Developer price per day doesn’t matter, guys

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I can only imagine that LinkedIn has somehow flagged me as someone who employs software developers, because I’m getting a lot of random requests from offshore dev teams at the moment that are offering ‘high quality developers’ at $150/day, $100/day – name your price.
Leaving aside the LinkedIn intelligence issue, I am bewildered by this approach.  Why on earth should price per day be the first thing I’m interested in?  Software development is a complex business.  It is a process that starts with an idea, a way to solve a problem or to enable a different way of achieving something.  It flows along a path that includes requirements definition (you do have to do this, remember, even in Agile projects!), a business case, technology selection, proof of concept, development, testing, deployment and then iterations of the previous steps.  And that’s a simple example.

When I choose a development team I’m looking for people that can deliver.  Because there are few development projects done for fun.  They have deadlines, they have customers, they are often delivering benefits that are baked into budgets.

So why do these guys think the first thing I think about is the cost of developer days?  I might lose my job if we don’t deliver.  The company might lose a contract.  The cost of operation could remain hundreds of thousands of pounds a month higher than budgeted.

No, I don’t care about the price – at least not at first.  I care about whether the development team can deliver.  I don’t want 3 devs at $100/day that can do the same as one at $400 a day.  That adds a communication and management overhead that I don’t need.  I don’t want a development team at $100/day that delivers late when $300/day would be on time and to requirements.

So, guys – don’t contact me to talk about price.  Contact me to talk about how well you will deliver.  Then, we’ll talk about price 😉

 

Chris Weston

Working to improve IT outcomes for organisations of all sizes. Talk to me about business engagement, IT strategy, and supporting growth through sustainable recruitment and software development methods. Catch the weekly podcast at http://wb40podcast.com - featuring me, Matt Ballantine and only the finest guest commentators from the world of business IT! Blogging on business and IT at http://chrisweston.tumblr.com

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