Posted on September 12, 2016
Today is the 256th day of the year.
And that makes it the Day of the Programmer! On most years, this holiday falls on September 13, but in Leap Years like this one, the holiday moves to September 12.
Now, why would be celebrating programmers on the 256th day of the year?
It's because 256 is hexadecimal for 100. It is the number of different values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte (a byte is a unit of memory size for computers and other electronic devices), and so it is a number that is very well known to programmers.
(You can imagine all the other numbers that lead up to 1111 1111 – just substitute a zero for one or more of the ones.)
We usually use base 10 numbers – which as you know has nine numerals plus zero.
Base 2 numbers (also called “binary code”) has just one numeral plus zero.
And hexadecimal (also called “hex”) is base 16. It has 15 “numerals” or symbols, usually 1 through 9 plus the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F plus zero.
Here are a few resources to help you celebrate programmers on their day:
- Binary, Decimal, and Hexadecimal Numbers – for kids
- Tynker – learn to code and mod Minecraft
- Code-dot-org – anyone can learn!
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