How much is a developer worth?
This is a rather wrong question that has no precise answer, after all software developers are people, not goods. It’s more about how much are you willing to pay a developer in order to maintain your business in the best possible way. There is no exact same amount of money as there are different positions for developers, yet there are several systems by which you can make sure you and your developers are both happy and productive.
What do we mean by an appropriate payment system?
Well, it has to be fair, understandable, competitive and transparent to begin with. If you have it covered, you are on a sure way to having well-motivated and productive developers without overpaying them, well… too much.
And what do we mean by…
- Transparent. Try running your business on open for as much as you are allowed by the cruel world of business. Imagine a situation that, one day, a list of the salaries you are paying to your every employee hits the internet tomorrow. Will there be people upset or abused? And more importantly, will they be shocked? If not, then you are headed the in the right direction.
- Fair. This means there are no games one may win or lose. You can’t afford paying a person more just because he is a good negotiator or any ranking, by which, if many people are doing their jobs bad and one is a great developer (only because he is slightly better). Make a certain algorithm thus everybody is equal, that’s it.
- Understandable. This means any developer realizes how much will he be paid and why. He also has do determine just the steps he should take for getting a raise without you guiding him as if he is child.
- Competitive. A developer has to earn at least as much as he would earn elsewhere for the same set of tasks he will be doing, otherwise there will be no actual reason for him to join your team. Or he will not be as motivated and you might become a mere stepping stone for developers looking for better opportunities in the future.
That is how you are making sure you have just the right set of people you would wish to working for you.