19. What is your company's annual budget for hardware?
Top responses: Don't know (41 percent), below $100,000 (22 percent), $1 million or more (19 percent)
20. What is your role in making purchasing decisions for technology products/services within your company?
Top responses: Recommend purchases (45 percent), evaluate/test products (45 percent), introduce new products/technologies for consideration/evaluation (42 percent), determine needs (37 percent)
There's an interesting contrast here: "don't know" is the most popular response when it comes to how much a company spends on hardware or software, yet it seems pretty common for respondents to have some input as to what gets bought. Most of the "role" answers filled in a middle tier of responsibility, between having no involvement (25 percent) and authorizing purchases (eight percent). Are a lot of you participating in purchase decisions without knowing what the budget is? Or are you working in companies large enough that you can't speak for the entire company's budget (see next question)?
21. How many people work for your company?
Top responses: One to 50 (34 percent), 2,500+ (26 percent)
As was the case last year, the tendency is to work for either very small companies or very large ones, with the above responses accounting for 60 percent of Java developers.
22. What business/industry do you work in?
Top responses: Computer software (27 percent), consulting/system integration (13 percent), financial (nine percent)
These demographics are very similar to last year's, with computer software up slightly and consulting down slightly. One of the interesting points to make here is that some experts have counseled developers to focus on a single industry and to become a subject matter expert in that field, and not be "just" a programmer. If that were happening, you might expect participation in the end-in-itself field of computer software to go down, not up, as developers picked specific fields in which to develop in-house software, services, etc.
23. How many years of professional Java development experience do you have?
Top responses: Three to five years (44 percent), Six to eight years (25 percent), Less than two years (18 percent)
24. How many years of professional software development experience do you have?
Top responses: Six to nine years (33 percent), three to five years (27 percent), ten to 19 years (20 percent), Less than two years (11 percent)
Taken together, these results still indicate that many Java developers gained professional experience in other languages before switching to Java, which is why they have more years of total experience than Java experience. Still, for the younger programmers, it is entirely possible to have built an entire career on Java. On the other hand, the seven percent of Java developers with more than eight years of professional Java experience must have gotten some of the first Java jobs available, as Java is only ten years old, and this is the first year we've offered a "more than ..." response to that question.
25. Please indicate your age.
Top responses: 25 to 34 (61 percent), 35 to 44 (19 percent), 18 to 24 (11 percent)
Maybe the single most disappointing result in the entire survey is for this question, and it's not the top responses, it's the bottom: of 988 respondents, not one said that he or she was under the age of 18. Considering that Java is now the language for the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam in the U.S., it's greatly disappointing not to see any young readers. I don't know whether to draw conclusions about the site or about Java as a whole from that--if there isn't a next generation of Java programmers, that would be a shame.
26. Please indicate your gender.
Top response: Male (97 percent)
Or maybe this is the most disappointing result. Programming may be disproportionately male, but the number of female respondents (18) was nearly outnumbered by "prefer not to say" (13).
27. Please indicate your location.
Top responses: Europe (37 percent), USA (32 percent), South America (ten percent)
The South American readership is up sharply from a reported three percent last year. If this were JavaOne, I could make a gratuitous "Brazil" reference and there would be much cheering from the Brazilian contingent (hi Bruno!). One change we made this year was to add Australia (two percent) and New Zealand (one percent) as options, based on last year's talkbacks. We tried to find a single term that suited both of them, like "Australasia" or "Oceania," but Wikipedia convinced us that either option would make someone unhappy.
The Big Feedback Question
28. Is there anything else you'd like to tell our Java editors? We'd love to hear from you.
226 of you let us know what you like, and don't like, about ONJava, and what you'd like to see from the site next year. To give this feedback the attention it deserves, we're going to return next week with a collection of what you told us, and our corresponding responses. Please join us for that.
Chris Adamson is an author, editor, and developer specializing in iPhone and Mac.
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