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20080209 Saturday February 09, 2008

Building A Team of Rock Stars is Cheaper

Building a team of rock stars is cheaper than a team of lower-salaried, less experienced programmers. It's also harder. The notion that there is more economy in the enthusiasm of project contributors and having "more hands on deck", even if they're cheaper hands, is naive. Martin Fowler

If the cost premium for a more productive developer is less than the higher productivity of that developer, then it's cheaper to hire the more expensive developer.
You might assume that there's a positive scaling effect with a larger team. Fowler continues
The trouble is that that assumption assumes productivity scales linearly with team size, which again observation indicates isn't the case. Software development depends very much on communication between team members. The biggest issue on software teams is making sure everyone understands what everyone else is doing. As a result productivity scales a good bit less than linearly with team size. As usual we have no clear measure, but I'm inclined to guess at it being closer to the square root.
Keep reading the Cheaper Talent Hypothesis.

Trouble is, finding the highly capable and seasoned talent can be a long search. Weeding out the fakers is time consuming, finding the right fit for those who are for real takes longer. And so the search goes on. Technorati is searching; if you're the real deal, call us.


( Feb 09 2008, 08:48:53 AM PST ) Permalink