I have been an independent developer for the past few years doing all of my commercial work in the .NET platform. In the past year or so I have been doing more Rails development driven by my interest in Ruby. I had the opportunity lately to take on some additional work and spoke to a couple companies about their Rails-based projects and was surprised by what I found. The rates offered by these companies where significantly less than the rates I had been charging for .NET, particularly C# work.
The companies which offered work to me had a range of hourly rate in mind when opening up the projects to outsiders and even when I was offered the high-end, it was still more than 25% less than that of .NET.
I decided to start looking around for other companies looking for direct relationships with consultants for Rails work and my findings held true, the rates were much lower than .NET work.
So I posted a question to one of my favorite places, Twitter:
I wanted to see if this was just something abnormal I had see or if in fact this was how it was. I did not get concrete answers but what I did get was interesting:
So, I wonder what others are seeing out in the consulting world. Do .NET consultants make more, on average, than a Rails developer?
The companies I have been consulting with are fairly large companies and can offer higher rates for .NET developers. The organizations offering Rails work have been smaller companies and perhaps can’t afford the higher rates. So this makes me wonder, do companies with more budget choose Microsoft over Rails or some other technology because of the company (Microsoft) behind it? Is it the Web 2.0 companies hoping to become the next Google choose Rails because of cost alone?
I would like to know more about the companies choosing .NET compared to Rails and why and what they are paying. This is pretty interesting stuff and should be interesting to someone making a career and/or platform choice.
I would appreciate some feedback.