Why do devs still make less than managers?

It’s still the typical career path of a software developer: get through the ranks of junior, medior and senior dev. There it kind of stops. To advance your career you can take a turn to manager or a turn to architect. Many a dev I know has moved to a non-development position because it pays more and gives them more freedom. Even though they love being a developer more. This has been the situation for a long time here in the Netherlands.

Around the world there are exceptions to this rule. Silicon Valley companies compensate their star developers often more than their managers. In Scandinavian countries like Sweden this is also not uncommon. But here in the Netherlands it is. And it surprises me still. I thought we were a progressive nation, that prides itself on its innovations and its knowledge economy. Not helping great developers progress their careers is hurting us. Talented people will look at the engineering culture in your company and stay away if they don’t believe they can grow there.

We all know software is eating the world. We all know innovation often is supported by technology. Companies need experienced, skilled techies to stay and grow in their profession. And therefore they need to be rewarded in a way that they don’t think it necessary to become a manager to progress their careers.

 

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