ONLamp 2005 Survey Preliminary Results

by chromatic

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We run a short survey every year to understand our readers. We use this information to change the topics we cover and to present our content more effectively. Last year, who could have predicted that Ruby on Rails and Ruby in general grow tremendously in popularity? (Okay, a few people knew it was good, but this popular this quickly?) This year, what are you reading on our sites?

So far, 97% of all respondents read articles. I've always thought that this is the primary draw and the statistics so far back it up. Also, slightly under half read weblogs -- perhaps we should find a way to present them more prominently.

Half of the respondents find articles by browsing the home page, while over a third use a feed reader. It could be interesting to correlate the reading patterns of the groups (but I don't have any statistical analysis of this at the moment).

Some questions allow multiple answers. Nearly 38% of respondents use BSD of some sort, with 82% using Linux, 33% using Mac OS X, and 60% using Windows. More interestingly, 73% of respondents develop on Linux, 53% on Windows, 26% on a BSD, 23% on Mac OS X, and 13% on Solaris. Deployment is a bit different, with 80% deploying on Linux, 50% on Windows, 32% on a BSD, 17% on Mac OS X, and 19% on Solaris.

These numbers obviously differ from the desktop market as a whole and probably reflect the bias of the site and the nature of our audience.

So far, the largest job categories of respondents is software developer (17%), with applications developer (14%) and system administrator (12%) not far behind. I don't know what the difference is between the first two.

Nearly half of the respondents work for small companies of 50 people or less, though the rest of the responses fall pretty evenly between 50 and over 2500 people.

Finally, there's a heavy industry bias. 20% of all respondents describe their business or industry as computer software or Internet and e-commerce.

The survey closes this Friday, 28 October, so please take it before then. We'll enter you in a drawing for some nifty swag. More importantly, we'll use what you tell us to plan for the next year of the site. (Note that the survey uses cookies only for its duration.)

I'll be back after the survey ends to report on the results as a whole.