Why developers work overnight

It’s no myth that we transform caffeine into code and often work late in the night, but we never give it much thought why this is so… We are an agency, we have working hours, so why do we often keep working late in the night? We figured we are not the only ones and here are the three main reasons why programmers prefer to work when the night falls.

Intelligence or laziness?

A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences analyzed over 20,000 people and concluded that night owls, regardless of the age, are more intelligent. Individuals with higher IQ levels have different sleep cycles compared to people with an average intelligence. They tend to sleep and wake up later than those with lower IQ levels.

Or maybe it’s not about intelligence and we are just lazy, we wait until the last minute to finish work and then we have to pull all-nighters… Sometimes yes, we admit it, but our project manager would flip out if this would keep happening… So,this is not really the case, and we also do not think of ourselves as Einsteins, but at the end it comes down to distraction.

No distraction

Programming is a process requiring deep thought and a lot of concentration, as Swizec Teller writes in his book. Ask us a question and it can all be gone in the blink of the eye. All that hard work and deep concentration, just gone. Simply because we had to think about something else. No, we cannot multitask, not at all.

During the day we have meetings, we discuss problems and new projects, we look for solutions together… And when the night falls and everything goes quiet, we build the framework in our mind, start working, make tweaks, beat one small problem after another until suddenly it’s morning and birds are chirping outside the window.

It’s a lifestyle

We are used to work that way since forever… Staring at a bright screen doesn’t really make you sleepy, studies show. Your sleep cycle gets delayed and you are not tired until 3am. Also, having no little children who have to be in the kindergarten at 7am allows us to work more flexible hours.

So that are the results of our little ‘study’. Tell us what you think! 🙂

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