Last year, 2,899 of you filled out the 2017 Data Professional Salary Survey (results), so I figure we should probably do that again.
Here are the questions we asked last year. If there’s any changes you want to make, leave a comment and we’ll talk through it.
1. What’s your total salary in US dollars, ANNUAL BEFORE TAXES?
2. Your country: (dropdown list with countries) Last year, folks asked for a more granular location to make the results more meaningful. Of the responses, 1879 were US, 293 were UK, and Canada got 105. No other country broke 100 responses. For US/UK/Canada, I don’t think a list of states/provinces would be granular enough – for example, New York has a wide variation of salaries between Manhattan and upstate. How about we add an optional text entry box for postal code? Someone better at reporting than me might be able to build a reporting front end for that with the results. We won’t do any validation on the entered data, though – we can’t due to international addresses.
3. Primary database you work with: (dropdown list) Last year, I populated the list with the top 10 from DB-Engines.com (plus a couple of niche Microsoft products), but only MSSQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL made it to double-digit response rates. Not surprising, given the focus of this blog. I’m going to do the same thing again this year, though, because the survey might get exposure to other platforms via blogs or whatever.
4. Years that you’ve worked with this database: (open)
5. Other databases you work with: (mark all that apply)
6. Job type: (pick one):
- Full time employee
- Full time employee of a consulting/contracting company
- Independent consultant, contractor, freelancer, or company owner
- Part time
7. Job title (pick one):
- Data Scientist
- DBA (>1500 responses, so I’m going to break this out this year – more on that below)
- Developer: App code (C#, JS, etc)
- Developer: BI (SSRS, Power BI, etc)
- Developer: T-SQL
8. Do you manage other staff? (yes/no)
9. Years of doing this job: (open)
10. How many other people on your team do the same job as you? 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, >5
11. How many database servers does your team work with? (open)
12. Highest level of higher education completed? (None, 2 years, 4 years, Masters, Doctorate/PhD)
13. If you have a college degree, is it computer-related? (yes/no)
14. Do you hold industry certifications? (No, yes but expired, yes and currently valid)
15. How many hours do you work per week, on average? (open)
16. How many days per week do you work from home? 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, >=5
17. Employer sector (pick one)
- Private business
- Education (K-12, college, university, etc)
- Local government
- State/province government
- Federal government
- Non-profit (new for 2018)
18. Are you looking for another job right now? (No, yes but only passively, yes actively)
19. What are your career plans for the year 2018?
- Stay with the same employer, same role
- Stay with the same employer, but change roles
- Stay with the same role, but change employers
- Change both employers and roles
Discuss changes you want in the comments below.
If you want to add a question, keep in mind that we’ll cap this at 20 questions max – the longer surveys get, the less likely people are to fill the whole thing out. You need to make a really compelling case about why it would be useful for the entire population, not just a small subset.
If you want a fancy user interface, especially to pick a geographic location, remember that we’re doing this with Google Forms in order to keep costs down (free.) Don’t say something like, “You should build a web app that lets me point and click on a map to define where I am.” Find us something free or cheap that we can use as-is with zero development time, and I’m definitely interested.
How should we break out the DBA job? We had >1500 responses last year who described their job as “DBA,” but I think we should be a little more granular. I usually think of it as:
- DBA (Development Focus) – tunes queries & indexes, does deployments
- DBA (Production Focus) – build & troubleshoot servers, HA/DR
- DBA (General) – splits time evenly between writing & tuning queries, AND building & troubleshooting servers
I worded it that way because I know a lot of DBAs who say “Oh I do everything,” but then when I drill down a little, they haven’t written an end-user-facing query in 5 years. Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean it’s your job focus.
How should we ask/answer gender? There’s been some good conversation in the comments about why folks want to see the results analyzed by gender. Here’s a few articles about how to ask the question:
- How to Write Gender Questions for a Survey
- How Should Market Researchers Ask About Gender in Surveys?
- Collecting Transgender-Inclusive Gender Data in Surveys
We only get one chance to ask/answer this question per year, so I wanna get this right for the community and make it as valuable to you as possible. Based on the above 3 posts, here’s what I’m thinking for the question & answers. Now’s your chance to tell me how to do it differently:
“To which gender identity do you most identify?”
- Non-binary/third gender
- Prefer to self-describe as ___ (open text box)
- Prefer not to say
I know this question can be sensitive, so if you want to send me your feedback on this one privately instead of commenting below, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Only for that question though – any other feedback needs to go through the public comments.)