A couple of years ago, I heard some new terms: “10x developer” and “2x developer”.
A 10x developer seemed to complete tasks almost instantly. A 2x developer took a
long time to complete a task. These terms can also be applied to other jobs such
The main difference between these groups was that a 2x developer learnt how to complete
the task while on the task. The 10x developer learnt how to complete the task before
I did a quick survey in the workplace and identified developers who would fit into
these groups. I thought about the attributes of both groups.
The immediate one is that 2x developers did what they were told, whereas 10x developers
spent time learning new skills.
How does a 2x developer change into a 10x developer? What practical steps would
they need to take to change their mindset?
Here’s a list of practical steps:
If you don’t have many opportunities at work, use open source or create projects
and publish your code. Think of the 10000 hr rule as explained by Malcolm Gladwell.
This means daily parctice
Find the top 10 developers in your field of expertise and study their code. Study
it continiously until you absorb their technique.
Product documentation, blogs, whitepapers, articles. Analyse your daily routine
and ensure a designated amount of time is spent on these activities. I try and spend
at least 2hrs a day reading about all aspects of Database Servers and performance
This means even if things don’t go your way 100%, maintain concentration on learning.
Quite often you may work on a problem all day and discover it was a change you made
late last night! This can be frustrating.
Attending Live meetings, workshops and technical conferences will motivate you.
Listening to people who are smart and experienced will help you learn and give you
a perspective on you can progress.
If you’re current environment is made up of developers who run fiefdoms and will
not share any knowledge then resign immediately. It is critical for a developer
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Nice article. Thanks for sharing