Value Isn't Cheap
There are cheaper hourly options than me. Many others. Much lower rates. Ask yourself though:
- Is lower hourly rates really a better value?
- Do you want to trust your future to the cheapest option?
The 10x Developer
The concept of the 10x software developer originates with a research paper published in Communications of ACM in 1968. This probably first reached fame seven years later when mentioned in the highly successful book The Mythical Man-Month:
In one of their studies, Sackman, Erikson, and Grant were measuring performances of a group of experienced programmers. Within just this group the ratios between best and worst performances averaged about 10:1 on productivity measurements and an amazing 5:1 on program speed and space measurements! In short the $20,000/year programmer may well be 10 times as productive as the $10,000/year one.
Note that most people assume that “10x developer” refers to someone ten times better than average - this is indeed a mythical creature. But the actual study shows ratios from 5:1 up to 28:1 between the best and worst developer. The differences between best and average is closer to 2.5x.
It takes a combination of talent and experience to reach the upper end of this scale. Hiring the cheapest developer guarantees you someone on the lower half of the scale.
If a developer has double the hourly rate of another, but can deliver in half the time, then the price is the same and the shorter time to market makes the higher rate the better value.
But the value is even better than that!
Inexperienced developers are slow because they don’t know quite what they are doing. They sling code until something kinda works, and deliver that. This is not only time consuming, but buggy, fragile, and impossible to maintain and grow.
Higher skilled developers are faster because they know exactly what they are doing. Solutions come together quickly and elegantly. So not only are they fast, but the result is succinct quality that is a stable foundation for the future.
I’m not going to egotistically claim to be a 10x developer, but point to the evidence that I must be on the high end of that scale:
- I have been creating applications for 34 years, and to this day continue to improve my craft.
- Other developers come to me for help when they get stuck on a problem for days, and I solve it in hours or less. (Showing them how to solve it, so that they can grow.)
- My biggest frustrations come when I must spend as much time helping a team mate as it would take me to complete the task. (This problem diminishes with time, as they learn.)
- Feedback from clients and colleagues, such as "Adam (Fanello) is the best architect I've ever worked with in this industry." - Jatin Khanpara, Project Sponsor at AprilAire