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Investing in myself: Realizing my value as a programmer

  Brian McQuay      2012-01-11 04:36:16      2,296    0

Being a programmer, you have an invaluable skill that you need to learn to harness. Investors realize this already which is why they’ll spend stacks of cash to have you build them something that’ll someday be profitable. Large corporations realize the value in good developers and sometimes bend over backwards trying to retain their top talent. To be able to program well is a skill that people clearly value but why do programmers tend to place such little value on their own talents?

I know amazing developers who have spent the last decade building other people a fortune in IP while spending very little of their time building their own software. While its easy to look at the paychecks coming in and be content with your progress as an individual, when you put your progress into the context of intellectual property ownership most developers are left with empty pockets. Investors and businessmen use developers to build intellectual property for their businesses. They pay good money for a developer’s time along the way and usually the developer moves onto something else within a few years and the business finds someone new they can use to extend their growing IP treasure chests.

When I look back on my own past decade, I’ve seen plenty of cash come and go yet the only thing that remains is the software I’ve built for myself in my own time. I put my time and effort into the context of IP and suddenly the value I place on my own time and skill begins to rise. I recently read an article geared towards investors that was recommending keeping good developers on your side at all costs. It argued no matter what a developer was building it was better to keep them busy building you IP and on your team than to lose valuable talent. I read that and taking the context of IP and the value of my time into account I asked myself why I wasn’t spending more of my free time extending my own IP treasure chest? I listened to the advise of that article to investors and I’ve committed to investing more in myself.




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