While I understand that "The Loop" is not a research instrument in the same line as what a social scientist would develop, it is still a survey instrument and reflects upon us all (i.e., poorly designed surveys actually lead to fewer people taking them overall). As such, most surveys follow the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Best Practices for Survey Research.
Looking at the survey, I really don't understand why demographic information (i.e., race, age, and gender) are being asked since it appears that the clear goal is to get an initial impression of "how satisfied are you with your experience using Stack Overflow?" While I understand that a lot of people will include these by default, unless it is relevant, it's generally taught in survey methods courses to avoid asking the questions.
In this case it appears that your sample frame is effectively all developers in which case demographics really aren't needed for this particular question. In scientific research, demographics are only requested if there is evidence that a demographic attribute will lead to a significant difference in responses (ex., "Does a respondent's age influence the amount of money they save for retirement?"). Otherwise, demographic questions are left off to avoid respondent fatigue and because paper and ink is expensive!1
Another reason why this is problematic is that the question is asking about "racial background" but the survey appears to be directed at an international community. Needless to say that from that standpoint, the demographic information looses all of its value as a data point since the respondents don't belong to the same cultural background, i.e., someone from Japan has a vastly different perspective from someone from China even though they may both respond "East Asian." This actually reflects very poorly upon Stack Overflow since it represents an extremely narrow perspective and understanding of culture.
If the "The Loop" survey is intended to be a preliminary instrument, then a better way of approaching things would have been to code the qualitative data and develop a new survey instrument (or panel interview more likely) from that.
As such, per the title, why is "The Loop" survey asking about race, age, and gender?
- Obviously that last point isn't relevant online, but you may or may not be surprised at how much work is done to limit the length of a survey to save on printing costs.