Hello freeCodeCamp community! I'm Dilan, a PhD candidate in sociology at Boston University. I'm an absolute coding newbie, but I do know a bit about surveys. 😃
I have been working with freeCodeCamp founder Quincy Larson over the past few months to design the 2021 New Coder Survey. And I'm thrilled to announce that it is now live.
As with past surveys, we will publish the results as an open data set. The survey is anonymous. (We do not ask for any personally identifiable information.) And all of the questions are totally optional.
You can take the survey here. Be sure to click the "submit" button at the bottom of the survey – even if you don't answer all of the questions.
How I Got Involved in the 2021 New Coder Survey
I first discovered freeCodeCamp around this time last year. As many of you have probably done, I started to play around with coding practice tools in my spare time. I wanted to see if I could learn to code from a starting point of zero computer science background.
Soon after I began learning to code, my social scientist side kicked in. I found myself wanting to learn more about this rapidly growing community of new coders.
Then I discovered freeCodeCamp’s 2016, 2017, and 2018 New Coder Survey open datasets. These survey results helped me put some things in perspective about one of the greatest phenomena of our time – the growing interest in learning to code. And the information also motivated me to ask more questions. So I did.
How We Developed This Year's New Coder Survey
In March, I emailed Quincy to see whether freeCodeCamp was planning to launch a new survey for 2021, and offer my help.
I wasn’t expecting much of a response, or any response at all for that matter. But luckily, Quincy kindly accepted my help, and we started to work on it the next day!
For months we exchanged ideas on revising the existing questions and creating new ones to better understand who the new coders are, and how they were going about learning to code.
We had so many questions to ask. But we also knew that we needed to be mindful of survey takers’ time and try not to bore them. So we had to make some tough choices.
We decided to kept the design concise and straightforward. We created the 2021 New Coder Survey as a single-page form with 49 completely optional questions.
This wasn’t the ideal solution from a survey design perspective, but it was a practical one. Now, everyone can see all the questions and choose to skip those questions that are not applicable to them.
How to Take the 2021 New Coder Survey
49 questions may seem like a lot, but bear with us! It should only take around 10 minutes to answer all the questions. And it is fun. 😃
Even if you don't have time to answer all the questions, please don't quit the survey. Just scroll down to the bottom and click submit, no matter how far you got.
As always, the survey is anonymous (we do not ask for any personally identifiable information), and we will make the entire dataset public once the survey is over.
Without further ado, here is the 2021 New Coder Survey! Thank you for taking the time to share your insights and experiences.
A Bit More About My Research
And one more thing – I also conduct separate research on self-taught coders in the US. I would love to talk to you and hear more about your experiences on the path to becoming a developer.
Would you be interested in chatting with me (confidentially and over Zoom/Skype) about your journey?
If so, please contact me by filling out this brief form (it takes less than a minute to do so).
I am glad to be a part of this important project. Today, millions of people around the globe are learning to code, and we are looking forward to learning more about this rapidly growing global community of new coders.
Even if you are not a coder, you can still help us by sharing this article on Twitter and other platforms.
Stay tuned for the survey results – we will announce them here at this same URL once they're ready. Happy Coding!