Chapter 16. Compensation
Compensation of software professionals is always controversial. Often there are tenfold differences in productivity between the best and worst performers on a development team, yet no conventional salary structure provides for this kind of dynamic range. In this chapter, I examine some new ways of looking at compensation and performance in software organizations. Although I provide no "silver bullet" for resolving the problem, I do provide a framework for thinking about it in a non-traditional way.
Here's one important conclusion: Many problems that we seek to solve with compensation are really job assignment or skills development issues that need to be attacked with tools appropriate to those domains. I attempt to tie together three variables: compensation, skill level, and job difficulty. As compensation is linked to performance, the challenge is to correlate performance with skill level and job difficulty.