The True Cost of a Full Time Engineer:

Mar 29, 2017 | 0 comments

Picture this: A friend of mine, a brilliant engineer, recently embarked on a new chapter in his career by relocating to a vibrant city for an exciting job opportunity. His expertise lies in firmware development, and he’s joined forces with a small company. However, not long after starting, he reached out to me, grappling with a sense of ennui and a burning desire to dive into challenging projects once more. You see, top-notch engineers thrive on intellectual stimulation, and mere idleness doesn’t sit well with them. Now, this scenario might sound all too familiar because there’s a recurring tale of “bored engineers” in numerous small businesses.

To shed light on this matter, let’s take a closer look at my friend’s current employer. A brief perusal of their website reveals an intriguing pattern—they introduce a new product approximately once every half-decade. Naturally, my friend’s primary task revolves around crafting the intricate code necessary for these new creations, which is why he was initially recruited. Here’s the kicker: it took him a staggering two months to complete the code for their latest product. Remarkably, he won’t embark on the next project until nearly five years have passed, provided he doesn’t decide to call it quits sooner due to the monotony he currently faces.

Now, let’s delve into the financial aspect. Employing my friend as a full-time, in-house engineer is costing the company a substantial $250,000 annually. I must emphasize that this figure isn’t just his salary—it encompasses the holistic expenses of having him onboard. If you consult a trusty search engine for the average cost of an engineer, you’ll discover that this $250,000 is just the tip of the iceberg, the true cost. And that’s where the math becomes quite revealing.

For the privilege of having my friend on board, this small company is shelling out a colossal $1,250,000 to develop their firmware. Imagine what they could have achieved with that kind of budget. If they had opted to outsource the task instead, the expense would have been a mere fraction—around $25,000. Not only would this have represented substantial cost savings, but it’s highly likely that the quality of the code produced would have been superior. As impressive as my friend’s skills are, a single individual can seldom outperform a cohesive team.

Consider the possibilities for a moment. With an additional $1.25 million at their disposal, this company could have pursued innovation, expansion, or any number of strategic endeavors. It’s no wonder that our clients, who recognize the value of efficient resource allocation, often experience growth that outpaces their competitors.

In conclusion, the true cost of a full-time engineer extends far beyond the salary line. It encompasses hidden expenses, unutilized potential, and the opportunity cost of not exploring alternative solutions. By considering the larger financial landscape, businesses can make more informed decisions that not only boost efficiency but also foster growth and innovation.


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