Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Big Pile of money.


In his review of 'Capitalism for Programmers' joel says:

"If you spend enough time in this industry it's almost impossible to avoid suddenly finding yourself with a big pile of money that you are going to have to manage somehow."

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/navLinks/fog0000000262.html


I wish, I wish.

Am I alone in finding it not only quite possible, but very easy, to work in this industry year after year and not even find yourself with a tiny pile of money?

Ged Byrne
Thursday, March 14, 2002

I believe he was referring to the pile of money you are managing for you employer... certainly not our own... God knows mine would be more like a hole than a pile.

A.N. Mouse
Thursday, March 14, 2002

IMO, probably not going to happen as much anymore as it did for a while.

I would say that timing has had a good bit to do with it to date. Until the last couple of years or so, we had a pretty good run going.

BTW - I'm excluding the instances of folks making piles of money from IPO's. I'm just referring to folks making a "pile" from their fees or paychecks.

F.J. Weiland
Thursday, March 14, 2002


  I would have to add the caveat "If you're world class, and work for a world-class SOFTWARE company ..." You will find yourself in a big pile of money.

  In other words, if you are working in the IS department of a bank, you might not end up with $ one.  If you work for eBay and move your way up the ranks - you're gonna get some.

  If you are working for a non-Software company, I'd say the only way to make a pile of dough in software is to work for that company when it's a small startup.  Then, when and IF the company hits the big time, everyone is going to get some stock, not just the "core" specialty folks.  (Generally, the executives, managers and the people actually making the product - hence the reason to work for a Software Company, above.)

  Then again, Your Milage May Vary.  When Prince Machine was bought by Johnson Controls a few years back, I understand that every employee got a bonus - the long-standing executives were the ones that got millions, but I understand that some of the hourly folks with 30 years of exeperience got in the high 6 figures.

  Or I could be totally wrong.  That's the problem with rumors. :-)  Still, the owner of a private company who sells to a public company might not have the same sense of .. um ... "Social Justice."

MatteyBoy
Thursday, March 14, 2002

Joel's comment was in context of reccomending a book on personal investing.  Ergo, he clearly was referring to managing your OWN pile of money. 

Though "Big Pile" is a relative term, I agree, you almost had to go out of your way to not have a serious income surplus over the last few years. 

For those who are still poor, it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep, and it's how you make it work for you.  There are plenty of mailmen with higher net worths than doctors.

Bella
Thursday, March 14, 2002

To be honest I've only been at it for 4 years.  I've been doing the job for 10 or so, but I've only just managed to get the Job Title.

The last boom gave me the foot in, which is surprisingly difficult without a degree or Lucky Break.

Hopefully my Big Pile of Money will come in time.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, March 14, 2002

I'm hoping to turn my steady trickle of money into 'enough to be comfortable in the long run without sacrificing too much now.' Mostly by socking it away and taking advantage of any and every payback program my employer gives me. Which reminds me, I have to update my employer match info for my 401k.

See my posts on the "Why are you programming" thread for my thoughts on pipe dreams of one big pile of money.

As far as piles of money to manage for the company. Now that IS a pipe dream, especially in today's economy.

Mark W
Thursday, March 14, 2002

re mailmen, "The Millionaire Next Door" give good coverage of folks that become millionaries through good old hard work, savings, and frugality. Nothing earth shattering in this book, but it does remind you that you don't need to latch onto a booming IPO to become rich.

Malcolm
Thursday, March 14, 2002

Charles "Chuck" Schwab wrote a few good books in investing "Be Your Own Stockbroker" for example, and the financial tools on his website (schwab.com) are good. Especially the retirement calculator. I re-test myself every few months to year or so with that thing.

Andrew Tobias' "The Only Guide to Investing You'll Ever Need" or something like that is also an excellent book.

"Millionaire Next Door" is also good, but the sequel "Millionaire's Mind" is only so-so.

I reccomend them all. None of them are get-rich-quick schemes, like Robert G. Allen. all of them are based on reality and are very practical.

Mark W
Friday, March 15, 2002

Keeping the dream alive ...

Many people believe that it is easy to make money in the Software industry ... it is not that simple:
- It is nearly impossible to protect intellectual property
- There are no or only very low barriers to entry (such as initial investments etc.)
- There are thousands of software programmers developping similar applications
- It is more difficult to sell a solution than to create one

However, if you find a niche where an application creates value for the client and your customer service distinguishes you from the rest ... then it is eventually possible to create a nice little asset (financially spoken).

So guys, keep the dream alive, the ears and eyes open and you might have the chance of combining a hobby, a great job and a bit of cash for the golfing days.

Christophe Portenier
Tuesday, March 19, 2002

> There are no or only very low barriers to entry (such as initial investments etc.)

Only a few million for marketing, and the fact that big resellers ("the channel") won't stock product from fly-by-nighters, and...

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, March 19, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home