The typical trainee programmer, including those without a
college education or prior work experience, starts at the
compensation level of typical corporate first-line managers. (The
latest median annual earnings of computer programmers, according to
the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, were $53,040.) Sometimes,
And where can all this lead? The most creative, productive,
knowledgeable, ambitious, and best-compensated of all corporate
programmers are programmer
Like every manager, yours has a budget. It provides the
needs to accomplish his primary
mission, which is to complete the projects assigned to him so he
looks good to his manager, that manager looks good to the
Yes, everything is economic, if only you can see it.
My twin brother, Peter, and Iincoming freshman at Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University)were listening to welcoming speeches in the main auditorium with the freshman class, 80 percent of whom had
chosenengineering. My two most vividrecollections of the orientation were that the dean of the engineering school said, Look at the person to the right and left of you; one of you wont make it to your sophomore year. That got my attention. My brother was to the left of me, and the dean was right about the other guy.
We waited for the next speaker,
anticipatinga thermodynamicsprofessor, a physics professor, or at least a statistics professor. (Drexel didnt have a single computer then; we all had slide rules strapped to our belts.) Instead, out strolled Dr. Davidson, strumming on his guitar and singingthat everything is economic. We almost laughed at this business geek. But a mere five years later, when we interviewed for corporate jobs, we realized that Dr. Davidson had it all correct, and in perspective. All our yearsof intensivecollege classes were light weapons against the power of the business economics that determined whether there was a good job; the compensation level of that job; and how much competition there was for that job when we finally graduated.
Even in your first programming job you should be aware of the
economic realities of corporate compensation; you need to develop a
strategy for moving quickly up the corporate compensation ladder.
Programmers who focus on advancement are uniquely well positioned
in the corporation to move very
Programmers can produce significant productivity
Many times in this book I use
he to refer to a programmer or a
managernot because I am