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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • If you're not making or saving your employer money, you probably shouldn't be employed.

    I agree entirely your statement should be obvious. I also agree that in many organisations it's not the programmer's role to know the best way for them to generate value; that's what managers are for.

    However if one wants that pay-cheque to be bigger, it's worth finding out what's really important to your business. It's rare for developers to work in a vacuum, and knowing where the real priorities lay is often easier than one may think. If you do work in a vacuum, then have a chat with your manager. Say that you want to do a better job, and are interested in learning more about business priorities so you can do so. Managers love this sort of thing.

    But how does taking an active interest in your employer's business improve your own salary? Well, it's simple.

    Employees generate value (either revenue or savings) for a business. In most circumstances the business pays a fixed annual salary for this privilege, and pockets the rest. If you generate more value, then the business has a higher capacity to pay you. Most importantly, the business stands to lose significantly if you leave, so you can effectively negotiate that higher pay.

    Taking an interest in effective value generation is also extremely valuable when switching jobs, or even striking out on one's own as a consultant.

    It's worth noting that this has nothing to do with software development. In almost every job one can maximise one's personal gains by maximisng the gains of others.