Michael Responds to Kevin PRICE-QUALUTY

(a side note: a true sign that blogs are taking over instead of using forums as a means of expression and communication)

Kevin Ragsdale posted a few days ago about how he was concerned that FoxPro advisor was showing FoxPro programmers being available for $12/hr and how he thought that quality was going to be cut.

Now, Michael Kopjan jumps in to give the other side of the story: $12/hr IS a very good rate in some areas of the world.

My own thoughts on this are documented in the Fox Show #15 – but Michael, Kevin is right on this count – you DO get what you pay for – and the thing American and European developers have to be aware of is that while their cost of living is high up there and thus what they have to pay for is likely huge compared to what other countries pay for the same goods, with the same quality.

But the quality bar changes drastically with cost. Would you say that all $5 steaks are going to be the same quality as, say , as $10 steaks? In most cases, no, but if you can find it, it’s certainly possible. This is something I was reminded of on one of the GrapeRadio shows – while cost should not be the ONLY factor of judging quality, it should be used as a yardstick to make a decision process easier. Might you find a $10/hr programmer who produces amazing work? Absolutely (hence the idea that programmers get burned out over time and thus, the best companies hire the young ones, burn them out and then turn them over to the second best companies, and so on). But in the process of finding that programmer with that same $10, you may go through 30 programmers (from every country) who fail to make the grade.

I’ve used both off-shore and local resources for FoxPro development – either way, they ALL have to be managed in order to get quality out of them. The difference? One you can do in person – the other via email.

Just as you can’t expect to bring in a new developer and have them “get” all of the tools you use (see my post here), you have to be prepared to do more stringent code reviews and more.

Michael’s advice to Kevin is classic – “why aren’t you hiring these people?”