Happy Programmers’ Day

If the anniversary of 9/11 has you down, all you coders reading this will have a holiday you can get behind. September 13 is Programmers’ Day.

Programmers’ Day is observed in the 28 day of the year or the 256th day of the year, which is September 13 in non-leap years like 2011 and September 12 in leap years. In case you’re wondering, WolframAlpha reports the next leap year to be 2012. The world probably isn’t ending but programmers will get to celebrate Programmers’ Day a day early.


The reason 256 was chosen seems to be the endless fascination with jokes and technical humor that a lot of programmers share. The number is the maximum number of bits that can be represented in an eight-bit byte. If you’ve dealt with the technical side of the Internet at all, you might recognize values ranging from 0-255 from IP addresses and color values for webpages.

The impetus for the recognition for Programmers’ Day came from Valentin Bait, a russian employee of a Web design firm. He’d long proposed that the Russian government officially recognize the 256th day of the year as a holiday for programmers, and in 2009, President Dmitry Medvedev granted his wish, proclaiming Programmers’ Day in the country.

This Programmers’ Day, why not take some time to think about how computer programmers have made the modern world possible, even bringing you sites like Walyou. Better yet, why not take the time to become one yourself. We recently covered a new website called Codeacademy that makes learning to program fun and easy. If that’s not enough, check out our list of the best introductory programming tutorials available online. Even if you don’t become a professional programmer, if you do learn, you’ll find yourself stretching your brain and learning how computers really work. Don’t forget to wish the coders in your life a happy Programmers’ Day.