"Best Jobs of 2012" aka. "IT > CFP > CFA"

Go ahead Blake, tell him that he is lying about his front office job.

i’m going with Blake here…its not an inverted pyramid…i admit i might be missing the gist of your debate though…

My understanding from large scale software development is that there are architects at the top and then varying level of designers below and at at the bottom you have armies of coders and QA testers. I had to be on the business side of a software project a while ago (giving requirements, etc.) and that is how it seemed to go down. The coders and QA people were actually from a large tech consultant that operated out of India whereas the architects and designers were employees.

On that subject, I know somebody who staffs lower level tech and ops roles and he made bank with very little work for the past few years (albeit had already put in the leg work to get some large clients). So, maybe there is something to the HR person being on this list.

Still… the compensation numbers imply that even an average level software developer is much better than an average person in another industry. So even if you are not high in the programmer food chain, the baseline is relatively high.

1 developer contributes to final product, 9 contribute to bugs

When I started in software developement I thought I was going to be coding up sexy new trading strategies and high-fiving traders every day with all the money we made. Instead I ended up working on a team of 5 people that worked exclusively on booking trades to some obscure system that a few clients used. It’s hardly glamourous and involved a lot of bug fixing, but this is what development is. Just like being an engineer for Boeing, most people end up working years on one small component of the landing gear, not actually designing planes as a whole.

What I don’t agree with is the statement that these jobs working on little components of software (in a tech firm, not a bank) or aircraft “aren’t creating something or contributing to a process that generates income”.

My point about the inverted pyramid is that I see software companies as having a lot more people involved in the final product that you and I actually buy, vs. when you buy into a fund, you’re really interested in the work of possibly 1 person, and you don’t really care about the support staff that allow that person to deliver the product.