Unofficial Programmers’ Day in Russia Date in the current year: April 22, 2024

Unofficial Programmers’ Day in Russia Russian programmers officially celebrate their professional holiday on the 256th day of the year, which falls on September 13 in common years and on September 12 in leap years. However, Russia also has at least two unofficial Programmers’ Days, celebrated on January 23 and on April 22.

Soviet and Russian computer scientists have made a significant contribution to the development of programming. The first Soviet computer, MESM (Small Electronic Calculated Machine), was developed under the direction of Sergey Lebedev at the Kiev Institute of Electrotechnology in the Ukrainian SSR. It became operational in 1950. The first large-scale Soviet computer, BESM-1 (Large Electronic Computing Machine), was completed in 1952.

One of the pioneer programmers who developed software for BESM was Lev Korolyov. He created one of the first machine translation programs, wrote control software for ballistic missile defense, and headed the team which developed the first operating system for BESM-6.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many prominent Soviet engineers and programmers emigrated abroad, but some chose to stay. Among them was Eugene Roshal, a software engineer best known as the developer of the RAR archive file format, WinRAR file archiver, and FAR Manager, a file manager for Windows.

Other prominent Russian programmers include Eugene Kaspersky, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity experts, best known as the developer of the Kaspersky antivirus and the CEO of Kaspersky Lab; Igor Danilov, the developer of the Dr. Web antivirus software; Dmitry Kryukov, the creator of the Rambler search engine; Ilya Segalovich, a co-founder of Yandex; Andrey Andreev, the creator of the dating site Badoo; Igor Sysoev, the creator of the Nginx web server, and many others.

Although Pavel Durov, the founder of the social networking site VK (VKontakte, “In Touch”) and Telegram Messenger, is often listed among prominent Russian programmers, it is his elder brother Nikolai Durov who was more involved in the software development aspect of both projects.

The celebration of Russian Programmers’ Day on the 256th day of the year was officially established by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in 2009, although the holiday had been celebrated informally since at least 2002. The holiday has since become international.

Before Russian programmers came to a consensus on the date of Programmers’ Day, other possible dates had been proposed. One of such date was April 22. It was chosen because the occupational code of the profession “Software for computer technology and automated systems” used to be 2204. Due to this, many “old school” programmers prefer to celebrate their professional holiday on April 22 (the preferred date format in Russia is dd/mm).

According to the new classification, the occupational code of the profession “Software for computer technology and automated systems” is 230105.65, so some Russian programmers unofficially celebrate their professional holiday on January 23 (the first four digits of the occupational code converted into the dd/mm date format).

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