It’s a story as old as time itself. In 2007, our conference division, An Event Apart, hired a research team to provide facts about the web design profession and those who practice it. We wanted to know who exactly our famous slogan, “for people who make websites,” was talking about. What were our kind of people’s salary ranges, titles, working conditions, educational backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, and so on? And what effect, if any, did one statistic have on another? For instance, did gender have an influence on salary? Was there a connection between educational background and job satisfaction? Did web professionals who worked at start-ups have the same titles as those who worked at universities and libraries?
Imagine our surprise when the researchers came back empty-handed. Nobody, they informed us, had ever done even the most basic research on web designers and developers. Not in 1995, when the commercial web took off. Not in 1997, when Amazon forever altered retail and publishing. Not in 1998, when the browser wars peaked, or 1999, when J-Lo used “Google” as a verb in an otherwise unremarkable romantic comedy, and everyone in the audience laughed knowingly. From boom to crash, Web 1.0 to Web 2.0; from the press’s ten-years-late discovery of blogging to the overvaluation of Facebook and Twitter. At no time had the web stood still, and at no time had the press or academics expended even one brain cell trying to figure out who was responsible for this world-changing whirlwind of creativity and innovation.
Since nobody else was doing it, we’d have to do it for ourselves.
That’s why each year since 2007, we’ve asked you, the members of the web design community, a few dozen questions about your professional life, and compared your answers to those of your colleagues. Each time we’ve asked, over 30,000 of you have kindly obliged with details about your salary, location, background, and more. The data that you provide and we analyze is the only significant information about our profession as a profession to be published anywhere, by anyone. (For the current snapshot, see Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2009, published in Issue No. 315.)
And so, as you have in years past, we ask that you please take a few minutes to complete this year’s survey.
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