How Many Programmers and Other Queries

Just too good of an information fragment to pass up!

A Fermi estimate usually seeks to measure a quantity that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to actually measure. “Piano tuners in Chicago” may have fallen into that category several decades ago, but as Wolfram|Alpha can now demonstrate, things have changed

I got pretty excited and started trying a few queries on my own and quickly found some limitations. You can try them too. But it is fascinating to see how these queries work.

How many programmers are there in the “SFO bay area”

How many progrmmers are there in “silicon valley”

How many programmers are there in SFO

It would be fun to try these queries in other popular search engines (they come nowhere close). Let us imagine a world where search engines see queries the way you do and can get you answers. Won’t it make secondary research a lot easier?

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