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Why Coder Pay Isn't Proportional To Productivity 597

theodp writes "John D. Cook takes a stab at explaining why programmers are not paid in proportion to their productivity. The basic problem, Cook explains, is that extreme programmer productivity may not be obvious. A salesman who sells 10x as much as his peers will be noticed, and compensated accordingly. And if a bricklayer were 10x more productive than his peers, this would be obvious too (it doesn't happen). But the best programmers do not write 10x as many lines of code; nor do they work 10x as many hours. Programmers are most effective when they avoid writing code. An über-programmer, Cook explains, is likely to be someone who stares quietly into space and then says 'Hmm. I think I've seen something like this before.'"

Richard Feynman, the Challenger, and Engineering 217

An anonymous reader writes "When Richard Feynman investigated the Challenger disaster as a member of the Rogers Commission, he issued a scathing report containing brilliant, insightful commentary on the nature of engineering. This short essay relates Feynman's commentary to modern software development."

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