Sadly, programmers don’t typically get to witness the Trooping of the Colour in their line of work or have someone bring them tea at the ring of a bell (unless it’s via Deliveroo), but there is one key similarity between the two careers: both are celebrated on two days of the year.
We are familiar with the Queen and her two birthdays - her actual date of birth in April and the official public celebration in June - but did you know that International Programmers’ Day is also celebrated on two separate dates? The first date, 7th January, has been observed annually since 2007, but another date, 13th September has also grown in popularity and has officially been recognised by Russia since 2009.
13th September, or 12th September in a leap year, has been chosen for this occasion as it is the 256th day of the year. Why the 256th day? Well...
*two itself being a magic number, as all signals in a computer can only have two different binary values, 0 (off) and 1 (on). One piece of information, which can store either 0 or 1, is called a bit.
So, in summary, 256 is a pretty special number in computing. It makes sense that International Programmers’ Day should increasingly be celebrated on this day of the year. And the 7th January? Well, we’re unsure why this first date was chosen, but no one is going to turn down a second day of celebrations! The Queen can relate.
Here are a few ideas:
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