As I have mentioned before, I find it a little embarrassing but I still use MATLAB for most of my programming. One of the reasons I haven’t moved on to nice new open source languages is that so many of my peers still use MATLAB. So, if I have a question about how to do something, its easy to search the internet and find an answer. And, in the very unusual case that my question hasn’t been asked before, I can pose the question to the large and generally helpful MATLAB user community.
But, as a researcher in the southern hemisphere I started to detect an interesting pattern in the number of responses to questions at different times of the year. To test if my suspicions were true I looked through 12113 users from MATLAB’s community to see if their contributions were more likely to occur at different times of the year.
The results are clear. Users are more likely to contribute in January, February and March than other times of the year. My suspicion is that this is because most users are in the northern hemisphere and these are the months when the weather is worst. So, there’s nothing much to do with your time but contribute to the MATLAB user community.
So, the moral of the story is: if you want you question answered, ask it when it starts to snow.