Given the discussion in other threads, I thought it might be helpful to directly address the recurring theme that ‘devs are paid (wayyyy) too much’.
My intention here is not to discuss the how and why and by whose decision developers are paid, which is another matter that deserves a separate topic. I would simply like to address the notion of the monthly amount being exorbitant and present some reasoning behind my firm belief that this is not the case.
I made a similar posting in another thread on someone else’s funding earlier in the year, but in this case I’ll apply the same logic to my own situation and add a few more bits of thinking to it.
As everyone knows, the current customary rate is 10k (I’ll use EUR) per month.
Most cities should have plenty of recruitment agencies (or other bodies) that will publish salary surveys and/or contract rates for the local area. This is the survey that I use for my particular area:
I’ll just look myself up here, and I’m going to humbly say that my current role falls between a ‘Senior Level (something) Developer’ and a ‘Technical Team Lead’ (I do not consider myself the ‘Team Lead’ of Grin, I am just trying to establish a modest baseline of where I might be contracting on a daily rate). The range between the extreme ends of these roles is 450 to 650 EUR a day, and I’m going to take a mid-value of 550.
I’ll use a very conservative average of 18 working days per month (which accounts for holidays and other leave,) so 550 x 18 is 9,900 per month.
The rates listed in the salary guide are the rates as paid to the contractor. You’d expect anywhere between a 5-15% fee paid to the agency on top of this, so the real cost to the company paying this would be on the order of 11,000 per month. If this is an on-site role (as is usually the case with these positions,) you can add the expenses for seating, equipment, IT, etc… though we can’t really determine specific figures without getting into a P and L, my point here is that the real cost to an employer always more than is listed in this survey.
I always stress that there is no way that the money paid to Grin developers can be considered a salary. A ‘salary’ implies stable employment under a permanent contract that usually comes with certain benefits and paid expenses that the employee does not need to worry about. Grin developers are paid via short-term contracts, and are generally expected to pay their own expenses. Contract rates are always higher than salaried rates to account for the lack of stability and expenses.
In my own case, in order to remain tax and legally compliant all of my funds go through a limited company, which has many ongoing costs to maintain. There is bookkeeping, accountancy, regulatory filings, equipment expenses, ongoing electricity costs (running the Yeastmonster for dev purposes isn’t free!), travel expenses for the Grincons I’ve been to, etc.
Also, there are no financial perks or incentives to continue working on Grin other than simply being paid. There is no pre-mined fund waiting to be shared, no stock options, no possibility of future windfalls, no annual bonus.
This is not to say there aren’t upsides. The work is very satisfying and meaningful, and there is total freedom to pick what you work on and contribute where you feel you can have the most impact. Working hours are flexible (although you do feel you are on-call and invested 7 days a week). You have the satisfaction of being able to contribute towards something you love at a fixed rate. But there is no way this can be considered a get-rich-quick (or get-rich-ever) scheme.
If you disagree with the figures, the logic or conclusions I’ve presented above that is of course your right. But I do ask that if you feel compelled to refute anything above that you at the very least provide alternative sources of remuneration information along with reasoning as to why you think the current rate of compensation is unfair.