How they’re chosen

For the 10th year, Computerworld conducted a survey to identify the 100 Best Places to Work for IT professionals. In December 2002, Computerworld accepted nominations from U.S.-based companies. Participants were asked to provide the name and contact information of the appropriate individuals at their companies who were familiar with or had access to employment statistics and financial data, as well as benefits policies and programs for their IT departments and companies.

In January 2003, the contacts at the nominated companies received a 100-question survey asking about their organizations’ average salary and bonus increases, percentage of IT staff promoted, IT staff turnover rates, training and development, and percentage of women and minorities in IT staff and management positions. In addition, information was collected on how each organization rewards outstanding performance, its retention programs and its benefits, ranging from child and elder care to flextime and reimbursement for college tuition and technology certifications.

Upon completion of the company survey, participants were e-mailed instructions on selecting a random sample of their U.S.-based full- and part-time IT staffs. All participating companies were required to obtain feedback from their employees. The responses to the employee survey went directly to a third-party research vendor.

Topics covered included satisfaction with training and development programs, base salary, bonuses, health benefits, stock/ESOP plans and work/life balance. In addition, employees were asked to rate morale in their IT departments, the importance of various benefits, and their level of agreement with a variety of statements, covering topics from career growth to management’s fair and equal treatment of employees.

Nearly 12,000 IT employees responded to the employee survey from the final 100 companies selected. The nomination survey, company survey and employee survey were all conducted via the Internet. The company and employee survey portion of the research was cut off in February 2003. To qualify to complete the company survey, participating companies, both public and private, had to have 2002 revenue of US$250 million or greater and employ a minimum of 100 employees.

In scoring the responses from the company and employee surveys, company results were weighted based on employees’ importance ratings from the employee component. Approximately one-half of the total scoring system is based on employee responses, with the remaining half based on the survey of the companies’ benefits and other programs.

This year’s survey process was managed by the IDG Research team of Kathy Dineen, Michele Peoples and Jen McKean.