Linked by snydeq on Thu 25th Feb 2010 22:26 UTC
General Development Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes about the no-win scenario facing today's independent programmers: "In a knowledge economy, programmers rank among our most valuable workers, yet the current legal and regulatory climate makes a career as an independent software developer virtually a dead-end prospect." Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the hurdles and costs of obtaining health care for one's own family, a hostile legal climate in search of accountability for any defects in code - these harsh realities make it "easy to see why software developers would give up on entrepreneurship. For many, the risks simply don't match the potential rewards. Better to keep their heads down, not rock the boat, and hope they can hang onto their jobs until retirement."
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organize
by Yamin on Thu 25th Feb 2010 22:52 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

You don't get anywhere unless you organize and lobby.

Do you think Doctors and Lawyers and finance professionals got their exemption because the wisdom of government carefully considered all the options?

No, they lobbied. Software developers need to organize under one big umbrella that represents their interests. I'm not talking unionization. But some kind of professional body and advocate such issues.

We might wish we lived in a world without lobbying, but if you want to play tax laws ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: organize
by JonathanBThompson on Thu 25th Feb 2010 23:29 UTC in reply to "organize"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Here's the curious thing: there are enough people that are (mis)developing for a living that those that are more competent wouldn't want to be tarred and feathered with the same brush (ok, mixing metaphors for fun!) and stuck in the same boat. However, for such things as health care and health plans, yes, that's a big issue, regardless of competency level. I guess the competency thing for software developers is similar to lawyers, where > 99% of the bad ones give the good ones a bad name :p

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: organize
by JoeBuck on Thu 25th Feb 2010 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE: organize"
JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

It's not about competency.

I have an incurable chronic medical condition, though it's completely controlled by a rather pricey drug (about $1K per month). Since I'm in the US, this means that I can't work as an independent consultant or even in a very small business.

Health care reform could fix this.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: organize
by eric_niebler on Fri 26th Feb 2010 05:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: organize"
eric_niebler Member since:
2005-06-29

In some states it's not as bad as you say. Some, like Washington and California, have state-supported high risk health insurance pools that accept anyone regardless of pre-existing conditions and cost hundreds per month -- less than the thousands you'd pay out of pocket otherwise.

I'm an independent software developer in the US. I have high medical expenses. I've made it work.

And yes, health care reform can't come soon enough.

Reply Score: 1

Only in America
by ideasman42 on Thu 25th Feb 2010 23:12 UTC
ideasman42
Member since:
2007-07-20

This post seem to ignore there are programmers outside USA, where healthcare is not such a disaster.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Only in America
by Karitku on Fri 26th Feb 2010 09:54 UTC in reply to "Only in America"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

This post seem to ignore there are programmers outside USA, where healthcare is not such a disaster.

What is there something outside America except rocks and terrorists???

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Only in America
by renhoek on Fri 26th Feb 2010 10:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Only in America"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

What is there something outside America except rocks and terrorists???


And communists like here in Holland, but at least i got proper health care. It's around 1100 euro's a year, which is even affordable by people on welfare.

But this a social issue and not a programmers issue. As far as i can tell all other non-union workers have thesame problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Only in America
by Soulbender on Fri 26th Feb 2010 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Only in America"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Mail order brides.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Only in America
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 26th Feb 2010 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Only in America"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What is there something outside America except rocks and terrorists???


Don't forget drugs and prostitutes. Be honest: without us Dutch you Americans'd be lost during weekends.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Only in America
by Syirrus on Fri 26th Feb 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Only in America"
Syirrus Member since:
2009-05-05

I love Holland, but we do have Vegas in the states.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Only in America
by Chicken Blood on Sun 28th Feb 2010 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Only in America"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

I love Holland, but we do have Vegas in the states.


That's true and Vegas is more appealing in it's decadence. Amsterdam has filth, art and culture. Vegas is just plain filth ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Only in America
by Karitku on Fri 26th Feb 2010 11:38 UTC in reply to "Only in America"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

This post seem to ignore there are programmers outside USA, where healthcare is not such a disaster.

Yes but other things are. Starting business in Europe is like swimming with 100kg weight on back compared to USA. Taxes, employment costs and negative attidute are just tip of iceberg.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Only in America
by Hoodlum on Fri 26th Feb 2010 13:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Only in America"
Hoodlum Member since:
2009-05-22

The UK is part of Europe too and it's a hell of a lot easier to start a business here than in continental Europe. You can't paint all of Europe with the same brush, there are many different countries here.

Reply Score: 1