Fanny (the Indian young entrepreneur in Agilent) and Zhang Jun pointed out that if you look for $500 projects you will find them and if you look for $100k projects you will find them too and not much harder.
A Wall St developer isn’t that much more hardworking or smarter than a main-street developer. The effort in a project is not much higher, once you get used to it, but the compensation is much higher.
Now the key thing — in a Wall st IT project team, some parts (like A1) have higher budget in terms of man-day than other parts (like B1) so the B1 guy must work hard to get things done more quickly. Yet unappreciated.
In another unfair situation, A2 and B2 have similar man-day budget but the values are vastly different. Yet the B2 part may have equally stringent requirements. Consider a logger — High performance, high reliability. So the B developer works hard but unappreciated.
eg: I think the commissions team is under-appreciated than trading or pricing teams. Similarly, regulatory, compliance, billing … Yes you can find good reasons to say these are critical and high value, but still their relative values are lower.