Monday, 26 March 2012

I'm A Million-Dollar Programmer

I've long believed that I'm at my most valuable when designing and coding software for my employers. Getting in the outsiders does result in a more polished and bullet-proof application - but then they get to use tools that I would never be allowed to use, like actual programming languages.

The other day I received this e-mail... (starts)

Hi All,

Unfortunately we’ve not been successful in securing the history for the XXX data feed. The main reason is due to the £1m cost and extra 3000 man days required to deliver this. The key benefit for having the history is to feed into the XXX pricing model but on balance, accounting for the additional cost and prolonged delivery of the feed, the decision has been made not to bring the history across from this source.

The history will start to build when the feed is implemented in July but history should already be building up in (system name)...

What you need to know is that the work we were asking for was the productionisation of some routines that a co-worker runs on a Monday morning. I wrote the routines in about four days, which update tables I created and data-filled about nine months ago. That exercise - including documentation and manuals - took about four calendar months, so maybe 40 working days (I had crud work to do as well). It did build on some other exercises I'd done, count maybe 20 working days for those.

I do not get paid £300 / day. Not even close. We have asked how this was arrived at, but silence as there been deafening. Half of it will be for £400 / day "project management" and "design". That's why you have in-team analyst/programmers like me: it's way cheaper and faster. My managers have sent this up the chain saying "look how much value the smart people who work for me create". I'll go for that.

Need I tell you that these numbers come from a Big Name management consultancy and our own IT people? What I said to my managers (but not the high-ups) was: what else are they lying to you about?

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