Hello! You may have noticed we conducted a survey a few weeks ago. The results ended up being pretty interesting, and we are very excited by the response we got.
Almost 11,000 people responded, making this the largest survey response we've ever had. This may have partially been a result of the Taz 5 3D Printer we gave away. Congrats again to our winner, Carlin! But without further delay, check out this excellent info graphic made by SparkFun designer Pete Holm.
Who are you?
While a vast majority of our respondents describe themselves as hobbyists or tinkerers, they are almost evenly split amongst software minds and hardware minds. We usually assumed our customers were more hardware-minded.
What are your interests within electronics?
Four categories dominated these results: IoT, Robotics, 3D Printing and Home Automation. What we found interesting about this is that neither our product catalog nor our content offerings is really concentrated in any of these areas outside of IoT. Of course there is a balance to be struck between the business side of what we can carry and what the customer is most interested in, but as a result of these results we hope to add both products and content in these areas of interest.
What is your embedded electronics skill level?
Not much of a surprise here that respondents leaned toward advanced and intermediate users. We know our core customers usually have their educational backgrounds in the electronics or software fields, but we're always trying to bring more people from outside those worlds to ours. We are constantly updating our list of tutorials to encourage anybody who wants to learn a new skill or technology to take the leap.
**Which programming language do you find most useful? **
Again, not a huge surprise here with Arduino, Python and C++ on the podium. Our world is built on making, and SBCs like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are the keys to making projects happen easily. So long as those languages and SBCs rule the embedded electronics world, we will keep providing resources and products that help you use them.
**Are you more likely to buy a product if it is open source? **
Honestly, we were not sure how much open source matters to people right now. But at a ratio of over 2-to-1, it really does. That is great because our company was founded and continues to run on the principles of open source. New ideas and innovation are what keep both SparkFun and the world of electronics moving forward, so we plan to keep open source ideals every step of the way.
Are most of your projects connected to the internet?
While most respondents' projects are not connected to the internet, 30 percent of them are, which is a pretty big amount. The world of IoT has created more than just a buzzword, but also a huge demand for products that can let you track and monitor your project via the internet. The meteoric rise of chips like the ESP8266 and new ESP32 show just how important connection is to many people's projects.
How do you feel about soldering?
Well, 90 percent of people love it, as everyone should. Just kidding. But really, soldering should be fun, and we're truly sorry if you don't feel that way. Who doesn't love playing with molten metal?
How frequently do you complete projects that have SparkFun components?
One per quarter, or four per year, was the biggest response here. I'm sure the number of "projects started" would be way higher than that, though!
Rate your experiences with SparkFun
Not to be all braggy, but it seems like you like us -- you really like us! Documentation, quality and Customer Service/Tech Support are really how we differentiate ourselves in the world of electronics, so it's no surprise that is what you like best about us. With this is mind, though, we know there are always places we can improve throughout the entire business. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let us know. Getting better is pretty important to us.
Do you read SparkFun tutorials?
Turns out 90 percent of respondents do. Wow! That is what really blew us away. Thank you for your insatiable appetite for projects and concepts. If you keep reading them, we'll keep making them.
Thank you for either participating in or reading all the feedback we got! This is all about making sure we know what you're looking for at SparkFun, and we will always listen to what you have to say. Speaking of, if you found something cool in the data or have any suggestions, put them down in the comments below. Until next year!