In 2020 we conducted the third OSHW Community Survey (see 2012 and 2013), which collected 441 responses. All questions were optional, so you may notice response counts do not always add up to 441. In particular, a number of individuals didn’t feel comfortable with the demographic questions. We ask these questions as part of our efforts to promote diversity in the community, but these too were optional and anonymous.
A few highlights from this year’s survey compared to the 2013 survey:
The portion of people coming to open source hardware from open source software increased from 14.6% to 23.9%
In 2013, 42.8% of respondents indicated they have worked on or contributed to an open hardware project. This jumped to 85.6% in 2020.
While 2013 showed a plurality of people using blogs to publish design files, this year’s survey shows public repositories as the most popular option. The increase in people with open source software experience and improvement in repository collaboration offerings may be contributing factors.
This year’s survey shows a large increase in attendees for the 2020 Open Hardware Summit. This is likely due to 2020 being the first virtual summit. Although it was moved online due to unfortunate circumstances, the virtual platform offered the upside of greatly expanding the audience.
A small gain in the community’s gender diversity was seen, with those identifying as either female or other making up 18% of respondents, compared to 7% in 2013.
Interested in more granular results for any of these questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did you first get involved with open source hardware?
Have you ever used open source hardware products?
How do you use open source hardware products?
For the open source hardware products that you use, how important were each of the following criteria in your decision to use and open source hardware product?
For situations in which you’d like to use an open source hardware product but currently use a proprietary one instead, how important are each of the following factors in preventing you from using an open source product?
Have you ever used others’ open source hardware designs to…
Have you ever worked on or contributed to an open source hardware project or design?
What year did you first begin working on or contributing to open-source hardware projects or designs?
On average, how many hours per week do you spend working on or contributing to open-source hardware projects or designs?
Why do you work on or contribute to hardware projects and/or designs?
For hardware projects or designs which you decided to open-source, how important were each of the following criteria in the decision?
Have you ever…?
Tell us more about how you publish and document your open source hardware. Have you…?
What licenses have you used to release hardware files?
Do you use the Open Gear Logo on your hardware?
If you use the Open Gear Logo on your hardware, why do you use it?
Do you know about the OSHWA open source hardware certification program?
Have you ever used the open source hardware certification program?
Why did you use the open source hardware certification program?
Why haven’t you used the open source hardware certification program?
Does any of your income come from open-source hardware?
How much of your income does your work on open-source hardware represent?
In 2019 what was your total personal income resulting from work on open source hardware?
Does your open source hardware related income come from…
Did you attend the Open Hardware Summit in…
Regarding your work with hardware, do you consider yourself a…
Are you a member of a hackerspace/makerspace?
How old are you?
Do you identify as:
Do you consider yourself to be:
What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received?
What’s your primary work status?
The Open Hardware community is made up of many creative individuals coming from diverse backgrounds. Which fields would you consider your areas of experience?
About seven years after our last survey, it’s time for the 2020 Open Source Hardware Community Survey! These surveys help OSHWA understand who makes up the community, engagement with OSHW projects, and identify changes over time. The results will be aggregated and made publicly available once the survey is complete.
I had some time to look into the interesting data coming out of our 2013 Survey (you can find all the raw data here):
As you may know, just few weeks ago OSHWA published the results from 2013 Open Hardware Community survey. You can find original datasheets and everything here. Despite raw data is good, I thought it was good to spend some time looking at the data trying to gather more insights, when possible, still keeping in mind that the survey samples a very limited and polarized (OSHWA centric) chunk of the community. But we need to start from something in a way.