Blind polling in politics - would it work for technology?

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22 September 2004

My son’s 6th grade class recently did an exercise where they voted on the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />US presidential candidates based entirely on the issues and positions set forth by each candidate. But it was a blind poll – the kids didn’t know who was who. The results were surprising!

Click here for my wife’s write-up of the event and the parental reaction.

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But it got me thinking. What would happen if you did the same thing with a room full of computer geeks, comparing the features put forth by different tools and technologies. Some ideas:  
  • Java vs .NET
  • VB vs C#
  • Web services vs Remoting
  • Web services vs DCOM
  And the list goes on…   But seriously. It would be very interesting to see how people “voted” for a technology based purely on its stated feature set rather than on the largely subjective criteria we use in most cases.   By largely subjective I mean, for instance, that most pro-.NET people choose it because it comes from Microsoft. Most Java people choose Java because it doesn’t come from Microsoft. But if you did a blind poll, which would be chosen? I don’t know, but I think it would be an interesting exercise!