What We Want and What We’ll Pay For

I’m sure many of you see surveys that note IT job growth is up 30%. Or that executives want to hire 20% more people. Or that the market dictates that salaries will be going up 12%.

Those are exciting numbers, and I see them too. However I saw a great post that summed up the fact that those are just quotes, perhaps even desires, but not necessarily realities. This answer notes that what we want and what we’ll pay for are often two different things.

Many IT executives would like to hire more staff. They know that there’s a backlog in IT that can be reduced with additional staff. They might also believe that hiring more staff increases the chances of talented staff that can produce higher quality work, playing a game of numbers. They also know that newer hardware or software technologies can often produce better results for the organization.

However whatever their beliefs, they will often be constrained by budgets. There are always going to be other priorities in an organization that compete for additional resources. Sometimes IT will get what they want; sometimes they won’t. Often the end result will be less than they want, but more than other groups would have spent on technology.

The surveys and quotes we see published, good or bad, aren’t worthless. They’re often a reflection of a best case hope, like so many of the estimates that developers give about their work. The numbers can indicate a trend, but take them with a grain of salt. Apply a little skepticism and treat them like averages. Remember, an average of 50 can come from 49 and 51 or from 1 and 99, both pairs of numbers reflecting different realities. Above all remember that an average or ideal also doesn’t necessarily reflect what you, personally, will experience in your career.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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