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Discussion on: The 10 points that make up real "10x engineers"

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James Turner Author

The problem is less about some developers doing more work than others but the combination of stereotypes that make this "10x developer". Nearly every use of "10x developer" I've seen comes with caveats like "programs through the night", "doesn't like meetings", "only uses dark themes", "knows every line of code", "doesn't work well in teams" etc.

What makes a developer good or not is none of those points (who cares what theme someone uses). The best developers people will more likely match up with the 10 points I've listed. Programming at any reasonable scale requires working with a team and I doubt the productivity of a single "10x developer" would be able to "beat" a team of developers who are smart/helpful/work well with each other.

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Scott Simontis

I also think that it's a misconception that 10x refers to speed or productivity. You won't see them doing a 2 week sprint in 2 days, they might even appear to be progressing slower because they are thinking designs through for hours, paying attention to small details and researching connections between concepts. But at the end of the day, they are able to solve really difficult problems and produce more maintainable systems.

When I see a job listing asking for a rockstar developer, I read that in my head as "We hope you get energized working weekends and holding an understaffed team together!"