This year's survey is live! We've edited the questions/answers based on your feedback from last year's survey and suggestions from our Meta post.

As a small token of our appreciation, we'll be donating $1 for each completed survey to your choice of one of this year's Stack charities.

Take the survey! (It ends at 2013-12-31T23:59:59Z.)

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    Should this be featured? – Ry- Dec 16 '13 at 21:19
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    "As a small token of our gratitude, we will be donating $1 for every completed survey to the charity you choose." Nice touch! – Travis J Dec 18 '13 at 16:37
  • "Link to a Stack Overflow Careers Company Cage" Let's get ready to rummmmmmmbbllllleee! – vcsjones Dec 18 '13 at 16:59
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    I think the donation to the charity is great, but isn't is a little offensive to list "Women programmers" as a charity, but not have a "Man Programmers" category as charity as well? – Amber Dec 19 '13 at 13:12
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    Not really. There are a lot more groups dedicated to focusing on women in tech that don't really seen to be necessary for men. – Dave Newton Dec 25 '13 at 23:35
  • Add Erlang to the technology interest list. – user152028 Dec 28 '13 at 14:06
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    I get paid in bitcoin, I have no idea what is the equivalent in USD, one day it inflates, the next day China bans it. – alvas Dec 28 '13 at 21:41
  • Add xamarin to the technology interest list. – Jeremy Thompson Dec 28 '13 at 23:43
  • It should be possible to take the survey only once not matter which computer/browser you visit the site from... – A4L Dec 29 '13 at 18:14
  • When does the survey end? – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Dec 30 '13 at 18:14
  • @AlisonS: if the time given in your post was correct, the survey should have ended, bu hasn't. Yep, it's 2013-12-31T05:01Z ;) – 0xC0000022L Dec 31 '13 at 5:01
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    Why isn't my country in the list? I protest :/ – anar khalilov Dec 31 '13 at 7:54
  • FYI the survey is now closed! We will be releasing the results in the coming weeks. Thanks to everyone who took the survey! – Alison S Jan 13 '14 at 18:22
  • 1
    The dropbox link to download the survey data is broken at the moment. :( Can someone mirror it somewhere? – Andrew May 8 '14 at 16:27

14 Answers 14


Next year, could you have a separate bit for students? I'm sure there are a lot of students who use Stack Overflow, and many of the questions could be replaced with more relevant ones.

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  • 50
    <lame-voice>We're all students.</lame-voice> – bobobobo Dec 28 '13 at 3:08
  • Would have to agree; the job specific ones aren't much use if you're looking for a job. – Mause Dec 31 '13 at 13:43
  • Equally, if you work in academic research, most of the questions don't apply (so I gave up on the survey after a while). – Roly Dec 31 '13 at 17:36
  • @Roly That too. A lot of the folks I know who use Stack Overflow use it for their research (which involves programming). I do programming both inside and outside of science, and I thought that the fraction of students on SO would be much more than that of researchers, thus I didn't really mention that. – Manishearth Dec 31 '13 at 17:38

I wish the survey were from the technical department instead of the marketing department.

Make your voice be heard?!?

This is a joke, right? I guess I'm most annoyed by the way the survey was advertised. Because it's not at all about my "voice", but about getting a sales profile to market the product 'me'.

I.e. the questions read much like "how can we improve our ads revenue" and not "how can we make the site better". Sorry, I'm quite disappointed from the survey, and will likely not participate the next time. (Plus, I was unable to answer most of the questions, as they are all about jobs, and I'm a lowish student. What am I supposed to answer as company size?!?)

I would have expected the questions to be carefully chosen on the lines of:

  • I'm bothered by seeing too many low-quality questions (that then end up being closed)
  • The tone on SO is a bit rude sometimes
  • There are too many SE sites, I can't keep track of them anymore (and thus keep on asking on SO)

Because these questions would allow getting a quantitative feeling how users feel about the sites.

It's scary to see the survey ignore students this badly.

This has been discussed above; but the survey essentially conveys the message "we only care about you, if you are employed", doesn't it?

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    What on earth did you think the surveys were for if not advertising? I mean, welcome to the internet and all... – Kirk Woll Dec 28 '13 at 14:23
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    How about: improving the site for the users (and not the advertisers)? E.g. identifying what users need, want and expect from the site? But yeah, I could have forseen this. I should also have checked who posted the survey. – Has QUIT--Anony-Mousse Dec 28 '13 at 14:30
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    @Anony-Mousse We already have an entire website dedicated to figuring out what users need, want, and expect from the site. – Billy Mailman Dec 28 '13 at 15:48
  • Well, meta doesn't give you quantitative information, like a survey. It won't be able to answer all user need questions. – Has QUIT--Anony-Mousse Dec 28 '13 at 16:03
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    Nothing answers all user-need questions. And straight-up asking people what they want can be one of the worst ways to determine what they need. The survey is useful in terms of learning more about who uses these sites, and yes it is of particular interest to the folks working on improving the Careers section (which is kinda important, since it funds all the rest of this) - but they're hardly the only people interested. Note that we publish the results every year... – Shog9 Dec 29 '13 at 2:17
  • Thats why a survey could have been a good thing. If you carefully prepared questions for user needs, and not for marketability only. I'll update the "answer" with some examples. – Has QUIT--Anony-Mousse Dec 29 '13 at 10:32
if(budget > 5000 && budget < 10001)
    //TODO: implement this feature

what is your budget for outside expenditures?

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    Inflate your ego by answering $10,001 - $25,000 :-). Or, get a bigger budget... – ben is uǝq backwards Dec 18 '13 at 21:42
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    There's a problem with budget == 1000 too... – Athari - Make SE Awesome Again Dec 29 '13 at 6:41
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    Those appear to be minus signs, not endashes, so the second, third, and fourth options are all constants anyhow (and negative at that!). – Joshua Taylor Dec 29 '13 at 23:31
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    And why "<$1,000", but "$100,001 +" rather than ">$100,001"? – Joshua Taylor Dec 29 '13 at 23:36

enter image description here

So I selected that I don't see the ads, as I use an ad-blocker, yet I'm still required to answer the rest of the questions? I think there may be a lot of 'neutral's!

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    (Keep it quiet that I got strongly disagree and strongly agree mixed up in the screenshot...whoops!) – Chris Dec 28 '13 at 13:21
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    Also, using an ad blocker is a yes/no question isn't it? Not a matter of level of agreement. – vascowhite Dec 29 '13 at 23:07

enter image description here

Some might say these answers are a bit.. extreme. I have had one recruiter contact me in the past two weeks. It might not be much for a professional developer but as a student I was extremely thrilled. Now I have to throw that away in my answer!

Which brings me to my next point: students are disregarded. Many questions are hard to apply on us ("How do you divide your time during work", "Do you work remotely?" etc) and should have a student-specific option.

I understand now that this is a survey aimed at Careers 2.0 but if students weren't the target group then this should have been communicated at the start.

I have a Careers 2.0 profile that I try to regularly update and it has a decent amount of traction. Students, like me, are the next batch of users that will go into Careers 2.0, I think it would be important to not disregard that demographic from the survey.

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enter image description here

It's just OS X now.

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    Is it twice better than SysV, then? :) – Alexei Averchenko Dec 28 '13 at 2:45
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    It's still Mac bad enough – dan Dec 28 '13 at 20:34

The page where this question

How would you best describe the industry you currently work in?

appears has weird questions. If you are a student, the two other questions (employee count, remote or not) doesn't really apply to you.

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    PhD students can be remote (as can open university students - english thing, i think the general term might be correspondence course) – Richard Tingle Dec 25 '13 at 22:33
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    @RichardTingle I happen to be a secondary school student ;) – tyteen4a03 Dec 27 '13 at 3:39
  • Ah, that may be less remote – Richard Tingle Dec 27 '13 at 14:02
  • Employee count is an optional question so you don't have to answer that one. Working remotely is a bit awkward to answer though, yes. – Jeroen Vannevel Dec 28 '13 at 13:59
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    Not sure if SurveyMonkey allows for this, but it might make sense to make some of these questions automatically default to NA in response to a previous question's answer. That said, some of us did have to work to pay for schooling, so these questions might not be irrelevant in all student situations. – Shog9 Dec 29 '13 at 2:22

While I use quite a bit of programming at work, I wouldn't really consider myself a developer. I am an Engineer, who uses programming to do analysis. I don't think any of the choices really reflect what I do, and it would be nice to have some consideration for those of us who aren't full time developers, but still program.

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Like last year, I am confused by the "salary level" question. Ok, it says "inclued bonuses", which is a nice improvement. However.. like last year, it does not say if it is before or after taxes.

For the USA, this probably does not impact so much, but for Europe it definitely moves you from one level to the next one (taxes are 40/50/60% of the income, depending on the level and on the country)

(I answered after taxes, so that it's my overall annual net income)

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    It's probably before tax. You can then use purchasing power parity and things like average house prices/cost of a coffee etc to work it out properly. If it's after tax you have to take into account what everyone gets for their taxes, which makes everything a lot more complicated. – ben is uǝq backwards Dec 28 '13 at 15:26
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    @ben: sure, it makes sense but it's still a 'probably.' This is a site used by programmers, when did 'probably' become an acceptable alternative to 'certainly'? Questions should be specific, and clarified where necessary (certainly in advance of next year's survey). – David says reinstate Monica Dec 29 '13 at 16:59
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    "Salary" is before taxes. It's what the company pays to employ you. The fact that a variable amount of that ends up in your pocket doesn't change what you cost them - just whether you vacation in Weston-super-Mare or on the island of Moustique. – Floris Dec 29 '13 at 20:29
  • @Floris it's a bit more complex. In the EU, what goes into your wage (what you earn every month or, in other words, the money the company gives directly to you) is already subject to some taxes. What 'the company pays to employ you' is much more than your total gross income, if you are an employer. Then what you actually see on your wage is subject to other taxes. And if you are a contractor, or a free-lance, it's different: you end up paying all the taxes by yourself. – Lorenzo Dematté Dec 30 '13 at 8:43
  • This leads to a related problem: you cannot compare the gross income of an employer with the gross income of a free-lance, in the EU. The correct comparison within a country is the net salary (what goes into your pocket). But what @benisuǝqbackwards says is true: you cannot compare net salary between different countries because the services you get by paying taxes (health insurance, retirement) are different. It seems there is no way of doing it "properly". Still, it would be good to at least state on the survey what to specify, so answers are consistent. – Lorenzo Dematté Dec 30 '13 at 8:47
  • Salary is always before taxes. If two people, one married with two kids and the other a bachelor, have the same gross pay, their take home pays will be different because of their tax brackets. It wouldn't be right to say the married guy makes more because he's married and gets a tax break. (Besides, the bachelor has more money, taxes be damned...) – corsiKa Dec 31 '13 at 19:54

I'm actually 13 years old. I am not yet a programming student, don't yet have a job, and I am not looking for one, so some of the questions are a little hard to answer. If needed, I said that I was a student. I'm not sure if there are very many people as young as me on Stack Overflow, but I do think it would be a good idea to include some more room in the survey for people like me.

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  • You'd be surprised..... there are quite a few of us that are frequents to this site! – Pip Dec 30 '13 at 1:51
  • I'm in the same situation; including age. – Ramchandra Apte Dec 30 '13 at 8:26
  • Exactly. I can think of quite a few people who are our age and frequent chat, too. – Pip Dec 30 '13 at 11:17
  • I'm 13 too. I couldn't answer most of the questions due to my age. – Subin Dec 30 '13 at 15:05
  • @TheProgramm3r Is there a chat room? If not, I will create one. – tbodt Dec 31 '13 at 1:14
  • @tbodt a few of us frequent the main Gamedev.stackexchange chat! – Pip Dec 31 '13 at 14:44
  • @TheProgramm3r I created a chat room for this, but nobody is quite doing anything in it yet... – tbodt Dec 31 '13 at 23:55

The options following the "Which of the following best describes your occupation?" question:

Are a little meaningless to those of us that 'don't work in tech':

I'd suggest either not showing those options (how, given I work in the OR, am I supposed to give a meaningful answer to "How many developers are employed?"? How should I even interpret the question; doe it refer to the hospital in which I work, the local health authority, or the entirety of the NHS as a whole?), or showing them conditionally, based on whether or not the answerer works in tech.

Perhaps even offer a supplementary answer along the lines of "no meaningful answer can be given," allowing you to differentiate between those of us that cannot answer and those of us that choose not to answer (though perhaps your use-case doesn't require that differentiation).

It is a little weird, though, that a survey of Stack Overflow users (some of us1 being rather fantastic developers) uses a less-than-awesome survey engine.

  1. I'm somewhat loath to include myself in that statement, but many others, here, are.
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  • Makes total sense, probably the survey platform chosen by Stack Exchange does not support such features. (or if it does, it cost too much) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Dec 29 '13 at 14:05

What about giving the choice to donate to all the charities, splitting the one dollar? It's a bit hard to choose.

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  • Money don't grow on trees, we should be thankful for the donations they already give. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Dec 29 '13 at 8:09
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    @ShadowWizard Sorry, I should have made it more clear; I was thinking of splitting the $1. – Ramchandra Apte Dec 29 '13 at 8:11
  • 10 cents donation is bit funny, but this got some sense. Cheers! – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Dec 29 '13 at 8:13

Add the PocketBook devices to the list of my own devices:

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

() PocketBook

There are also other job recruting or social networks like GitHub, or Facebook to be contacted about job opportunities.

How do you prefer to be contacted about job opportunities?

() Facebook Message

() GitHub Issue

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A bit extreme when I said I wasn't looking for a new job nor open to one, that I then get asked a ton of questions about how I'd like to be contacted by one. Kind of goes against the grain of the answer given earlier.

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