Curiously, the pay scale seems to be logarithmic; it is vanishingly rare to find a star programmer of Per's or Val's caliber paid more than three times as much as an ordinary programmer. I take that as evidence that software development management has not yet attained a stone-age level of sophistication.
It isn't actually stone-age; it's middle-age. In fact, you don't have to look at how much code a person produces to see the phenomenon; we don't even pay most engineers proportional to how much time they put in. Salaried employment is right out of feudalism, and while I understand how it fit into the economy of the middle ages, it always amazes me that we still use it today.
But there must be something going for it, because otherwise it would not survive competitively.
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