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Discussion on: Thoughts on the State of JS Survey

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Brian Rinaldi Author

Thanks for writing Sacha and thank you for all your hard work on this survey. I really do appreciate it and think the information is valuable.

First, to make it clearer. You have a large sample size for the community you are surveying and have done an excellent job of outreach. I am only pointing out some potential biases in the response so that people look at responses with a healthy skepticism. You are right that other developer surveys have the same issues. I think it can be tough for developer surveys to reach beyond those audiences that follow social media or blogs closely, and the responses, to me, seem to reflect that slightly.

As for the gender imbalance. There aren't great numbers but I have looked into this for a number of posts I've written in the past. Yes, the SO survey, which is a larger sample, has a larger imbalance. Here's where I get my guesstimate from. The percentage of women getting a CS degree sits somewhere between the upper teens to the mid-20% (depending on which data you look at). The percentage at large tech companies that release this data is generally in the mid-to-upper teens. Some studies that are admittedly a handful of years old have the percentage around 20%. This study, for instance, from 2016 has the percentage at 24%

These data points tend to lead me to believe (though I have not seen reliable data on this) that the percentage is probably in the mid-teens. Again, I only mention this because I think that people need to consider potential biases in the data - regardless of the survey (not because of any specific criticism of your survey).