Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Developers's time of permanency is 15 years?

This article is not about performance of PHP, but more about performance of developers in general.
A nice article from golem.de claims that the developers's time of permanency is - exactly - 15 years.

The main facts of the article:
  • developers have abrasion like professional athletes

    No: Developers don't require fast running, much muscle power or intensive training. Of course, getting older does not mean getting healthier, but health care improves every year and people are getting older and older. The key success factors are more talent and motivation than age. Also, older athletes produce more money with marketing than younger ones.

  • developers at the age of 20 bring more money than older developers

    Yes, if the business is selling developers by hour/day and quality (number of bugs, wrong architecture decisions, usability, performance) does not matter. Young developers without a final degree and without working experience normally have lower salaries.

    No in all other cases. The TCO of a developer looks more like this:

    salary + bugs + hardware + wrong architecture decisions
    + unneeded features produced + further education
    - revenue from creating products
    
    Since wrong architectures cost millions and revenue from creating products brings millions, the experience of a developer is more important than the salary.
    Another factor are marketing costs: Here in Germany, 2 spots on television with 1 minute cost more than a developer in the whole year (see zdf, page 13). Creating a bad or slow landing page is more expansive than hiring a more experienced developer. Therefore, younger developers might have lower salaries, but cost more in total.

  • developers get unnecessary if they don't acquire higher qualifications

    Yes: Compared to ten years ago, programming languages had less features, there were less frameworks, browsers had less features, there were no mobile devices, frontends were different, backends had more low-level programming. But it is easier for an older developer to learn the new things coming in than for a young developer to learn all the stuff.

    No, if developers enhance themselves, but the job remains the same. In this case, higher qualification does not matter.

Looking at piano players like Wilhelm Kempff, you see that even old guys are able to play at a very high level. And writing code is less demanding than hitting all keys correctly in real-time with the right strength and rhythm on a piano.

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