It’s that time again: the 2010 edition of The Survey For People Who Make Websites is open and taking your input. If you’re someone who creates web sites, whether all the time or some of the time or even just occasionally, please take just a little bit of your day (as I write this, the average time-to-completion is just over 10 minutes) to let us know about you. Furthermore, please spread the word to any groups to which you belong—local SIGs, mailing lists, newsgroups, forums, message boards, and so on. I truly believe it’s important to the profession as a whole to have as many web folks as possible participate.
I was asked a little while back why we do the survey, and my answer surprised me not just for its content but also for how much passion I felt. I said:
I think it’s a vital investigation, a look into our profession that nobody else is even attempting and is… essential if we’re going to be taken at all seriously by anyone other than ourselves.
And even more vital than that, it tells us who we are, collectively speaking. We’re scattered. Many of us are solo. We don’t even know what kind of community we’ve joined. The Survey, though limited and imperfect, tells us something profound and essential about us.
That’s why I’ve wholeheartedly supported this effort from its very outset, putting in hours upon hours of thought and effort into its operation and approving the use of [funds] to pay for professional analysis. This matters.
Other professions have it easy: they require certification or degrees or membership in a professional organization before you can take part. Because of that, they can often estimate to a reasonable degree, or even count directly, how many of them there are. They can go to their membership rolls and survey a few thousand randomly picked members to find out their age, location, experience, salary, and anything else that seems interesting to know.
We who build the web don’t have that luxury. Our profession, just like the medium it serves, has no gatekeepers, no central organization, no clear boundaries. The Survey is our attempt to disambiguate ourselves.