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To be fair, the average programmer is not earning $180-200k per year, not even the average contractor.



Correct. But the total cost of hiring a programmer is easily estimated as 3*salary. $200k/year is a fairly cheap full-time programmer with overhead.

Don't forget to include all the office space, gym membership, soda, insurance, maternity leave, matching 401(k) contributions, hardware, software, internet access, telephone service, tech support, sysadmins, office managers, etc. necessary to support that one programmer.

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