This Is Why Coders Prefer Dark Backgrounds

This is a question that we get asked frequently. It is a question that gets asked by beginner programmers and also by people who are just curious. Even if someone has never written a piece of code in their life, you almost always picture them sitting behind a black background with colorful code when you think of a programmer. Why is this?

Ultimately, using a black background with colorful code helps a software developer concentrate for more extended periods. This increase in concentration is achieved because the black background eliminates blue light that usually puts trains on the coder’s eyes. It also improves the visibility of the code, which increases the quality of the work.

While this does seem like a simple question, it needs to be answered in-depth. It is easy to give you a simple answer to what seems like a simple question, but that would be disingenuous on our part, so in this article, we are going to walk you through everything that you need to know about using dark mode as a software developer.

Why Do Coders Use Black Backgrounds?

There are a few reasons why clothes use dark backgrounds. In order to understand why they do it, you need to put yourself in their shoes while reading this section. Let’s take a look at a list of these reasons and then discuss them in further detail.

  • Dark mode helps with concentration.
  • It makes code easier to see.
  • Dark mode puts less strain on the developer’s eyes.
  • Dark mode saves battery power.

You also need to consider that, in some cases, it is just personal preference. This personal preference extends beyond programming. If you look at five different people’s cellphone, either your friends or colleagues, and look at their YouTube application, you will see that some have the normal mode switched on while others have Dark mode.

So, while we can discuss the main reasons why coders use dark backgrounds, always remember that sometimes it is just personal preference.

coder using a dark background
I prefer to use ‘dark mode’ or so-called black backgrounds. It is easier on my eyes and the code ‘pops out’ more.

Dark Mode Helps With Concentration

This is the main reason why software developers use dark mode. The reasons below this are the main contributors to this increased concentration. For example, if the text is easier to see, you will be able to concentrate for more extended periods. Another example, getting rid of blue light also helps with concentration.

When we say that it helps with concentration, we mean that it enables you to focus better, and it enables you to focus for longer.

It Makes Code Easier to See

Light text on a dark background is a lot easier to see than vice versa. Remember, a coder looks at a lot of text, but they also look at the text’s structure. In object-orientated programming, two sets of the exact same code can mean completely different things depending on how they are structured. In fact, the structure of a block of code is crucial.

When you make it easier for the programmer to look at the text in a block of code, it helps them understand the code’s structure a lot better. Ultimately, this results in fewer bugs and fewer issues with the code in general.

Dark Mode puts Less Strain on The Developer’s Eyes

If you have ever heard that being a programmer is easy, well, you have been told a lie. While software developers often work flexible hours, there are times, usually weeks at a time, where they work incredibly long hours. 

The contrast of light text on a dark background is easier on the eyes, and it is also healthier for your eyes. When a developer uses a dark background, they eliminate a lot of the blue light that a white background would emit. 

When you spend as many hours looking at the screen as a software developer does, eliminating this blue light removes a massive amount of strain from your eyes. Eliminating this blue light is better for your health, and, as we mentioned above in this article, it is great for your concentration.

Dark Mode Saves Battery Power

I and the majority of other programmers often work on laptops. Costly laptops, I must add. Because of the components in these powerful laptops, we use more power than a standard laptop. However, while they usually have bigger batteries, there is a limit to the battery’s size that you can put in a laptop before it becomes too heavy and bulky.

Because of all of this, these high-end laptops often have less battery life than your standard laptops. This intensifies when you consider the amount of work and heavy lifting the notebook does when a programmer works on it.

Using a dark background saves just a little bit of battery power which, in a lot of cases, is just enough to allow a programmer to finish the task that they are busy with. If you are using an Oled screen, the power saving can be significant while in the dark mode because not all pixels will be on.

Is a Black Background Better For Your Eyes?

When you use a black background, you eliminate a lot of blue light, and it is that blue light that can often cause your eyes to strain, become red, and feel heavy. In that sense, yes, a black background is most definitely better for your eyes than a light background.

However, that is not to say that a black background is “good” for your eyes because there are some instances where dark backgrounds can cause strain, and we will take a look at that in the next section.

Is Dark Mode Bad for a Coders Eyes?

Some programmers do not use dark mode at all because they feel the hurts the eyes more. Some people also find it harder to focus when in dark mode. All of this has to do with pupil dilation. Let me explain.

To see in a dark environment, your pupils need to dilate. This is why when you first switch off a light, it takes time for your eyes to become accustomed to the darkness so that you can see at least outlines.

When your pupils dilate, some objects might become harder for people to see. It is because the sharpness of your vision is affected. Over time, depending on the person, this starts putting a strain on your eyes and makes you lose concentration. So, the answer to this question is for some developers, Dark mode can be bad for the quality of their work.

If you have to constantly focus on an image that is not as sharp as it should be, it can be bad for your eyes.

Best Color Scheme for Coding

It would be best if you did not spend too much time creating your own color scheme. You can find a wealth of resources online to help you find the best system. The best place to look for a great color scheme would be Dracula Pro. When you follow that link, you will find a drop-down menu that enables you to select your program.

If you are using Microsoft Visual Studio, you can download the Dracula theme here. The Dracula theme uses a black background. The color of the different text color schemes is vibrant, yet not distracting. 

Video: Rating 5 Most Popular Terminal Color Schemes

What is The Point of Dark Mode in Apps?

With all of this talk about using a black background and dark mode, I feel like we can step away from seeing it from a software developer’s point of view. Let’s look at it from the everyday user’s experience. 

The reason why many applications offer a dark mode is for more than one reason. The first reason is that dark mode saves battery power because most cellphones use OLED screens these days. 

The second reason is for the safety of your eyes. Remember when we discussed the fact that dark mode eliminates blue light? Well, the same logic applies to the user as it does to the developer.


If you are new to programming and want to make a career out of it, you will have to find out what is most comfortable for you. As we have established in this article, Dark mode is not for everyone. So, don’t be frustrated if it doesn’t work for you; instead, find the color scheme that is the easiest on your eyes and trust me, the quality of your work will improve.