What? You mean I have to *Pay* for that?


I was answering posts in a community forum on the weekend when I came across an entry asking for help to build a data grid. The requirement was complex. The poster had expressed at the time that the functionality needed was available in a 3rd party control, but did not want to spend the money as the price was too high. On investigation he could have spent as little as $895 for the suite of tools. I just don’t understand the mentality ?

If you are working on a commercial piece of software (defined here as software that you are being paid to write by virtue of wages, contracting or future sales), then do the math…

NOH x YHR = VOT

So, Number Of Hours for you to write the tool you are looking for, multiplied by Your Hourly Rate equals Value Of Tool.

Take a basic data grid with grouping, sorting, binding, totals and some nice UI, I’m pretty confident it would take more than a couple of months to get right, but even if we said 4 weeks, or 152 hours, at a nominal rate of $25/hour (who works for that rate?), you are still looking at a cost of $3,800. So the cost of $895 is looking good.

Lets work it back the other way… $895/$25 hr = 35 hours, could you develop what is on offer for that?

Or (based on my estimate of 152 hours) $895/152 = $5.89/hr

I understand when buying tools we have to find balance, but I find it ridiculous when Devs expect everything for free.

There are some great tools out there (my obvious preference being DevExpress) and these companies put a lot of resource into making our jobs as easy as possible, lets show some support and appreciation, if everything became open source no of us would have a paying job.

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