What Programming Languages Are Used Most Over Weekends?


Short Bytes: Using the open data sets made public by StackOverflow about the questions posted on it and the tags used in the questions, a StackOverflow Employee used the data to detect and visualize which programming languages are being used most over weekends. Surprisingly, programming language Haskell is most popular on weekends, accounting for 0.365% of weekend questions.

StackOverflow has an open dataset on Kaggle which contains the data about all the StackOverflow programming questions asked on StackOverflow. The dataset, a couple of CSV files, each a couple of megs large, is called “StackLite” for the reason that the question and answer texts are not included. They have their GitHub repo, by the name StackLite as well. A more comprehensive dataset with questions and their answers’ text is available at Stack Exchange Data Dump. The StackOverflow StackLite dataset has the following properties about the questions asked on StackOverflow:

  • Question ID
  • Creation date
  • Closed date, if applicable
  • Score
  • Owner user ID
  • Number of answers
  • Tags

This StackLite Dataset was extracted from the Stack Overflow database at 2016-10-13 and contains questions up to 2016-10-12. This includes 12583347 non-deleted questions and 3654954 deleted ones.

Recently, StackOver’s Julia Silge published a blog post about exploring the StackLite dataset to figure out which programming languages are used more at the weekends. The R script that she wrote to create visualizations is available on their StackLite Kaggle Page here.

For this analysis, she used non-delete questions and tags used on more than 10, 000 questions. They defined weekends on UTC dates, which might not be weekends for all users. This included 2,132,073 questions on weekends. The main aim of this exploration was to see which tags made up a larger share of weekend questions than they did of weekday questions and vice versa.


The programming language Haskell is 0.365% of weekend questions in this dataset, but only 0.21% of weekday questions. That shows that it is unusually popular on weekends. Sharepoint makes up 0.0683% of weekend questions, and 0.188% of weekday questions, showing more usage on weekdays.


Haskell, is mostly used as an academic language, by language enthusiasts, mathematicians and the others. Here, this xkcd joke does the job of explaining that it’s not used that much in corporate world.


Some of the more observations:

  • Low-level technologies are popular on weekends, such as C, C++, pointers, and assembly, as well as tags related to math, such as recursion, algorithm, and ‘math’.
  • Heroku and Meteor are rapid development platforms, which make full stack development easy, which aligns with people using them on weekends, perhaps to hack prototypes!
  • Many weekday technologies are connected to Microsoft, including tags related to Excel, SQL Server, VBA, and T-SQL and enterprise technologies such as Oracle.

Tags that are towards the right, i.e., Javascript, Python, HTML, PHP, have more questions asked about them. The tags on the left have few questions asked about them overall.

Tags appearing closer to the dashed line have an equal share of questions about them on weekends and weekdays. Tags further away from the dashed line have the largest difference in the number of questions asked about them on weekdays and weekends.


The most of the popular tags that are weekday-shifted are connected to Microsoft (C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, Excel, VBA) and many of the weekend-shifted tags include technologies like C and C++, as well as newer languages such as Swift and Node.js.

For tags with more than 20,000 questions, this graph provides info on which ones are being posted about less on weekends now compared to the past.

And this graph provides information about tags with increased activity on their questions over weekends.

With Unity on the rise, it looks like developers are designing more games and apps on the weekends than previously.

What technologies do you use on weekdays? How did you like this article? Let us know and share your feedback.

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