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CircleCI users ran more total builds in December 2016 than in December 2015, however they worked a lot less on Christmas: 71% less.

In a previous post, we showed which industries ran the most builds over Christmas 2015. Below, we’ll compare that with Christmas 2016. As before, the info is pulled from anonymized data from millions of builds run on CircleCI.

There was a stark difference between the two years. In 2015, the average build volume across all industries on Christmas Eve & Christmas was 24%, meaning CCI users ran about a quarter of the number of builds on Christmas than they did on an average, non-holiday day in December. In 2016, the cross-industry average build volume for Christmas was only 4% of normal build volume.

Why the big difference? Largely, in 2016, 14 industry groups (about half of the total number groups measured) didn’t have any builds on Christmas Day, so that brought down the cross-industry average. To try a different way of measuring it, I calculated using the median build count across all industries. With that, the two years’ data became closer: 30% of normal build volume on Christmas for 2015, versus 7% for 2016. That said, because of the wide range of build counts (some orgs build thousands of times a month, others only a dozen), I prefer using the average.

Differences across industry groups


Highest average % of non-holiday builds, Christmas 2015:

  • Food & Staples Retailing: 60%
  • Household & Personal Products: 57%
  • Consumer Services: 43%
  • Energy Equipment & Services: 36%
  • Software & Services: 32%

Highest average % of non-holiday builds, Christmas 2016:

  • Software & Services: 9.0%
  • Technology Hardware & Equipment: 8.9%
  • Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences: 8.6%
  • Consumer Services: 7.4%
  • Diversified Financials: 6.3%

Between the two years, Consumer Services and Software & Services were the only ones that stayed in the top 5. Consumer Services includes organizations like hotels, casinos, travel, and general “leisure”, which makes sense given all the travel that occurs over the holidays. And Software & Services is exactly what you’d think it would be (software, cloud, data processing, etc). As you can see in the chart above, those working in Software & Services were the most likely to be working on Christmas 2016.

As 2017 progresses, we’ll regularly publish data-driven posts revealing industry trends pulled from the millions of builds run on CircleCI.