So I had a miniature epiphany today while coding away on a multi-tier application I’m building for interactions with one of my other blogs and with a database driven website application.
That epiphany is that I have two books, the have basically outlined the difference between a $70,000 developer and a $105,000 developer or architect.
The first book is Pro ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005 from Apress. If a developer knows all the ins and outs of each piece of technology in this book they are easily worth 65-75k. Probably a little bit more depending on their location, but definately NOT less.
The second book is Head First Design Patterns from O’Reilly Press. This book is not for the beginning developer really as the design patterns, any design patterns, aren’t really of any use until after one understand object oriented programming, basic project management, and various other topics at different levels of software development. A developer that knows at least 1/2 of what this book offers up is easily worth $105,000 or more depending on position as developer or architect. A developer with this knowledge would probably top out at about $90-95,000 with this knowledge, but tag Senior Developer, Architect, or Senior Architect and that range is easily somewhere in the $100-125,000 yearly range.
So to those budding developers, if you want a gauge of where you are, hit up these two books and you’ll have a good idea of where you stand. If you’re under that bracket and you live somewhere out on the left coast (LA, San Fran, Portland, or Seattle) you REALLY better renegotiate or find a new job. You’re bringing the rate down for the rest of us. Even India has brought it’s rate up that the flow of offshoring has slowed to a trickle as of late.
As for developers out in the midwest or southern US, I’d estimate these ranges accordingly with cost of living, usually about 15-30% less than what is above… but then of course you guys in those areas can buy 3,000 square foot houses on 2 acres of land for the price of a 700 square foot condo out on the left. 🙁
anyway… enough of my rambling off topic discussions.