At a lot companies, this is where you’d see me writing something like, “so I’ve decided to leave
$COMPANY, take a sabbatical, and then join
$OTHER_COMPANYto find new challenges.” At Fog Creek, that’s not how it works. Joel and Michael have a strong attitude that good developers should be rewarded as developers. When I went to them and told them that I wanted to get new experiences and get back into the writing part of writing software, they were really happy to make that happen.
There's a lot that Joel Sposky has done for the software industry but I think this is one of the most significant. To reward technical people with technical responsibilities. Making a great developer into a mediocre manager costs the organization double. Tying compensation to number of direct reports is a non-starter strategy in the software business. And just about everyone is in the software business these days.