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"per developer" pricing: how many developers is typical?

For Large companies, what's the typical range for the number of developers on one project?
yow Send private email
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
 
 
I think we need a little more to go on .....
There are about 70,000 Developers at Microsoft but there might only be a few assigned to a specific item requiring your tool.
Martin Send private email
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
 
 
Thanks Martin. To clarify, I'm interested in the number of developers "on one project".

In size, Microsoft is probably typical for a (capital L) Large company. To apply the question to them, it would be "How many developers does it have on a project, such as C#, or on BizTalk, or on the XBox OS, or on DirectX, or on IE, or on Windows XP, or on Windows 7?

But in creating software for sale, it is atypical. The figures I've seen thrown about are that 10% of developers work on software for sale, and 90% work on in-house projects.
yow Send private email
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
 
 
"10% of developers work on software for sale, and 90% work on in-house projects"

I think you are misunderstanding the statistic. It means that of all the programmers in the world, 90% of them work on in house projects - mostly database queries, report generation, custom CRM and sales systems, and some doing embedded software at hardware companies. While 10% of programmers work for software companies actually selling software to users.

Most in-house software development is quite small, a few to a dozen people. Obviously large projects like the avionics for a major aircraft might involve hundreds of people but that is rare.
Martin Send private email
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
 
 
Thanks! The range you gave is exactly the kind of information I was looking for:

    in-house [few... a dozen... hundreds]

Um, why do you think I'm misunderstanding the 10%/90% statistic? Your definition is the same as mine... I reviewed my comment, and I can't see how you get that. Anyway, doesn't matter! All's well that ends well. :-)
yow Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
Do you reallystically think that at Microsoft 90% of the programmers work on Xbox OS, and 10% work on products (Excel, Windows...)?

I second that you misunderstand those statistics. They mean that 10% of the jobs in the world are for working on products that will sell, and 90% are for software that support non-software companies' operations.

Read this piece by Joel http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/12/04.html
Hanzo Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
Whoa, no I don't think that at all. The definition you gave is what I think, which is the same as the definition Martin gave, and is the same as the definition I gave.

90% of companies do inhouse work. 10% of companies write software for sale. Microsoft primarily writes software for sale. Thus, it belongs to the 10%. It is in the minority, and so is "atypical". Here's my comment again:

>>

But in creating software for sale, it is atypical. The figures I've seen thrown about are that 10% of developers work on software for sale, and 90% work on in-house projects.

>>

OK, now I think I see the misunderstanding: I was saying that because Microsoft primarily creates software for sale, it is atypical.

But you and Martin have read it as meaning that of the developers at Microsoft, 10% create software for sale, and 90% create in-house software. No, I didn't mean that.

Hanzo, thank you for going to the trouble of providing a link. I have paid you the respect of reading it, and it confirms the above.

If anyone is still sure that I misunderstand, could you please show how you are interpreting my quote above - thanks.

However, I'm mainly interested in my question:

    For Large companies, what's the typical range for the number of developers on one project?
yow Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
> For Large companies, what's the typical range for the number of developers on one project?

How do you define "typical"? A large company would have much more small projects than large ones. Many of the former may be in-house projects, like the aforementioned custom CRM.

For instance, suppose a company has one really big project with 500 developers, five  large projects of about 100 developers each, fifty smaller projects averaging 10 developers and 500 developers working individually or in very small groups. What is the typical size?
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
Thanks Dmitry, I agree that this is a difficulty, and ideally one has a distribution, as you have given - that would be the ideal answer.

I thought a distribution was too demanding to ask for, so I asked for a "typical range" (not a "typical size"). For your example, the full range would be [1..500] and half of the developers would be working on projects that fall in the [10..100] range, so that might be called the "typical range". Of course, one could say that projects of size  [1..10] also have half the developers, and that projects of size [100...500] have half the developers too - however, they aren't in the middle of the range.

But I'd much prefer the distribution as you have given!  BTW: is that example purely hypothetical, or is that it has been in large companies you have seen? I think the distribution is likely to be something with that long-tail form (your example of x*y = c; or a log-normal distribution; or a power law - something with that kind of a shape).

BTW: Have I done something wrong? My wording is being criticized more than my question is being answered... I tried to make it as simple and concise as possible, thinking that people would prefer that - but was it counter-productive? Or is it just that no one really knows the typical range (or distribution) of project size in large companies?
yow Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
>>BTW: Have I done something wrong? My wording is being criticized more than my question is being answered

1) You're spamming your own thread 2)  You're spamming this forum by posting two similar topics 3) the 90-10 thing was confusing, but if you'd have let it sit someone else most likely would've come along and pointed out you're actually meaning.

The internet is full of jerks (see sig), don't take it personally.
anonymous_jerk_registers_at_last Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
Thanks ajral, (1) & (3) I thought I was being conscientious by replying to the thread (it's actually a lot of work); (2) I thought dividing the question into two would make it clearer and simpler (I'm actually interested in the ratio between them).

I'll stop doing so now.
yow Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 
it varies. there is a production for accessing databases called Toad from quest software. I think the enterprise version is $1500/seat. Generally a small  number of people get this and everyone else uses the free tools.

i am not sure there is a general number. Every company is different and it depends on price.
Contractor Send private email
Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
 

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