Developer price per day doesn’t matter, guys

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.

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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.

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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

Helping organisations large and small exploit business opportunities through smart technology - #30 in 2016 CIO Magazine top 100 IT Leaders Working on a number of projects with diverse clients involving Machine Learning, Internet of Things, smart buildings. application development (including off/ nearshore) and business growth planning, from startups through to established service organisations. They say that 'culture eats strategy for breakfast' - very true, but they also say breakfast is the most important meal of the day... I am convinced that a coherent technology strategy makes a huge difference to all organisations. I'm not happy if I haven't done someone a good turn each day, if I can help you with a problem, make a useful connection or provide a second opinion please get in touch, I'd be delighted to help. I'm half of the WB-40 podcast with CIO columnist Matt Ballantine, join us at I'm available for advisory, media or speaking engagements, call me on 07977 011116. Recent speaking highlights 360° Club - Business growth through agility IT Directors Forum - Brexit and the impact on IT Strategy British Computer Society - Winning at the Internet of Things IT Directors Forum Spring - Brexit and the impact on IT Strategy The Service Desk Show - Brexit - Impacts and opportunities for IT teams Finance Directors Forum, Oct 2017 - Betting on Blockchain - stick or twist? British Computer Society - Practical Applications of Artificial Intelligence

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