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The Rise of Developeronomics 253

New submitter Geist3 writes "Forbes has an article by Venkatesh Rao asserting that the safest investment for both corporations and individuals is in software developers. Throwing money at talented coders now — even on random projects — will build relationships that are likely to pay off big in the future. 'In what follows, I am deliberately going to talk about the developers like they are products in a meat market. For practical purposes, they are, since the vast majority of them haven't found a way to use their own scarcity to their advantage.'"
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The Rise of Developeronomics

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  • Re:Great a new boom. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AtlantaSteve ( 965777 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @03:47PM (#38283738)
    Umm... were you around during the 1990's?

    Even in a normal market, tons of hiring managers don't understand enough to separate the wheat from the chaff anyway. In an overheated market, when hiring managers have to take what they can get if they want to fill a position at all... it is STUNNINGLY easy for workers with zero aptitude to jump in.
  • Re:Unionize (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:07PM (#38284012)

    that's some pretty good nonsensical generalizations there br0

  • Re:10x Engineer (Score:5, Informative)

    by dubbreak ( 623656 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:44PM (#38284498)

    These days the company I work for keeps the phones ringing, cube noise up, and enough meetings that I'm lucky to write a few lines. Some days go by without any objective measure of success.

    What's more important than the obvious lack of productivity that gives the company as a whole is the way it demotivates the employees.

    I was in a similar situation. I lost my private office to a shared office, then to an "open concept" plan. I went from 500+ lines/day C# to nearly none (unless I worked from home). It was the meetings, general drone of noise, lack of a door to keep sales and service personnel out.. etc. Interruption after interruption. It wore on me.

    We implemented some functions to try to prevent the interruptions (e.g. single point of contact within the software team, acting as the gatekeeper/barking dog), but it really wasn't enough. Software team productivity dropped from high 80s of % time spent developing to under 60. I was under 40% of my time spent developing due to my long term experience with the products. That combined with a non-competitive wage for our local market and I was extremely unhappy. I desperately wanted to be productive and wage wasn't a huge issue when I was a happy employee but it became quite important when I could make more at any other shitty job in town.

    Long story short I left to do independent contracting at a much higher rate. I much happier getting stuff done and getting paid what I know is a fair wage. The company I left is now looking for a replacement that will expect the wage I expected and will need 3-6 months experience with their products to be a contributing member of the team. It's costing them. Of course IF they find someone who is actually good (finding good devs is extremely difficult, I helped hire the last 2 member sof their team and 90% of the applicants were duds) they will still have problems keeping them productive and keeping them at all.

    A few local companies have it figured out and are getting most of the local talent (which often means poaching as talented people tend to have jobs). If the smaller private companies don't step up to maintain their current staff they are going to find themselves without talent and having to cough up a lot of money to attract talent to a high cost of living location and then train those people.

  • Re:Great a new boom. (Score:4, Informative)

    by PerfectionLost ( 1004287 ) <ben@perfectresolutio n . com> on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @04:57PM (#38284652)

    Honestly, over the last 10 years my checking account has out performed my investment accounts.

  • Re:10x Engineer (Score:5, Informative)

    by kogut ( 1133781 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @05:02PM (#38284724)
    >I know I could run at 300 lines of C a day Someone call security. We have a mid-level manager masquerading as a coder. I've never met a competent coder who considers lines-of-code/day to be an even remotely useful metric of productivity. Coders who eat through requirements like a shark through chum with tight, transparent patterns...those are the good ones.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard