The greedy developer

Published by Rehan Butt | 03 Feb 2020

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Working in software development for 18 years, I have had the privilege of working with some amazing talent, genius developers and engineers. People passionate about software, programming, advancement of skills and who take great pride in their work. The goal has been to show what can be achieved with software, to advance the world to a futuristic vision of autonomous systems and efficiency.

However, for a portion of young developers there has been a noticeable shift in the mentality in the last 4-5 years. With enterprise companies establishing internal dev teams for application development and web development, a cost saving exercise in their finance department, developer salaries have seen a meteoric rise to rival that of Bitcoin!

Yes Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and the likes have HUGE budgets to pay ludicrous salaries to developers. Yes you can develop some cool stuff, be part of the big machine and have an amazing rise in your career... however we must remember those financial rewards still come with experience and expertise, even at the big tech companies. But what happens to the remaining 95% of developers that don't go so big?

Step in non-tech corporations, looking to develop their own digital product to support their non-digital business. In a mad panic, they employ; 5, 10, 20 developers to build their product. With no senior software engineering principles in place at upper management, the development takes 3 times longer than anticipated, the product is poorly written with no structure and no efficiency in code, due to the advancement in computing power & hardware. All of sudden, Jacob, a junior developer, who has done a 4-week C# training course because he wanted to build games when he was a child, is now on a salary of £35,000 after his first year. No computer science knowledge gained and no opportunity to learn on the job from other people with only 6 months more experience than himself.

Two years in, he now wants £40-45k! And the non-tech corporate pays it because he is now the most experienced developer they have! All too often we see developers who have gained amazing pay rises at non-IT companies are then expecting this is the ''normal'' salary.

You look outside this crazy tech bubble, true software engineers with skills, 8-10 years’ experience, systems architects and multiple discipline knowledge and experience are happy with £60-80k... maybe 80k+ in London. So why the crazy salary curve? Why the impatience to master your craft and make sure you've got the skills to warrant that big salary you want?