I just got off the phone with a woman running a survey for “small business enterprise software developers”. I told her I didn’t have much time to spend on surveys, so she agreed to read the questions really quickly. And hoo boy, did she. She was talking so fast I could barely keep up– but she held to her promise that it would take about ten minutes; at “normal” speed I imagine it was at least a half-hour survey.
The questions were interesting, focusing on what software development tools and processes I use, and I noticed very quickly that about half of them dealt with Microsoft products. It was almost comical because I had to rate– on a scale of 1=”don’t use” to 5=”expert”– my knowledge of each. The conversation went something like this:
“Please rate your knowledge of Microsoft Visual Studio.”
“Microsoft Visual Basic 2005?”
“Sun WebSphere Developer’s Kit?”
“Microsoft Internet Services?”
“Microsoft Office Developer’s Suite?”
This went on for a while. Then the golden question: how do you develop your applications? I had to answer that I just wrote them all by hand. (Aside– vi rules!)
Things got more fun when I had to evaluate how much agreed with statements like:
“Microsoft Developer Tools can assist in quicker, more robust development of software products and services.”
“Microsoft is committed to assisting software developers build better products, and shows that commitment by releasing best-of-breed tools.”
I think I actually snort-laughed on one of them because it was so obviously fishing for a Microsoft compliment. I told her everything I do is on Linux, uses Apache and other open-source software, and is hand-coded.
In the end, I suspect my answers skewed the entire result-set quite nicely.