense development projects. 

Spare a thought for these digital pioneers in celebration of Programmers Day!

History of Programmers Day

Programmers Day is celebrated on the 256th day of the year – chosen because this is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, and the highest power of two which is less than 365. And when this number is translated to binary code? It reads 1 0000 0000. Clever!

If that all sounds like a bunch of crazy tech-speak, then it’s likely that the reader is not a programmer. But certainly there are plenty of programmers out there to thank on this day.

Lots of people seem to also celebrate a version of Programmers Day on January 7th, which seems to be the original (though unofficial) date for the celebration. In China, the date for Programmers Day falls on October 24, which can be written as 1024 and corresponds with Ki binary prefix.

The folks responsible for Programmers Day falling in September are Michael Cherviakov and Valentin Balt, two computer programmers from Russia who made their plea to the government as early as 2002. Then, in 2009, the government of Russia finally acted and declared the day to be a professional holiday, and set the date as September 13th. Of course, because the date is on the 256th day of the year, it falls on September 12th if it happens to be a leap year.

No matter which day it is celebrated, Programmers Day offers a specific reminder to everyone that the world of computers and electronic devices only functions as smoothly as it does because a programmer is somewhere behind the scenes, making it happen!

How to Celebrate Programmers Day

Programmers and those who are impacted by them (meaning everyone!) can have a load of fun celebrating and enjoying Programmers Day by implementing some of these ideas for the day:

Speak in Code on Programmers Day

Programmers who work with other programmers are likely to have the most fun with this one. On this Programmers Day, perhaps it would be a good idea to simply change the preferred language into a code language. Talking in code can actually prove to be an excellent way for a person’s brain to process coding languages as they work within the industry. If completely talking in code sounds too hard, perhaps use a pseudocode, or simply inject code words into the normally spoken English language, just for fun.

Show Appreciation to a Programmer

Friends, family members and spouses of a techie can take Programmers Day as a perfect opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the world of programming. Send them a card, buy them a coffee, take them out to lunch or gift them with a gift that a techie might love. Programmers Day is a great time to show a little love to that person who makes everyone’s smartphones, tablets or computers run just a little bit better every day.

Become a Programming Mentor

Folks who work in programming can certainly take Programmers Day as a motivational way to make a difference for someone who is coming up behind them in the world of computers, software and programming. Many young people in high schools are especially keen to learn the ins and outs of programming that include logic, mathematics, and learning concepts. So check out local schools that might be looking for programming role models and sign up to become a mentor to a student who is eager to learn.

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