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Let’s revisit my stats from a prior blog post about who uses the MPI C++ bindings.  Jed Brown was kind enough to school me in how terrible my prior statistical analysis was.  

I’ve actually removed the offending stats from that entry and am re-doing them here; hopefully in a more meaningful way.  I won’t even describe how bad / wrong my prior analysis was; let’s just go through the numbers again with a little something I like to call The Right Way…

There are eight possible demographics that respondents could have categorized themselves.  While it is probably dangerous to make assumptions based on the entire population of respondents (for example, because of the way the survey was advertised, it’s probably skewed mostly towards the developer, educator, and researcher communities), it is probably reasonable to assume that at least within each demographic, we have a decent random sample of that particular demographic’s overall population.

I have recently learned (ahem) that it doesn’t make statistical sense to combine the demographic categories, so let’s look at the breakdown of how each answered the C++ bindings question (there’s a little rounding in the percentages):

  Yes No I don’t know
MPI application developer 43 (17%) 196 (77%) 14 (5%)
Library / middleware developer (that uses MPI) 13 (16%) 63 (77%) 6 (7%)
Project / program / general mangement 4 (17%) 15 (65%) 4(17%)
Academic educator / researcher 151 (66%) 52 (23%) 26 (11%)
Student 16 (24%) 34 (50%) 18 (26%)
MPI implementer 9 (22%) 29 (72%) 2 (5%)
User of MPI applications 55 (50%) 25 (23%) 30 (27%)
Other 6 (37%) 3 (19%) 7 (44%)

Per my prior blog entry, I still think that the top three categories are the most important, from a defining-the-standard perspective: these are the people who are either writing code that uses MPI, or they manage people who do.  Among these, the highest percentage of those who use the C++ bindings is 17%.

The fact that this number is higher than the Forum anticipated led to people wondering why respondents answered “yes”.  Here’s some speculations:

The next group of three categories is a little more nebulous, so let’s talk about each one:

The last grouping of demographics, in my not-so-humble-opinion, are not very relevant for this survey question.  For example, users may or may not know how the application they are running was written.

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