The company that I work for has been looking for a new programmer forever. We keep on getting applicants that simply aren’t qualified.
I forget who did the study, but it was something like a senior programmer will work 10 times more efficiently than a junior. So, while the senior is likely to cost 3 times more, it is much more cost-effective based on the amount of work completed.
I got recommended to my current job by a recruitment agency. I was fresh out of university and had only a year and a bit’s experience working in the web industry on placement. I got the job not necessarily because of my programming skills, but because I demonstrated rational thinking and a common sense approach. As a programmer, I’m not the strongest and I still have to look online for solutions to problems I’ve not come across before.
However, since I’ve been at the company, we’ve interviewed far many more people and the vast majority just had no idea of the raw skills needed. They’d been taught frameworks at University and couldn’t do the basics…
But it all boils down to what the company is looking for. If they only have £20-25K available to hire a developer, they have to look for a Junior, someone who will work with and learn from a more experienced guy
Like @Luminated said it’s about dollars. In an ideal world the value of talented designers and programmers would be understood by all. But for some companies they have $X to spend, and whatever $X buys them will suffice. And while it’s nice to think that ultimately that would bit them in the butt, the reality is that they often have clients who just want to pay $Y for services and are happy for what $Y will buy them.
There are employers who understand talent and quality, and there are clients who demand it and will pay for it. But there’s also a wide swath who understand those skills as commodities, to be gauged against a pricepoint.