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Let’s take a look at, for example, the hourly price range for a COBOL developer in Western Europe. The cheapest developer might work for just 80 EUR an hour, while the most gifted and experienced developer would demand 110 EUR an hour. The average rate is around 95 EUR an hour.

So the difference between an average, so-so developer and a COBOL rock star is about 15 EUR an hour.

Is it worth it?


Third-party research shows that experienced IT specialists outperform average employees by a factor of 2 to 10, depending on the nature of the task.

So let’s make the most conservative assumption:

The COBOL rock star is twice as productive as the average developer. The average developer delivers 5 units for 95 EUR. Meanwhile, the rock star delivers 10 units for 110 EUR. You've received twice as many units for only 15% more in costs, increasing your productivity by 42%.

It’s the kind of math that makes sense for your bottom line.

And then there is risk …

We’ve found that more senior and mature IT professionals can significantly reduce project risk.
Here are some reasons why:

  • Experienced specialists have a track record. They have proven themselves time and time again.
  • Mature, experienced specialists have developed effective problem-solving strategies.
  • Seasoned specialists understand organizational dynamics and how to work with a variety of stakeholders.
  • A veteran specialist can help grow the entire team and mentor other team members.
  • A more mature specialist usually has a broader knowledge and respect for tools and methodologies, especially 'older/legacy' technologies.

Overall, it’s hard to put a monetary value on risk reduction. But in our opinion, risk reduction
is the strongest argument for paying extra for senior IT professionals.

Small vs
Large teams

Another benefit of choosing experienced IT professionals is that experienced developers are more productive. You will need fewer to deliver the same functionality.

The benefits of small teams vs. large teams have been documented independently: The more people in a team, the greater the communication overhead. Communications complexity increases with team size.

Check out the infographic below.