Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Fallacy Of Cheap Programmers

Robin Sharp writes about "The Fallacy Of Cheap Programmers":

A lot of research on programmer productivity shows that the best programmers are up to 20 times more productive than the worst programmers. If the income differential between the best and worst programmers is even 5 times, it means employers are getting incredible value for money hiring the best programmers.

Why then don't companies hire a few very good programmers and leave the rest flipping Big Macs? There is one very good reason: the psychology of managers. Managers simply can't believe that one programmer can be as productive as 3, let alone 5 or even 20 times. Managers believe that productivity is a management issue.

They believe that simply by re-organising their human resources it is they who can gain leaps in productivity, and reap the rewards. But the reality of management, as we all know, is that most projects are late and over budget.

I could not agree more, Robin.