One of the frustrations I have at my day job (Software Engineering Group – Energy Systems Lab – Texas A&M University) is the difficulty I’ve had in recruiting a full time lead programmer.
Given that our cost of living in Bryan/College Station (i.e. AggieLand) is quite low, $50,000/yr or so is a pretty good salary for someone with 3-5 years of experience – especially when you consider that’s a State Government job on a well funded, "make a difference" project.
The position is interesting as I’ve thought about it at length and have confered with the "prior service" members of the team.
Keep in mind that most of my Indian students would qualify for this position, but they have choosen to come ot TAMU for a graduate degree in Business or Engineering after working 2-5 years as members of the "Offshore Team". Most of their shops were SEI Level 5 (see http://www.sei.cmu.edu/).
The position is team facing. The person is the glue to binds the team together given the high turn over (as in every 4 mo someone graduates). They get to learn from the students as well as teach them – an equalizer of sorts. They get to design the architectures, and decide how to implement the SE processes.
What’s cool is they don’t have to deal with the customers, or very much of the admin or logistics. They are there to enhance the team’s ability to code in a more predictable, higher quality, lower stress way.