Every year we survey our listeners and readers to get a sense of how we’re doing, who’s paying attention, and what they like and don’t like.
This year we had 303 respondents to our audience survey. Here’s a few highlights to share.
If you’re in our audience (and presumably you are if you’re reading this blog), this is a snapshot of your fellow engineers in the Packet Pushers community.
Packet Pushers Global
As an English-language podcast, we expect most of our listeners to be from North America, and that proves out every year. This year just over 56% of our audience is in North America.
That said, we have a healthy presence in the EMEAR region, and even saw a slight uptick over 2018 in APAC.
How Long Have You Been On The Job?
The majority of respondents have worked in IT for fifteen years or more, which is a pretty long tenure in technology. I interpret this result to mean few things:
- You’ve survived several rounds of disruption in the IT industry
- You’ve seen your share of fads come and go
- You’re still curious and engaged and want to learn
Certifications? You’ve Got Them*
Lots of our listeners have one or more professional certifications. As we’ve talked about in various podcasts, there’s a debate about the value of industry certifications, and that debate is far from settled.
That said, certifications do play a role in the tech industry, particularly when it comes to hiring and advancement.
As you’d guess from a networking-focused podcast (though our focus is expanding to the cloud), Cisco certs rule among our audience:
47.5% of respondents have an entry-level or associate cert from Cisco
40.3% have professional and expert-level Cisco certs
Other vendor certificates with significant numbers among our respondents include
- Juniper (23% among entry, associate, and expert)
- Microsoft (19% for any Micro-certs)
- VMware (14% for any VMware certification)
Of interest, respondents reporting any AWS certification rose 25% compared to our 2018 survey. While the absolute numbers are small (6.9% in 2018 to 8.6% in 2019), it’s a substantial growth rate. There may be some legs to this cloud thing after all.
*Google’s graphical output for the certification survey result is kind of a mess, so I just reported the numbers and didn’t include the graph.
Time Well Spent (We Hope)
Two-thirds of listeners report that they listen from start to finish. This result makes me happy.
We know most listeners tune in on their way to and from work, which means we’re competing with other audio options during a limited commute window.
And we’re not just competing with other tech shows. There’s a host of podcasts on politics, culture, entertainment, and so on. There’s audio books, streaming music, satellite radio, terrestrial radio, even good old-fashioned CDs. In other words, you have a lot of choices.
To have a majority of listeners stay with us from start to finish is encouraging. We take your time very seriously, and try hard not to waste it. We can always do better, but this result says we’re getting something (mostly) right.
Paying The Bills
Packet Pushers is a business, so that means sponsorships. Sponsors come on the show because they want to reach you. If sponsors have evidence of that reach, they come back to us.
It’s like “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King, just without the soundtrack, animation, or celebrity voices.
We work hard with sponsors to make sure they don’t just show up with the same old marketing deck and talking points. We want to help them get their message across, and do it in a way that provides actual information to listeners. Sometimes we’re more successful than others, but that’s always our goal.
When we get the balance right, this survey result shows that listeners respond. Just over 40% have contacted a vendor after hearing a show, and another 20% have suggested contacting a sponsor to someone else.
A Good Excuse
Every year we include a few oddball questions in the survey to make sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously. I thought this question about ridiculous excuses for a network issue was fun.
Maybe next year we should ask if anyone has actually ever used one of these excuses. That would make for a good podcast episode.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to this year’s survey. As always, we appreciate your time and attention. We wouldn’t be here without it.