New study finds vast majority of programmers used cannabis while working
Cannabis appears to stimulate the creativity of software programmers. Indeed, more than a third of those polled for a new study said they used marijuana while at work, believing it helped them get into the "programming zone." Hashing It Out: A Survey of Cannabis Use, Perception and Motivation by Programmers
One-third of programmers use marijuana while working, with many creative benefits
Entitled "Hashing It Out: A Survey of Programmers' Cannabis Usage, Perception, and Motivation", and published earlier this month in the Cornell University journal arXiv, thesurvey reveals that 35% of survey participants have "tried cannabis while programming or performing some other software engineering-related task," while 18% currently do so at least once a month. Over 70% of this group revealed that they had used marijuana while working in the past year.
The results come from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan who interviewed 803 developers, including 450 full-time programmers, about the prevalence of cannabis use, perceptions, as well as motivations.
Enjoyment and the perception of improved programming were the main motivations for study participants to use cannabis. Brainstorming, prototyping, coding, and testing were the most common tasks people used cannabis for.
Overall, we found that programmers were more likely to report motivations related to fun or improving programming than motivations related to well-being: the most common reasons were 'to make tasks related to programming more enjoyable ”(61%) and“ thinking of more creative programming solutions ”(53%),” the study says.
At least 30% of respondents chose reasons for improving programming. Conversely, reasons related to general well-being, in particular mental health or chronic pain, were cited by less than 30% of those questioned.
In addition, the primary motivation of the study was to address “shortages of recruitment for certain jobs” in the programming sector, drug testing policies being recognized as a possible contributing factor.
"This ban on cannabis use in software engineering has contributed to a widely reported hiring shortage for some US government programming jobs," the study said.
In addition, the authors of the study, Madeleine Endres - KevinBoehnke and Westley Weimer - clarified that of course the problem is the same at the federal level, evoking the intention of the former director of the FBI who in 2014 wanted to relax the policies of office employment in drug use.
Many computer programmers and hacking gurus are also fond of marijuana, and they are among the best. So I have to hire quality staff to compete with these cybercriminals and some of these young people want to smoke weed ”he had declared in a 2014 interview with the Washington Post.
Nonetheless, the study found that even those who don't use marijuana are in favor of the reform, with 91% of participants saying medical and recreational cannabis should be legal, compared to 60% of the general US population in 2021. , emphasize the authors.
"Our results have an impact on the development of drug policies in the workplace and also motivate the desire for future research on cannabis use during the development of computer programs," the study concludes.