• September 7, 2005
  • Erik

Slashdot has a little story on how much money developers make, relative to the national (US) average.

Having read through this little discussion, with people saying that if they made a dinky 50k for programming, they’d start checking gas meters for $20/hour, I felt the need to vent.

I have three years of software development experience, including one year of R and D management experience, and I make half of the lowest wage mentioned. I’m paid hourly, I get no vacation time, no benefits, and I make 12k a year (that’s about 15000 euros). I have a food budget of 20 dollars a week, for both me and my wife. I’m the lowest paid person at my company (all my “employees” make more, marginally, or some make the same). Currently, the CEO is investing in a product built entirely under my supervision as the manager of the dev team.

Before I started, there was some vague talk of putting the code in CVS, but all of the devs were convinced that it would simply create overhead on projects that were all perpetually behind schedule. CVS was mentioned because it was the only form of version control these guys had heard of.

I put everything in subversion, setup a ticket tracking system, pushed as many of the complete lummoxes out the door as I could, began setting up daily builds and automated testing, and established rules about the CEO never speaking to my team directly, all via me. The team has never been more productive, and I saw the first project to ever ship on time.

I hired testers, wrote documentation, and I still program when I get home. I’m the only one to dedicate myself to a regular schedule (though it’s suffered since school started) so that I can be available whenever people need me, and I’ve taken the blame for everything that’s broken, and given the credit to my team when ever something worked (they deserved it, dammit!).

I have never recieved a raise.


Anyway, thanks for putting up with that. I now return you to your irregularly scheduled programming