Every year since 2011, Stack Overflow has conducted an annual developer survey.
It's a great way to get insights into the world of software developers:
- What languages do they like? Do they use?
- How long have they been programming?
- Do they program professionally? In what role?
- Where do they live?
There's one slight problem: it doesn't actually represent "the world of software developers." It represents the world of software developers who spend a lot of time on Stack Overflow.
One group that is not well represented on the Stack Overflow developer survey are VBA developers–and Microsoft Access developers, specifically.
I'm basing this on two things:
- VBA routinely ranks as one of the five "most dreaded" languages in the survey
- Stack Overflow as a community is incredibly hostile to Access developers
Call it a hunch, but I don't think Access developers are well represented on the Stack Overflow survey.
There are some very Access developer-centric questions that don't get asked on the Stack Overflow survey for obvious reasons: they don't apply to most respondents.
But there are some things I'm genuinely curious about, like:
- What version of Access do most developers use for development? Production?
- What percentage of Access applications are still 32-bit only?
- What backend do people use: Access? SQL Server? Does anyone use Dataverse?
Inquiring minds (mine, at least) want to know!
Let's Do Something About It
I've decided to launch my own annual survey of Access developers.
But I need your help to do it. Specifically, I need the following things:
- Propose questions in the comments below
- Promote the survey to others
- Take the survey yourself
In addition to your suggestions, I will be taking my inspiration from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey and Karl Donaubauer's AEK Survey.
I already have an intern hard at work at building the survey. We're using the open-source tool LimeSurvey as our survey software. I'm still working on building a question list (suggestions welcome). I apologize in advance if your suggested question doesn't make the cut. I have to balance my need to learn as much as possible with the reality that no one wants to spend thirty minutes filling out a survey.
My goal is to finalize the question list and get the survey live by the end of August. Once the survey is live, I will leave it up until responses start to trail off. In future years, we'll have a more defined start and end date.
Cover image created with Microsoft Designer