Researcher looking for help

Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
6
#1
Hello everyone,

Mods, please advise if this in the wrong section.

I am a developer and part time masters student that is in the process of writing a research article on factors that affect the performance of developers at work. I became interested in the topic after numerous conversations with fellow devs about self-taught programmers versus those with university qualifications. After discussing the topic with some academics it seemed making the assumption that one could perform better than the other would be a gross oversimplification and that a multitude of factors have to be considered when evaluating what causes better performance at work.

This has lead me to my current research. I am looking to survey lots of developers and get a good sample size going. I hope to make a helpful contribution to the development industry with this research.

I am not opting to go for a online survey as this method ends up being a "spray-and-pray" approach and I have had a bad experience with it in the past. Instead, this time I plan on visiting companies with paper based surveys and handing them out. I would like to offer an incentive such as a raffle draw to everyone who returns a survey, and then have the draw at the company, but I still have to get ethics clearance from the university on this.

I am looking for people who can put me in touch with companies that I can visit. Please PM me if you are a dev at a company willing to help or know someone who could assist.

Thanks everyone. Your 10 minutes will greatly assist me.
 

cguy

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,041
#2
Sounds interesting. I have always been astounded at the lack of clarity that many exhibit on this topic.

BTW, self taught and having a university degree are not mutually exclusive.

For example, I am a self taught programmer who got a university degree when I was already a competent developer. Also, most of my education at university was self taught (practicals, projects, studying, papers, etc. were done without much in the way of help.). I think a better term would be “structured vs unstructured education”.

Probably the biggest thing to be aware of in your research is that different types of companies have different types of needs, I would make sure to bin my data by “type of work done”.
 
Last edited:

[)roi(]

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
5,762
#4
IMO its doubtful you will be able to accurately ascertain this in a scripted visit to a work environment. I certainly don't see how a paper survey alone would increase the accuracy of the results.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
6
#5
Hi,

I hear you @cguy , however don't get stuck on the structured/unstructured education debate - it was simply the idea that sparked my interest on the subject and it is not the object of the research. Since I have done a review on the literature available I personally I believe to some degree all developers are self-taught, in that we all have to keep up with the latest technology trends. The research I am doing takes a much more holistic view and considers factors way outside the scope of education and experience. @Honey Badger I forgot to mention the scope is limited to Gauteng :p
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
6
#6
Noted @[)roi(]. As with all academic research this will inherently have its pitfalls. Hopefully with a decent sample size I am able to get a statistically significant finding as to what factors to propose for further research.
 
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