The problem with hiring programmers to make things for you
I truly believe computer science is innately an intersectional discipline. (To be honest, while pure computer science is the root of today’s technical innovations and I recognize its importance, it is boring to me.) As a business founder, I firmly believe computer science and business is where it’s at. CS + Entrepreneurship is the magic formula that can truly change the world in this day in age. Programmers and businesspersons working together is much more impactful than either working alone.
Problem is, we have evolved to the point where the slightest “brilliant idea” can be touted by a self-proclaimed “entrepreneur”, and you as a programmer can have a piece of the action, as long as you sign an NDA of course. It’s gotten to the point where these kinds of people, who know nothing about programming, expect to woo over talented programmers with a bit of equity. Because all startups succeed these days, right?
lmao sorry friendaloo but if you want me to write you a couple thousand lines of code you get to profit from forever it's gonna cost you pic.twitter.com/M9pIDo51vv
— zach👨🏼💻🏳️🌈 (@franklyrosalind) June 21, 2017
It’s gotten super annoying that most people do not understand that programmers spend a good amount of time working on each project. There is a shortage of programmers in the world and we don’t have enough to spend several days to make a few extra bucks. Our work is valuable and you should learn that $100 isn’t going to cut it. Neither do we want equity. At the end of the day, time is money, so all we want is to be compensated reasonably.
However, this tweet is an extreme case. In most cases, I don’t see people wanting to keep the equity. They just want something built for them. They look up to us programmers because we possess the power to build something they can’t. But they don’t know what it actually takes to get it done, so they unknowingly propose a ridiculous amount of compensation and are then mocked by programmers. How is this fair? They’ll never know this is unreasonable while you basically bully them behind their backs.
We (the programmers and the people who solicit the services of programmers) suffer from a lack of mutual understanding. I’m here to set the record straight once and for all.
People who want the services of programmers, get ready to pay for it. Equity doesn’t work and neither does just $100, because both are insults. And stop asking for the most qualified programmers unless you’re willing to pay six figures. You’re not getting the most qualified programmers for your side job if you hire freelancers, that’s just how it works.
Programmers, stop making fun of innocent people trying to get something accomplished. Unless they are a stuck-up asshole like the person in the tweet above, they usually don’t mean any malice. They just don’t know what to offer, and instead of laughing about them, you should let them know what’s reasonable so they’ll know for next time. Be more understanding and empathetic towards them.
Remember, as ridiculous as an offer might sound, you might be turning down the next Uber. That ridiculous tweet up there might indeed sound ridiculous, but Travis Kalanick tweeted something just as ridiculous sounding in 2010 and now the person who responded to that tweet is a billionaire.