The Perl Survey was run from July to September 2007, and attempted to answer questions like:

• Where do Perl programmers come from?
• What sort of fields do they work in?
• What languages — computer and spoken — do Perl programmers use?
• How many use Perl as their primary language?
• What proportion of Perl users participate in the Perl community through mailing lists,
user groups, and conferences?
• What platforms is Perl used on?

The Perl Survey is a non-commercial, community-based effort, and these results are being
published freely for the benefit of the Perl community. Full exports of the survey’s data are
also available under a Creative Commons license.

The survey was performed online, via this website.
Michael Schwern launched the survey during his lightning talk at OSCON on July 26th, 2007. News of the survey was also posted by Best Web Gallery to as many Perl mailing lists and websites as possible, it was promoted at various community events, and participants were encouraged to spread the word to any other Perl programmers they knew.

One goal of the survey was to reach groups of Perl users whose voices aren’t usually heard; to that end, we sought translations of the survey questions and invitations to participate into various languages. We also promoted the survey to groups at the periphery of the Perl community, such as system administrators, users of other scripting
languages, and so forth. A Google AdWords campaign was also undertaken in the hopes of reaching people who might not otherwise have heard of the survey.

Participants were required to sign up with an email address and respond to a confirmation email before taking the survey. This measure was taken to limit the attractiveness of “ballot stuffing”, a technique known to be used in the Perl community in cases where surveys or polls are completely unprotected against repeat submissions.

Participants were advised that the full data set would be made available online, and that in some cases it would be possible to determine an individual respondent’s identity based on the data available. For this reason, the most personal question (about income) was made optional. However, if anyone was uncomfortable sharing the other information sought in the survey, they were advised not to participate.


Some points of interest:

  • 4% of the Perl community are women
  • Average salary for Perl programmers worldwide is $68,687 (USD equivalent)
  • 87% of Perl people are using 5.8.X at least some of the time; that means that 13% are still on 5.6.X or lower
  • 33% of respondents are members of their a Perl Mongers group
  • However, 27% of respondents don’t participate in the Perl community at all (or at least not in any way that we asked about)

Full results can be found here: http://perlsurvey.org/static/PerlSurvey2007A4.pdf


Since the survey is closed translations of the questions are no longer available.  If someone would like to translate the results to another language I will happily post it here.


If you’d like to help out a bit, please pass on the request to take the survey to anyone else you know who programs Perl. Post it in your own site, or send an email to any other Perl programmers you work with.   You can copy and paste this form letter to make things easy:

Take part in the 2007 Perl Survey!

The Perl Survey is an attempt to capture a picture of the Perl community
in all its diversity. No matter what sort of Perl programmer you are,
we’d love to hear from you.

The survey can be found at: http://perlsurvey.org

It only takes about 5 minutes to complete.

The survey will be open until September 30th, 2007. After that, we’ll be
reporting on the results and making the data freely available.

Please feel free to forward this email to any other Perl programmers
you know.

Thanks for your help!


The questions

The survey asked the following questions:

SECTION 1: Basic Demographics

• Sex
• Year of birth
• Country of birth
• Country of residence
• Primary language spoken
• Annual personal income (USD equivalent)
• What industry/ies do you work in?

SECTION 2: Programming Perl and Other Languages

• How many years have you been programming Perl?
• How many years have you been programming in any language?
• What other languages are you fluent in?
• What did we miss?
• How much of your programming, in the last year, has been in Perl?
• What versions of Perl have you used in the last year?
• What platforms have you used Perl on in the last year?

SECTION 3: Perl Community

For these sections, check any items you have done in the last twelve months.

Mailing lists and websites

Have you…

• Been a member/subscriber of a Perl mailing list or Usenet newsgroup
• … and posted to it
• Been a member/subscriber of a Perl Mongers mailing list
• … and posted to it
• Contributed to Perlmonks
• Contributed to other Perl websites (forums, wikis, blogs)


Have you…

• Attended a Perl Mongers meeting
• … in another city
• Attended a Perl conference, or any other conference with considerable Perl content
• … more than 1000km (approx 600 miles) away
• Presented at a Perl conference, Perl Monger meeting, or about Perl to any other group

Open source software contributions

Have you…

• Contributed to CPAN
• Contributed to Perl 5 (via p5p)
• Contributed to Perl 6 (pugs, parrot, etc)
• Contributed Perl code to other open source software projects
• Founded or led other open source projects in Perl
• Submitted bug reports or feedback to the authors of Perl software


• If you contribute to CPAN, how many distributions do you currently maintain?