Tech’s Ultimate Success: Software Developers Are Now More Valuable to Companies Than Money

By Will Gaybrick, Stripe CFO | CNBC |

A full quarter century into the era of the modern consumer internet, the C-suite is still grappling with the fundamental problem dubbed digital transformation. One reason this challenge is so pernicious is that it can’t be solved the way most transitions can, with money and management consultants. Instead, it requires the expertise of a new breed of corporate leaders: software developers.

As our global economy increasingly comes to run on technology-enabled rails and every company becomes a tech company, demand for high-quality software engineers is at an all-time high. A recent study from Stripe and Harris Poll found that 61 percent of C-suite executives believe access to developer talent is a threat to the success of their business. Perhaps more surprisingly — as we mark a decade after the financial crisis — this threat was even ranked above capital constraints.

And yet, despite being many corporations’ most precious resource, developer talents are all too often squandered. Collectively, companies today lose upward of $300 billion a year paying down “technical debt,” as developers pour time into maintaining legacy systems or dealing with the ramifications of bad software.

This is especially worrisome, given the outsized impact developers have on companies’ chances of success. Software developers don’t have a monopoly on good ideas, but their skill set makes them a uniquely deep source of innovation, productivity and new economic connections. When deployed correctly, developers can be economic multipliers — coefficients that dramatically ratchet up the output of the teams and companies of which they’re a part.

Read more at CNBC.