# Happy Friday the 13th! It's Programmers' Day

If your code monkeys aren't answering their emails today, it may not be the curse of Friday the 13th, but instead because they've taken a day of rest to celebrate Programmers' Day. Programmers' Day is celebrated on the 256th day of the year, representing the maximum number of values in a byte – and 256 is also the largest power …

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Only if you work with 8 bit bytes. Not always the case.

If you want parity and stop bits you'll have to go write software on one of Jupiter's moons

Wait ... you're not suggesting programmers should work an 8 day week?

#### A byte is always 8-bits

Muppet.

You might have encoding systems and protocols and other stuff that uses bits of bytes in particular ways to give n-bit coding systems, but bytes have 8bits, words have two bytes, etc, etc, etc...

#### Re: A byte is always 8-bits

To out-pedant you, I think you'll find that although a byte is, by definition, always eight bits, a machine word is whatever size the machine is designed to work with. This might be 2 bytes, although there aren't that many sixteen bit architectures around these days, most modern machines being 32 or 64-bit. The machines I learned to program on were 8-bit, where a byte and a word were synonymous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_word

#### That's it!

I refuse to read the words 'marketing' and 'programmers' in the same article - please consider my subscription cancelled.

#### Counting...

"But as any good programmer knows, this ignores the use of zero as a value."

But

day[0] = 'Jan 1st'

So day[255] will be the 256th element, afterall.

Okay, why can't they just call it day 0x100 and be done with it?

@Stuart Longland

Surely, day 0xFF - flip-flop day

A proposition that has not much flip but quite a lot of flop.

That, is Overflow Day

#### One day off? How wimpy!

For a while, anyway (odd that this relic made it all the way to 2013 imho)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24085742

a plan for programmers day http://getssl.me/en/programmers-day

#### So-

Seeing as the most arsey Programmers refer to themselves as "Developers", dos that mean we can ignore them on this most auspicious day?

They can get their own "Developers' Day" if they want one!

#### Re: So-

Errm, no thanks, I don't want to be associated with that sweaty gorilla jumping around on stage chanting "Developers".

No, the title of Programmer (or Engineer, as I am one of those as well) will do me fine.

#### Just picking a random couple of paragraphs...

...to pick upon...

>Programmers' Day is celebrated on the 256th day of the year, representing the maximum number of values in a byte – and 256 is also the largest power of two that comes to less than the 365 days found in a regular year. This means the holiday falls on September 13 most of the time and September 12 in leap years.

>Pedants might note that the binary representation of 1111 1111 is actually 255, making Programmers' Day 24 hours too late. But as any good programmer knows, this ignores the use of zero as a value.

"maximum number of values in a byte" - a byte contains one value, the maximum value that it can contain is 255, there are 256 values possible in a byte, they range from 0 to 255.

"ignores zero as a value" - the problem in misunderstanding is the use of numbers to do one of two things, count or reference. When counting, zero is always considered a value, the absense of the thing being counted. When referencing, there are one-based indexes (or indices, depending on the intensity level of your pedantry), and there are zero-based indexes. This is where the real problems began, especially the notorious 'off-by-one' and 'fencepost' types of errors so prevalent in developers who want to be programmers.

So, remember, there are only 10 types of people in the world...those who understand binary...and...those who don't...

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