Chapter 16. Compensation

Compensation of software professionals is always controversial. Often there are tenfold differences in productivity between the best and the 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.1 I attempt ...

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