As we head into 2017, the Collective organizers are taking a closer look at feedback from the end-of-year survey we sent around a couple weeks ago. We've pulled out some of the more interesting data points, shared below with some comments.
Top 5: What platforms or peripherals are you most interested in? (%)
The Vive continues to be the most popular platform among our members, followed by the Rift and the HoloLens. Even though the Daydream is brand new, a majority of our community is already significantly interested in it (which caused the Cardboard to fall somewhat out of favor). And even though the Leap Motion is a VR interface add-on, it still managed to break into the top 5.
Top 5: What topics are you interested in focusing on or learning about in VR/AR? (%)
One of the most cherished aspects of our community is everyone's willingness to embrace the experimental, which is tied with gaming as the highest-rated topic in VR/AR content. We would love to see some of the experiences in these areas you all are working on!
Top 5: What kinds of events within the VR/AR field are you looking for? (%)
3 out of 4 want to attend VR/AR networking events, and fortunately the greater Seattle area has plenty of them. The second-highest request are hands-on events where you can work with the hardware and learn how to make things — this is our #1 focus for 2017.
We've heard from several members over the course of this year voice their concerns about hackathons and crunch culture. A significant chunk of our survey was focused on unearthing some insights around how our community feels about them & why they feel the way they do.
What do you think about the word "hackathon"?
The whole picture is that most people feel pretty indifferent or neutral toward hackathon events, with some outliers that are overly enthusiastic or overly pessimistic about them. This was reflected in the anonymous comments we got from folks, some of which are quoted below.
One particular thing that jumped out from response comments: hackathons tend to be gendered male by default, regardless of the gender of the respondent. There is also a significant amount of concern around doing work "for free," and whether the respondent's skills are valued or "good enough" to participate.
In a few words, describe what a hackathon means to you:
Group of folks self-organizing to create a new thing based on a seed idea/tech
A collective gathering of hardware/software tech individuals with a plan to create/hack something awesome/meaningful.
Bunch of dudes staying up all night building/coding stuff
An event that connects a bunch of people with the same passion together
Not only bringing together ideas to create a working VR piece but also bringing together people to create a community
Collaborative, chaotic, fun
Crunch, grind, no sleep
A sweaty room of people who are finishing projects they started before the event.
Men working individually at computers in a dark room eating pizza, drinking overly-caffeinated pop, and trying to outdo each other.
Most common positive words used: inspiring, learning, creative, passion, community, innovate
Most common negative words used: crunch, grind, sweaty, sleep deprivation, bunch of dudes/men/nerds