Reflections on “The Survey”

A List Apart recently published the findings of their 2008 Survey For People Who Make Websites.If you’re in the web design, development, or other similar fields, you might find it interesting to read to see just where you fit into the demographic spectrum of web developers.

Much of the survey didn’t surprise me: most respondents were white males from the United States. Most had personal websites. Most worked around 40 hours per week. But there were a few things that I thought were notable enough to share my observations:

  • I work for a company that’s larger than 78% of respondents’ companies (around 500 employees)
  • I’ve been in the field for longer than 75% of respondents (nine years).
  • I’ve been at my current job for longer than 95% of respondents (nine years).
  • I get more paid vacation than most (about five weeks).
  • I get about the same paid holidays as most (six days… I assumed most people got more).
  • My salary is better than the average (gentlemen do not divulge their actual salary figures).
  • Freelancers really don’t have great salaries (and I suspect that many of them are not sole providers for their family, something I’d like to see covered in a future iteration of the survey).
  • If you want a killer salary, be a creative director or UX expert.

So those are my thoughts. If you’re in the field, what did you find interesting about the survey?

One thought on “Reflections on “The Survey”

  1. Jon Heller

    I found the survey very interesting as well. I’d also say I’m surprised that the average freelancing wages were lower than the respective wages at all the various size companies, though I’m sure there are exceptions to the mean. I also wonder though how it breaks down in terms of $/hour – in other words, do most freelancers work more than the standard employee’s 9-5 for that same lower pay.

    I enjoy freelancing on the side, but I also love my full time job, and like you said I’d be curious to know more about freelancers who are the sole (or even major) provider in their family.


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