RFC: 2020 Julia User and Developer Survey

Please make it shorter. :worried:

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Some question about package development activity may be ok, but not so many. In some cases, specially combined with other answers (nationality, gender, year starting with Julia…) that might sufficient to disclose the identity of responders.

I do feel uneasy with the questions starting from 33. Surely I can opt to skip them, but this would mean to skew the result. Question on age or probably gender could be OK, but race or sexual preferences have nothing to do with science and computing and are definitely out of place to my taste.

In the last question, one should also include “I identify as overrepresented in science and computing” (which for example I am on at least 4 counts). If you include “(insufficient) education level” as a reason to be “underrepresented in science…” you should also include “(insufficient) IQ” as a reason.

does it really? For openness - yes. But inclusivity means special treatment for certain groups, which is - well - discrimination, which could be justified in a few very special cases only. What could inclusivity practically mean for the Julia community?


It could mean a lot of things that are completely decoupled from discrimination

  • Promoting mindfulness in interactions on the julia discourse, slack, zulip etc. Making sure no group of people feel excluded.
  • Making sure the juliacon moves between different areas of the world
  • Striving for and encouraging teaching material being developed in various languages

All of these points, and I’m sure people can add others to those, are about making people feel included, not by discrimination, but by inclusion.


When is the last time anyone took a serious survey that didn’t ask demographic information? This is standard practice now, regardless of what the information is used for.

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I don’t want to get too far from the OP, but equality is not the same as equity. The graphic is not ideal, but it illustrates the point that allocating resources (“special treatment”) equitably is inherently more fair than allocating resources equally. It is certainly not discrimination, e.g., the law requiring United States public institutions to be wheelchair accessible amounts to special treatment but it is not discriminatory. Many public events also have sign language interpreters, which is intended for a minority of people but is equitably and inclusive, not discriminatory.

@baggepinnen gave some good examples. There is no survey question about being deaf/hard-of-hearing (maybe there should be?), but there may be Julia users who are. If so, then having webinars/hackathons/chats/socials via video chat might exclude those people. In that case hackathons, etc. with text-based chats might be the way to go. There are certainly other examples, but that is a topic for a different thread.

As for the demographic questions themselves, I have learned from other science communities that there is often a huge divide in the acceptability and practice of collecting demographic information depending on the country from which people come. Here in the US, it is standard practice to collect demographic information given our social history. But other countries do not have the same history, so collecting certain demographic information may considered rude/unacceptable. Given that this survey is sponsored by Julia Computing, a US-based company, it is not surprising and even expected for it to have these types of questions. For anyone who is not comfortable sharing this information, there is always the “prefer not to answer” option, which 10-20% used in the 2019 survey of 1844 people. That is certainly enough to ensure anonymity for those concerned.


I don’t want to engage into a lengthy ideological discussion, so I make here my points, but do not necessary expect any answers and do not intend to continue afterwards.

  • What groups on people in online interactions, what exclusion of any group of people? The interactions are (or can be) more or less anonymous anyway!
  • Moving the Juliacon to an area with a few geographically isolated developers would of course help them - but exclude those, who can’t afford to travel there. Isn’t it a discrimination?
  • As for teaching materials in various languages… In the end you will need English anyway, and starting and moving half-way with other language may make a disservice to you and result in exclusion. This is not uncommon problem for e.g. French of Russian engineers.

I see it as racism and sexism pure.

There may be no “inherent fainness”: the notion of fairness is subjective by definition and tends to depend on whether the re-distribution of the resources happens to one’s favor or at their cost.

Here I must agree. Your example shows also that inclusion is not for free for the community, meaning somebody somewhere did’n get the money spent on the wheelchair access.

It is asking irrelevant questions which may be considered improper.

So what you are tellling me, is: We are american, we have our own traditions, we are soo inclusive - but we expect you, the international community member to play by our american rules. Michael, thank you for the explanations - no further questions.

Well, if Julia Computing needs to include questions on race and sexual preferences (why not religion?) to be able to apply for some grants - thats OK with me. Otherwise it could be better to include instead some other, more relevant demographic questions.

The constructive part to follow…

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Continuation of the previous post.

  • Question 36. Do you identify as underrepresented in science or computing because of your:… –
    I would replace it by more specific and informative: “Did you experience dicsrimination in connection with your work or education in the last 10 years because of your:…”

  • On the languages: Add a question as to how well the respondent masters English (reading/writing/speaking/audition).

  • May be a question on disabilities?

Actually the same pertains to those who have problems with understanding spoken English (as foreign language).

  • Some questions on economical situation? Could be interesting for the community.
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I’m wondering if we need a translated version of this survey so ppl speaks other languages could fill it as well.

I think we could translate this to Chinese at least. Let me know when the survey is in its final version.


Thanks @Roger-luo. I have emailed you the final version for Chinese translation.

We would like to get this going in Spanish and Japanese as well. Do we have volunteers who can help with those?

We are restricting to 4 languages this year and see how we do, and can do more going forward.



I can help with the Spanish.


This is the final survey we are rolling out. If you can email me a translation, that will be much appreciated. Please keep the numbering of everything the same.

@bicycle1885 Would you know who could help with a Japanese translation?

Thank you,

Of course, I will. I’m going to finish it within a few days.


Thank you!

Finished! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tSKjpHa-ctIPMYFGOq8QbHAECdyiS2XKJuATsVCn-aw/edit?usp=sharing

Please see the comments in the document for some notes. Also, please feel free to add comments if you have any question.


Does it mean that survey is “live” now and can be filled out? Or is this still a draft document?

No, we’ll be transforming it into proper form inputs and will shout it out widely when it’s ready to be taken!


@viralbshah, here is the Spanish version draft. Would love to get some more Spanish speaking folks to take a look at it as well.

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I am able to review the Spanish version, I am spanish native. Could you give me writing permissions?

How do I take the survey or is it not ready yet?