It's that time of year again! We'll post the survey soon and ask for feedback, but right now we're looking for suggestions for new questions we should ask. So, use the answers to suggest a question you'd like to see answered by SO users.

  1. Take a look at last year's questions & results here. Basically all those questions will already be on there, slightly amended.
  2. Suggest a question in multiple-choice format as an answer. This can either be choose one or choose many, but it must be multiple choice. Include what some of the options should be (and feel free to suggest other ideas in the comments).

Other useful links: the blog post results, and the Meta feedback from last year.

  • 3
    So what is it you're primarily looking for. Who the users are, or how they perceive/use the site? – Bart Dec 3 '13 at 21:41
  • @Bart Anything that'd make an interesting blog post. So probably more about who they are as devs and less about their perceptions of SO/SE. The survey covers what we want, we're looking for what other people might be interested in seeing. – David Fullerton Dec 3 '13 at 21:42
  • Regarding the "How do you use Stack Overflow" question, I suggest you consider making the choices more consistent in terms of whether they include a purpose (first two do, third one doesn't). I also suggest dropping the "I know the answer to" qualifier on the third option as being unnecessary unless you're referring to "upon first reading" and trying to factor out the case where someone has to investigate/study before answering, in which case you might want to be more explicit. On a perhaps related point, I primarily answer questions so that I can learn (i.e. by studying and/or explaining). – Peter Alfvin Dec 3 '13 at 23:27
  • I see someone put a "suggest you modify question X as follows" response in as an answer. If you'd prefer I do that with my previous comment let me know. If you want others to do likewise, you might want to broaden your question accordingly. :-) – Peter Alfvin Dec 3 '13 at 23:28
  • Are open-ended questions allowed? I'd like to ask about difficulties/hurdles faced in projects. – Mike G Dec 3 '13 at 23:37
  • @mike As the format is multiple-choice, I am not sure that an open-ended question (or "other" box) would be allowed. – user206222 Dec 3 '13 at 23:52
  • 4
    I'm amused by the number of posts from SE employees. Either it's a slow day at SE HQ or the employees are crying out (craving) for attention :) – slugster Dec 4 '13 at 0:36
  • @PeterAlfvin Add yours into mine (I've made it CW - it would have become CW after enough edits anyway), then flag your comments for removal. (Unless you want yours to be separately voted/commented on). – slugster Dec 4 '13 at 0:37
  • It would be a lot more fast if there were some hotkeys to navigate the list of questions/answers to skip long questions and those I'm not interested in. – user1306322 Dec 4 '13 at 7:11

32 Answers 32


How often do you find solutions to your programing problems on Stack Overflow without asking a new question?

  • Always
  • Almost Always
  • Often
  • Occasionally
  • Never
  • Surely you could derive this information from SO statistics by comparing answer to question ratios? – Carl Onager Dec 4 '13 at 8:23

To what extent do badges affect your behavior on Stack Overflow?

  • Not at all
  • To some extent
  • To a significant degree
  • 17
    This sounds like something I would have been asked to write a 7-page essay about in high school. – animuson Dec 3 '13 at 22:01
  • 3
    @animuson In what class? :-) – Peter Alfvin Dec 3 '13 at 23:02
  • 5
    The Stack Overflow class of course. Just give it a few years, it will be here soon. 99% of the curriculum will be How To Ask A Proper Question. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 0:28
  • 8
    What about the "Without badges, my life would have no meaning." option? – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 0:29
  • I think we might need to have 5 options (7 with my suggestion) here - both negative and positive options (e.g. negatively to some extent and positively to some extent) - the differentiation could be useful. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 3:28
  • @Dukeling I agree it would be ideal in some sense. I left off the extreme positive case because I didn't think that occurred in "nature" (the way I believe it does with reputation). As for the negative counterparts, I left them off because I think 99% of people in SO are unaware of the phenomenon and I'd have a better chance of this getting voted up without it. Remember, too, that my hypothesis is that while rep drives 80% of active SO users, badges drive perhaps 5%. If I'm right, then the negative vs. positive is really insignificant. If I'm wrong, we can explore the impact further. – Peter Alfvin Dec 4 '13 at 13:54

How does your company rate on the Joel Test?

  • Do you use source control?
  • Can you make a build in one step?
  • Do you make daily builds?
  • Do you have a bug database?
  • Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
  • Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
  • Do you have a spec?
  • Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
  • Do you use the best tools money can buy?
  • Do you have testers?
  • Do new candidates write code during their interview?
  • Do you do hallway usability testing?
  • 24
    I would add: do you feel the Joel test score qualifies your company accurately (yes/no)? – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 0:06
  • 1
    Please add a "don't know" option for the second last question. I really don't know. – Johannes Kuhn Dec 4 '13 at 7:39
  • 1
    Most of those can probably have an "I don't know" option, but that probably won't work all that well. I'm wondering how many people don't know all these things and, resultingly, whether this would give accurate results. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 13:14
  • 3
    Either in addition to or as part of "I don't know", some of them should have Not Applicable. I'm self-employed and am a company of 1. I've never interviewed someone for my company, so of course no candidates have written code during their interview. – Joshua Dwire Dec 4 '13 at 17:49

Do you suffer from Impostor syndrome at work?

  • Always!
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Never!
  • 4
    I'd add in a qualifier like "do you at times suffer..." to it to make it easier to say "Yes" to, but I like it! – Kasra Rahjerdi Dec 3 '13 at 23:19
  • @KasraRahjerdi edited! – samthebrand Dec 3 '13 at 23:32
  • 3
    Impostor "Syndrome"? I know I have no idea what I'm doing! – Pekka Dec 6 '13 at 15:58
  1. Do you work remotely?
    • Yes, every day (5 days a week)
    • Yes, most days (3-4 days a week)
    • Yes, some days (1-2 days a week)
    • No. My employer doesn't allow it, but I'd like to!
    • No. My employer does allow it, but I'm not interested.
    • Not Applicable (Unemployed, student, other)
  2. (If answered "Yes" to #1) Do you enjoy working remotely?
    • I love it.
    • I like it, though I like visiting the office occasionally.
    • I'm neutral about it.
    • It's not my preference. I'd prefer to be in an office.
    • I hate it.
  3. (If answered "Yes" to #1) Where do you work remotely most of the time?
    • A home office.
    • A co-working space
    • My couch
    • A coffee shop
    • Other
  • 51
    Seems like you're interested in working remotely. I think you should totally drop that and try jQuery. – user102937 Dec 3 '13 at 21:47
  • 3
    I'd add third option to first question: "Yes, and they allow full-time remote work". – jb. Dec 3 '13 at 22:53
  • 1
    -1 for 6 questions about 1 thing. There were only like 30 questions in the last one. Prioritize, combine or eliminate. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 0:00
  • Advice: remove 'I'm neutral about it.', let people give directed opinions (or skip) – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 0:05
  • 2
    @Sklivvz I'm not sure about that. I'd be in the "neutral" category if I still worked from home. – Adam Lear Dec 4 '13 at 0:08
  • @Dukeling And there weren't any questions about working remotely on the questionnaire. I'd be really interested in getting an idea for what people think about working remotely, how many companies offer it, how many people take advantage of it and how people utilize it. Given our traffic for remote jobs on Careers 2.0, I know people are interested in the idea at least. How would you combine, prioritize and combine that list? – Hynes Dec 4 '13 at 2:59
  • 3
    I'm not saying the 1 thing is not potentially interesting, just that 6 questions are too much. 1, 2, 5 and 6 can probably be combined. Do you work remotely? (1) Yes, basically every day (5 days a week, possibly with some exceptions) (2) Yes, most days (3-4 days) (3) Yes, some days (1-2 days) (4) No, I would like to, but my employer doesn't allow it (5) No, I don't want to and my employer doesn't allow it (6) No, I don't want to, but my employer does allow it. (7) N/A (unemployed, student or other). Anyway, that's just one possible idea. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 3:09
  • Just condense into two question: 1) On a scale of 1-10, what's your interest level in working remotely; and 2) If you were to work remotely, where would you work? a) home office b) on the couch c) coffee shop d) co-working space e) other – Ben Collins Dec 4 '13 at 8:39
  • 1
    @Dukeling I condensed 4 of the previous questions into 1 per your suggestions. The other 2 questions I don't feel could be condensed down. These are merely suggestions so I don't think all of these questions will be included. – Hynes Dec 4 '13 at 17:27

If you have a Careers 2.0 profile, how often have you been contacted in the last year?

  • Not at all
  • 1-5 times
  • 6-10 times
  • 10 times

If you have been contacted, would you describe your fit to the contact(s):

  • Strong fit
  • Could fit
  • Unlikely fit
  • Completely inappropriate
  • 2
    Bear in mind that there are different states your profile could be in, ie "actively looking for work" vs "not actively looking right now" would get very different results I'd have thought. Maybe it could be "If your Careers 2.0 profile states that you are actively looking..." or something like that – Fiona - myaccessible.website Dec 4 '13 at 10:19
  • 4
    We can already measure this data directly based on the messages sent and how candidates respond to them. Not sure we don't really need a questionnaire which asks people to estimate the number of times they've been contacted, and how they felt about them on average, when we already have that information. – Bret Copeland Dec 4 '13 at 17:57

Does the company you work for allows using SO while at work and when researching work-related problems:

  1. Yes, it's encouraged.
  2. Yes but there's no specific policy or rules about it.
  3. No, using SO is not allowed/it is blocked.

If you're allowed to use SO for work, are there any restrictions:

  1. No
  2. Yes, I cannot post work related code.
  3. I need to obfuscate the code before posting.
  • 6
    Truly happened to me "4. We are not allowed to use code snippets found on Stack Overflow" (yes, it doesn't make sense, but have you tried arguing with a lawyer?) – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 14:04
  • 4
    If you're not allowed to, do you do it anyway? :P – Joshua Dwire Dec 4 '13 at 17:30

"My company trusts my opinion and judgement in technical matters"

Do you agree with the above statement?

  • Strongly agree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Strongly disagree

I am interested because I have a hunch that developers tend to struggle to gain trust in many companies. I think it's an important variable to measure.


What kind of programming do you do (choose any that apply)?

  • IT support / automation / monitoring
  • LOB applications to support core business
  • primary product sold or supplied to customers (web, desktop, mobile)
  • supporting product sold or supplied to customers (web, desktop, mobile)
  • embedded software (i.e., included with or part of another product)
  • software-as-a-service / web service
  • hobby
  • professional open source
  • academic (all levels)
  • research
  • games? productivity apps? work on an OS, browser, compiler? library? – Kate Gregory Dec 4 '13 at 0:16
  • No, I specifically stayed away from application domains, which might make an interesting question all its own. I'm more interested in how programmers' activities line up with the larger goals under pursuit: i.e., are you an engineer building a product that is the main purpose of your business, or are you support staff for a law firm, or are you a student, or are you just doing it for fun? – Ben Collins Dec 4 '13 at 2:11
  • I would split 'academic / research / scientific' in three parts: computer science, scientific modeling (physics, bioinformatics...) and mathematics as they are completely different kinds of proramming. In CS programming might well be direct research; in modeling, programming is nowadays a team effort over serious amounts of data; in maths it is generally more at a small, day-to-day scale (even though not necessarily). – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 10:06
  • 3
    @BenCollins that may be your intent, but if I wrote games, what would I choose from your list? I honestly have no idea. If I maintain a library (eg Cinder) or am on a compiler team, what would I choose from your list? It is not clear to me at all. – Kate Gregory Dec 4 '13 at 13:52
  • @KateGregory If you write games, and your company sells games, then you would choose "customer facing product". If you write games at night for your own amusement, then "hobby". If you maintain Cinder, then "hobby" (although it might be fair to have another option for "professional open source contributor" or the like for people who contribute as part of their jobs. – Ben Collins Dec 4 '13 at 15:46
  • @Sklivvz that's a fair point. I got lazy, but I also wanted to keep the list from exlpoding into lots of subspecialties. – Ben Collins Dec 4 '13 at 15:47
  • 1
    Then I think you should reword "customer facing" to "a product that is sold or supplied to customers" because I read it more as something that supports customers (Eg I work for a bank and they have an app or website for their customers) not I work for Microsoft/EA/Oracle and they sell my stuff. – Kate Gregory Dec 4 '13 at 15:48
  • What does "academic" mean? I would have thought it meant "research, or supporting research by others"... but then there is a an answer "research" immediately below that. So does it mean homework? If so, it should be renamed "homework". – Robin Green Dec 7 '13 at 11:09
  • @RobinGreen not all research is academic. – Ben Collins Dec 7 '13 at 19:38

I feel that the Stack Overflow community as a whole is: (Select 1)

  • Welcoming of new people and almost always helpful as they learn to use the site
  • Mostly tolerant of new people and often helpful as they learn to use the site
  • The two tendencies are equally balanced
  • Mostly intolerant of new people and not often helpful as they learn to use the site
  • Unwelcoming to new people and almost always unhelpful as they learn to use the site

(I welcome modifications of the multiple choice items, you can generally see what I'm trying to gauge)

  • Where does "Welcoming to new users who care to find out how to ask a proper question first. Not welcoming otherwise." fit? "Intolerant" / "Not very tolerant"? Or should we add an option for that? – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 10:45
  • I tried not to bait the question, @Dukeling - it's more on perception as a whole. – Tim Post Dec 4 '13 at 10:48
  • Possible follow-up question - Do you think we need to be more welcoming? (1) Much more welcoming (2) A little more welcoming (3) I think we're good (4) A little less welcoming (5) Much less welcoming – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 10:55
  • 2
    That's not a bad idea. – Tim Post Dec 4 '13 at 11:00
  • @Dukeling: Idea stolen :P – Amal Murali Dec 4 '13 at 13:02
  • 1
    I've reworded the options so they are completely specular. I've also added a 50-50 assertive option. – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 14:15
  • 2
    Generally there are two different ways of asking these kinds of questions (and the way you ask tends to dictate the answer): "With respect to myself, the SO community as a whole was" and "With respect to other people, the SO community as a whole is". These two angles are often asked together, because one should equal the other on average and if not, insights can be gathered. – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 14:18
  • @Sklivvz That's exactly what I was trying to get out, and it just wasn't coming. Great edit. – Tim Post Dec 4 '13 at 14:21
  • This is a bad question. A comment can be simultaneously perceived as unwelcoming, but be actually very helpful. – Robin Green Dec 7 '13 at 11:07

Regarding the code base you worked on most of the time this year

  1. The age of the code base was
    • less than a year
    • 1–2 years old
    • 3–5 years old
    • 5–10 years old
    • more than 10 years old
  2. I found the code base
    • Easy to understand
    • Hard to understand
  3. The test coverage of the code base was
    • good or adequate
    • poor or non existent
  4. If you found a good or adequate test coverage, the test suites included
    • unit tests
    • integration tests
    • system tests
    • other kinds of tests (specify)
  5. If you found a good or adequate test coverage, in relation to preventing bugs from reaching production, the test suite was
    • effective
    • ineffective
  6. Overall, our testing strategy has made us deliver
    • faster
    • slower

I am very interested in this because it would give us real data about people's experience of testing, and in particular test these hypotheses:

  • code bases with extensive tests are harder (or easier) to read (2.)
  • tests save time overall or are more costly (6.)
  • tests are useful (or ineffective) in catching bugs before release (5.)

The other three questions are in place to separate likely confounding factors, such as the age of the code base (1.) and the kind of testing strategy (3., 4.).

  • That's a very interesting question, because my guess is that also "new" code is most of the time bad quality. – Uooo Dec 4 '13 at 7:06
  • My guess is that old code is most of the time bad quality, because (a) over time companies get better at filtering out bozos (unless they are bodyshops), and (b) more importantly, a new startup values staying alive over writing best quality code. On the other hand, old code that is bad quality is more likely to be rewritten, if sufficient time is allocated to rewrites. – Robin Green Dec 7 '13 at 11:11

Are you aware that all your content (questions, answers, …) is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA (3.0)?

  • Yes.
  • Yes, but I have no idea what that means.
  • No, I was not aware.
  • What are you talking about?
  • It's somehow debatable if it really is, with the ToS as written now . – Mołot Dec 4 '13 at 15:19
  • 3
    @Molot: I can’t see how this affects the licensing of my content, as the first sentence in section 3 of the ToS is pretty clear (as well as the badge on every page). Questionable are the following parts that affect the distribution of licensed content (and IMHO they are invald for CC licensed content -- SE may ask to follow their conditions, but they can’t require it. CC licensed content is CC licensed, no matter what any ToS say), but the distribution/citation question doesn’t affect my question, does it? – unor Dec 4 '13 at 17:35

Friend of yours is struggling with a programming problem. Will you recommend him/her to post on Stack Overflow?

  1. Yes of course
  2. Yes, but only after carefully explaining how to properly ask a question
  3. No, I won't recommend (please explain why)
  • Interesting question. Unless I knew they have a really thick skin and/or accomplished programmers, I probably wouldn't any more. But then, maybe that's for the best? – Pekka Dec 3 '13 at 23:12
  • 2
    @Pekka my first thought for answer #2 was "Yes, but only after explaining the risks" but after some re-thinking it might be too... harsh. Anyway this might reveal what people really think of Stack Overflow, from the inside. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Dec 3 '13 at 23:15
  • 4
    This question might lack some depth (add more options? Not sure what). I'm certainly not going to recommend that a friend of mine post on Stack Overflow if I expect that they'd post a terrible question, regardless of me having explained how to ask properly (regardless of how thick their skin is). Not sure why anyone would be on Stack Overflow who wouldn't recommend it to someone who would find it helpful and be a good user. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 0:47
  • If they are proper programmers, they should already know SO :) – mplungjan Dec 4 '13 at 7:14

Over the past year, which of these reasons contributed the most towards your code being refactored or rewritten?

  1. Dependencies were updated which deprecated the code
  2. To get more performance from the code
  3. Code needed to be more extendable
  4. Code needed to manage resources more efficiently
  5. Code had a logical error
  6. Software rot
  7. Technical debt
  8. Other
  • Software rot, technical debt, ... – user102937 Dec 3 '13 at 22:11
  • 13
    Code was written by numpties who had no idea what they were doing.... – slugster Dec 3 '13 at 22:30
  • @Sklivvz - Would you consider converting functionality to run asynchronously to be refactoring or adding function? I guess when I wrote this I felt like taking advantage of new language or framework features in the form of altering existing code was refactoring. – Travis J Dec 4 '13 at 0:33
  • @TravisJ I wouldn't call it refactoring, it's not a transparent change. Also, performance is a feature :-) – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 0:36
  • 1
    @Sklivvz - Does my edit improve the clarity of the question? The goal is really to see where the most amount of time was spent reproducing functionality. I think it would be an interesting angle. I am open to any suggestions for improvement :) – Travis J Dec 4 '13 at 0:42
  • I like it, good edit. – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 0:43
  • @slugster, you've just described my professional life... – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 9:55
  • @slugster +1 for "numpties" – Ben Collins Dec 4 '13 at 15:52
  • @BenCollins I'm thinking #8 on the list should be 8. The numpties got a hold of it and Other becomes #9. This one reason then covers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and possibly 7. – slugster Dec 4 '13 at 20:33

In reference to So You Don't Want to be a Programmer After All:

If you work in programming: in the foreseeable future, are you thinking about changing careers entirely, away from programming?

  • Not planning such a change

  • Have been weighing other options

  • Yes, but want to stay in IT (say management with an IT focus, consulting, auditing)

  • Yes, strongly want to change completely, or have already done so

  • 2
    I just wanted to make games! :C – user1306322 Dec 4 '13 at 7:06

How do you feel about the level of community moderation on Stack Overflow (defined as moderation by members over 3,000 reputation):

  • Not enough level of moderation (questions stay open that should be closed, questions don't get downvotes that should)

  • Just the right amount of moderation (on the whole, questions that should be closed are, questions that should get downvotes do)

  • Too much moderation (questions that are closed shouldn't be, and this happens consistently)

How do you feel about the level of elected moderator activity on Stack Overflow (moderation done by users who were elected moderators):

  • Not enough (I flag things for moderator attention, and they never get handled, or I never see moderator activity in my travels and I feel like I should)
  • Just the right amount (they step in when needed, and don't step in when they shouldn't, on the whole)
  • Too much moderation (they're always getting involved when they should just leave it to the community moderators)

And a non Stack Overflow question:

  • Which of the following types of office layouts best describe yours:

    • open floor plans
    • cubicles
    • private offices
    • small room (4 or less people per enclosed space)

    Rate your office space in terms of how it contributes to your job satisfaction and productivity (5 meaning you're really productive and you love your layout, 1 being it makes you unproductive and it actively detracts from your job satisfaction):

    • open floor plan (1-5)
    • cubicle
    • private office
    • small room

(note: I would say that the rating question should be dependent on which you chose above it).

  • If you don't have any rep but have had a question closed then there's not much difference between the first and the second questions. Having said that, seeing the answers broken down by rep would be very interesting. – ben is uǝq backwards Dec 4 '13 at 13:41
  • Yea. Two things I want to get to: 1) How people feel moderators are doing, and 2) how people feel the community does in policing itself. – George Stocker Dec 4 '13 at 13:43
  • I would really prefer 5 options for each of the first two questions (way too little, a little too little, the right amount, a little too much, way too much) – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 17:33
  • I think I like badp's suggestion better for the first part; the second part should be a separate answer. – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 17:36

Which technology products do you own? (You can choose more than one)

  1. Smart phones
    • iPhone
    • Android
    • Windows Phone
    • Blackberry Phone
    • Other smartphone (please specify)
  2. Full size tablets
    • iPad
    • Android
    • Kindle Fire HD
    • Windows RT
    • Other 10" tablet (please specify)
  3. Mini tablets
    • iPad mini
    • Android
    • Kindle Fire
    • Other 7-8" tablet (please specify)
  4. eBook readers
    • Kindle
    • Nook
    • Other eBook Reader (please specify)
  5. Next gen consoles
    • PS4
    • Xbox One
    • Wii U
    • Other console (please specify)
  6. New tech/wearable
    • Google Glass
    • Pebble/smart watch
    • Other (please specify)

This was already present in 2012 with older choices. They should be updated.

  • 1
    I'd probably place iPad and iPad mini next to each other, as well as merge Kindle and Nook groups and PS4 and XBox One groups. Other than that, +1. – user206222 Dec 4 '13 at 0:24
  • 1
    What are your reasons for omitting Windows phones/tablets from the list? I would also keep XBox360 and PS3 as distinct entries on the list as their successors have only just been released, a lot of people won't yet have the successor, and for the remainder there is a good possibility they have both old and new. – slugster Dec 4 '13 at 0:25
  • @slugster, added windows – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 12:51

Which of these is/was closest to your academic field of study? (i.e. subject/major mentioned on your academic record)

  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Electronics
  • ...
  • Other

This question could be preceded by:

Which of these best represents your academic qualification?

  • Doctorate
  • Graduate or Masters'
  • Undergraduate
  • Senior Secondary School or Junior College or Pre-University (Other suggestions welcome)
  • High School or Secondary school
  • Do not have formal education
  • Other
  • Do you even have an academic qualification should be an option. I've worked with many programmers who have had no formal training what-so-ever. – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 8:50
  • Also keep in mind that academic qualifications are not generally portable across countries – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 9:36
  • Yeah, I didn't major in anything, I don't even know what this means. I have GCSEs and A-levels.... – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 9:53
  • @Liam GCSE seems to be a compulsory school leaving exam? Also, the A-level system seems to be restricted to just 6 countries. In such cases, assuming you had to fill in a field whose options were not what you had experienced, what would you do? My guess would be to just Google one or two phrases to see which comes closest. Note that this question is intended to be just a rough measure of the degree of education amongst users. – asheeshr Dec 4 '13 at 10:29
  • Also, the term major is not used in India, but it seems to be used in the USA, which is why I included it since USA forms 30% of the respondents. Feel free to suggest alternatives, more meaningful divisions/classifications for educational qualifications to make it answerable for everybody :) – asheeshr Dec 4 '13 at 10:37
  • My point was that I wouldn't know what I majored in nor could I pin my education to a single area (post degree). I don't know about other countries but this won't make any sense in the UK. I couldn't tell you one academic field of study I did in school, the UK system is a lot broader. It also changes, some people would of done O-levels younger people A-levels, younger people still do something completely different (I have no idea what this is even called these days). It's a good suggestion but I just don't think it's practical given the complexity of many countries education systems. – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 10:50

In response to the debate inflamed by this post, it would be helpful to have some actual feedback from invested users as to the impact of the size of the CV queue. There is some disagreement about the psychological impact, and hard evidence would be helpful.

Are you aware of community moderation through the review queues at Stack Overflow?

  • I regularly participate in moderation through review queues.
  • I have heard about them and used them, but do not regularly participate.
  • I have heard about them, but I have not participated.
  • I have not heard about them.

If you have used the Close Vote review queue, do you feel demotivated by and/or have slowed reviewing close votes due to the Close Vote review queue size?

  • The size does not demotivate me from reviewing close votes.
  • Yes, I am demotivated, but have not slowed reviewing.
  • Yes, I am demotivated, and have slowed reviewing.
  • I have slowed reviewing, but not because I am demotivated by the size.
  • I do not have 3000 reputation or am otherwise unable to properly use the queue.
  • I don't know what it means to review close votes.
  • 2
    What about "I am motivated to review more because of the queue size", just for completeness. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 0:41
  • 2
    funny how this suggestion has quickly gotten 9 downvotes without explanatory comments. It's like there's a group of users who are simply willing to silence concerns about the queue. Given 100+ upvotes to recent strike announcement, this shut-up attitude seems to be indeed in minority – gnat Dec 4 '13 at 8:38
  • 1
    @gnat I accidentally stumbled upon this important entry - I added a link for this from my "strike" question. Is there anywhere else we can post this? – Shai Dec 4 '13 at 13:14
  • 1
    @gnat we are already at +1 balance here. let's hope more supporters will come. – Shai Dec 4 '13 at 16:20
  • 1
    Don't know who downvoted it yesterday, @gnat, but I personally find this question rather boring - it's targeting a huge general audience with a question that we know in advance can only apply to a tiny fraction of them. Not saying how I voted, but... I use my votes – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 17:21
  • 1
    Yes, because I already have half of that information (and you should have it too), and the rest is more interesting if you don't constrain the question to just one part of the moderation system. @gnat – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 17:29
  • 2
    Granted, the Close Votes review queue is a hot topic right now. However, considering that the survey is intended to find out more about who Stack Overflow users are in "real life", I find this question is just ill-fitting for that purpose. The same goes for all the other "do you use feature X" proposals. – Adam Lear Dec 4 '13 at 17:45
  • 1
    @Anna That's a very valid point. Still, it doesn't seem like it's inherently limited to this; at least, the question doesn't imply this. So, while I see you, I'm not sure I agree. – user206222 Dec 4 '13 at 18:27
  • 1
    @Shog Also a valid point, but I think there are enough 3K survey users for the question to hold meaning. – user206222 Dec 4 '13 at 18:29
  • 1
    Compared to the total userbase on SO (the audience of the survey), it's tiny, @Emracool. – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 18:37
  • 2
    There's nothing wrong with it, @gnat - I personally don't feel it's as useful as some of the other questions here though. – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 19:15
  • 2
    @Shog9 From last year's survey, that number is about 500, and 500 is enough to glean basic information. – user206222 Dec 4 '13 at 19:50
  • 2
    @gnat I agree that there's an overlap, but I don't think there's as perfect a match as you think - caring about Stack Overflow enough to fill out (essentially) a demographics survey isn't the same as caring to participate in various moderation activities. I'm not saying we shouldn't survey folks about site features at all ever. This particular survey, however, happens to be not about that. – Adam Lear Dec 5 '13 at 5:19
  • 2
    @AnnaLear let's take a look last year's questions: "24. Have you visited / Are you aware of Stack Overflow Careers 2.0?" (25, 26 are about Careers as well) "29. Please rate the advertising you've seen on Stack Overflow" (30 is also about ads), "31. What is your current Stack Overflow reputation?" Wonder how reviews won't fit while Careers, ads and rep do – gnat Dec 5 '13 at 5:25
  • 1
    @gnat To me those are different categories of things. Questions about things/products we make money from (and strive to make as unobtrusive as possible because Q&A is still king) vs, well, pretty much every other feature we have. "How much rep do you have" is also a demographic question. – Adam Lear Dec 5 '13 at 5:47

For non-programmers, what brought you to Stack Overflow?

  1. Searching for help on a personal project
  2. Searching for help on a work project
  3. Keeping abreast of the latest technology
  4. Another stack exchange network site (please specify)
  5. Other (please specify)

For non-programmers, what type of work do you do?

  1. Retail/Customer Service
  2. Agriculture/Farming
  3. Skilled Labor
  4. Construction
  5. Sales
  6. Marketing
  7. Student
  8. Currently Unemployed
  9. Other (please specify)

Note: The above list is horrible, and I anticipate there is a categorization method available somewhere

The below is a separate question related to everyone.

Where do you access Stack Overflow from?

  1. Work
    • Every day
    • Every week
    • Every month
    • Only when stack overflow pops up in search results
    • Never
  2. Home
    • Every day
    • Every week
    • Every month
    • Only when stack overflow pops up in search results
    • Never
  3. Mobile
    • Every day
    • Every week
    • Every month
    • Only when stack overflow pops up in search results
    • Never
  4. Other (please specify)
    • Every day
    • Every week
    • Every month
    • Only when stack overflow pops up in search results
    • Never
  • 1
    How about separating the answer into two? The third is not at all related to the first two. – asheeshr Dec 4 '13 at 5:37
  • @Asheesh, The third is not related to non-programmers and is totally separate. Perhaps I should make a separate answer, but instead I will add a horizontal line. – jmac Dec 4 '13 at 5:48

Stack Overflow is receiving an ever-increasing amount of questions of varying amount of quality on a diverse set of languages and technologies. How do you discover questions you can answer?

  • I don't. I only come here to ask, and if I don't like the answer I might contribute some of my own.
  • I use the homepage and rely on the default sorting and interesting tags.
  • I use the unanswered list of questions.
  • I use the tag page.
  • I use the review queue.

Do you feel each and every question gets the love it deserves?

  • No, we don't moderate enough: there are just so many questions
  • Yes, each question gets enough eyeballs to get closed, edited and/or answered in a timely manner
  • No, we moderate too much: we should be more lax and helpful in our standards

If you feel there are too many questions for the userbase, how should we fix that?

  • Increase the userbase through more contests and swag, at the risk of more annoying ads to fund the additional events
  • Empower the existing userbase by lowering bar for moderation actions, at the risk of mistakes from inexperienced users
  • Add more moderators, at the risk of more heterogeneous moderator action and thus increased drama
  • Raise the bar on quality so less crap is posted, at the risk of increasing false positives in the rejection logic
  • I somehow doubt anyone uses the review queue to find questions to answer. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 17:36
  • @duke if you don't ask you'll never know :) – badp Dec 4 '13 at 17:46

I think for question #18 ("Which technologies are you excited about?"), we need an "Other" option. There's just way too much stuff out there not on the list. We might also want to dump some of the ones that people have shown less interest in. Here's a stab at a revised list:

  • Node.js
  • C++1x
  • MongoDB
  • Ruby
  • iOS/Objective-C
  • Android
  • Go
  • Google Glass

I suppose there are dozens of things that could go on this list. In any case, at a minimum, we need an "Other" with user input.

  • Ruby is a very consolidated language, it should probably be off this list – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 0:11
  • Consolidated, sure - but it probably has a more meaningful level of excitement than a lot of stuff on the old list. – Ben Collins Dec 4 '13 at 2:08

Do you answer bounty questions?

  • Absolutely
  • Sometimes
  • Only if I walk by on accident
  • Never
  • What is bounty?

Do you use bounties to push a question's attention?

  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Never
  • 1
    I would add possible answer "What is bounty?" (or just assume those who skip are not familiar with the bounty mechanism) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Dec 4 '13 at 9:21
  • 2
    We can actually measure this directly from data – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 10:03
  • @Sklivvz: Great. Can we see that data in some statistic here on meta? – juergen d Dec 7 '13 at 17:12

Which option best describes your interaction with other SO users:

  • Friendly, welcoming, forgiving
  • Polite, professional, helpful
  • Normal/No opinion
  • Blunt, terse, concise
  • Rude, unhelpful, abusive

Must admit, do we want to know this? :)

  • 2
    "Developers" :-) – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 9:38
  • @Sklivvz Is that a potential option or a grammatical correction???! :) – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 9:43
  • 4
    it's the right answer :-) – Sklivvz Dec 4 '13 at 9:49
  • Ha ha, I'm a friendly developer....honest.... – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 9:50
  • 2
    Do you mean "Are you rude to others?" or "Are others rude to you?"? – Chenmunka Dec 4 '13 at 12:15
  • either/both? I think it's well acknowledged that there is a problem in this area. You only have to read the comments in this question to see that quite a few people mention it. Do we know how people feel about this?? How widespread is this view? – user217110 Dec 4 '13 at 13:04

How many work-related projects are you actively working on?

  1. 1
  2. 2-5
  3. 6-10
  4. 10

How many personal software projects are you actively working on?

  1. 1
  2. 2-5
  3. 6-10
  4. 10

  • Is this something we can get any useful information on? Doesn't everyone have their own definition of "project"? – Laura Dec 4 '13 at 15:07
  • @Laura You're right, this does need a good objective definition of project. I was hoping to get a feel for if SO users tend to be approaching SO from a more work-focused line of thought or more personal projects. Now that you point it out though, I can see where the relative project count can fail to correlate well :/ – thegrinner Dec 4 '13 at 15:19

I suggest adding to some questions which already exist.

Please feel free to add to this, or modify the suggestions.

Question: If your company has a native mobile app, what platforms do you support?
Addition: please add Windows Phone 8+ as a platform

Status: done! Thanks Sklivvz!

Question: Including bonus, what is your annual compensation in USD?
Addition: Can we add something that puts this in context? We could:

  • Ask for the average salary in their region in USD
  • Use the Big Mac index: how many Big Macs would your hourly rate buy?
  • 5
    I would have no idea what the average salary is for my region??? – user217110 Dec 3 '13 at 22:25
  • @Liam most governments will have census type data available. The context I'm looking for is where a developer might be earning 25K a year, but in his location that is either really low or more than a King's ransom. – slugster Dec 3 '13 at 22:28
  • So first you have to look up said data, then you have to convert that and your salary to USD? "What's the ratio of your salary to the region average?" would be better, but still require the first step (I don't really see a way around that, so this probably isn't the best question). Maybe an "I don't know the region average" option, assuming 99% of people won't be picking that. – Bernhard Barker Dec 4 '13 at 0:52
  • 5
    -1 Asking for annual compensation in terms of one and only one currency is not a good metric. In fact, fiscal compensation is not useful. For instance: I'm in Australia, and our currency's value to the USD has been fluctuating a lot recently. Our salaries are also much higher than the USA (our minimum wage is over $30k a year) but our cost of living is higher. In other countries, income is low but living is cheap (many SE Asian countries), or income is high but taxes and other expenses are very high (Belgium and some other EU countries). – doppelgreener Dec 4 '13 at 5:00
  • I think you jumped in before you thought about it @JonathanHobbs. The question already exists, I'm simply seeking to have some context given to it. Context is useless if we are comparing rupees with yen with USD. This is why I suggested the average salary - the cost of living is usually proportional to income (as you've pointed out but kind of failed to realise the relevance of what you said) – slugster Dec 4 '13 at 6:37
  • @JonathanHobbs Having said that though, if you can think of a better or simpler way to produce the info then jump in and edit the answer - that's what it is there for. – slugster Dec 4 '13 at 6:39
  • @Jonathan Actually, I simply wasn't aware the question already existed. If you're interested in context, there are better measures: the buying power of a currency is often represented by, say, how much it costs for a loaf of bread, or (believe it or not) a big mac from mcdonald's. They're reasonably consistent items between countries, so how much a loaf of bread costs in the local currency compared to someone's salary can be very telling. (Someone making 40x the cost of a loaf of bread is better off than someone making 4x that cost, even before knowing the currency) – doppelgreener Dec 6 '13 at 3:41
  • @JonathanHobbs Edit that suggestion into the answer as an alternate to my suggestion, I wouldn't use bread (I mean I have the choice of dozens of different types just at the supermarket), maybe equate the salary/hour to the number of Big Macs? Actually, I'll add it in, you just tweak it if you see fit. – slugster Dec 6 '13 at 15:44

On which of the following site do you have an account (and use more than roughly once a week)?
(tick all that apply)

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Some other social networking sites ...
  • Perhaps some less social networking sites like GitHub?

(Suggestions welcome)

Disclaimer: I'm not sure why I posted this.


If you're a programmer, what kind of application domain are you working in?

  • gaming
  • web applications
  • web api?
  • mobile
  • embedded systems
  • OS internals
  • browser
  • compiler / DSL
  • library
  • scientific computing

How has the increase in the number of SE 2.0 sites about specific technologies affected your participation on SO?

  • None
  • I still read SO, but I answer fewer questions
  • I still read SO, but I ask fewer questions
  • I have more programming problems as a result that are a better fit for SO
  • What's a diorama?
  • This is one of the things that can be extrapolated from existing data. – asheeshr Dec 5 '13 at 5:27

I think asking about gender(female/male) would be a useful metric that hasn't been mentioned.

  • What's with the down votes? Is this inappropriate? – Moak Dec 5 '13 at 17:25
  • Can't be asked in some countries and has no utility whatsoever in determining competencies. – user170979 Dec 15 '13 at 1:17

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