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Discussion on: 10x Programmers: Myth Or Reality?

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Sébastien Vercammen • Edited

"10x" wasn't originally an engineering term, but a business term.

The term is bullshit and you shouldn't be using it or trying to identify with it. If you do, you're just trying to make yourself look better than you are by gatekeeping perspective.

It was:

  1. Used for marketing, as a tool for companies/recruiters to convince devs that they need to adhere to some magical kind of standard to be able to apply to their company. Easy to keep the expert under control if you keep inventing new things and convince them to follow them.
  2. Used by non-tech managers who dealt with several types of software development professionals. One might've been a strong engineer/scientist who had a hard time communicating, while the other candidate was better at talking but maybe wrote worse code and made compromises in quality to get business results faster. To the manager, the 2nd got results faster (or w/ less friction).

To be perceived as a "10x" dev, ditch all of your preconceptions/prejudices/engineering habits and focus solely, and almost mindlessly, on the immediate business goal that affects the bottom-line.

Result in the commercial world is money and how efficiently you can get it, that's it. Not how good of a person you are, not performance, not scalability, not technologies or frameworks, not engineering.

Business doesn't care that they're spending €1k/mo on server costs while it could be only €50/mo because the original dev didn't "engineer it properly", because they can earn more money bringing on new clients.

(Until the point where the # of incoming clients is so high that they've reached a growth spurt and the scaling needs some % improvement to keep up.)

It's about investing yourself and putting yourself on the line to make results happen. Step out of the bounds of what you're taught as an engineer and stop trying to be just an employee. (Though at that point I'd personally recommend taking full responsibility and starting your own business.)