re: The 10 points that make up real "10x engineers" VIEW POST


The summary of it is, unless you fit some super narrow and stereotypical view of being a developer, you are not a "10x engineer".

Where does the tweet thread say that?

A (purposely) stupid analogy:

Someone says "Humans have hair on the head"

and everyone going "OP says: Bald people are not human"


Based on the Twitter thread, to be a "10x engineer" you have to:

These 3 statements are absolutes (ie. there is no "most" or "sometimes" or "might") as raised by the original Twitter thread. That is a fairly specific set of minimum requirements to have for a "10x engineer".

When absolutes were not used, strong generalisations were used instead:

While generalisations are just that (not covering every case), the specific phrasing indicates a "more often than not" to a "far more often than not" set of additional criteria for a "10x engineer".

With my summary, the "narrow and stereotypical view" covers the absolutes. The "super" (though also "stereotypical" again) covers the generalisations. At most, I'm probably over emphasising the absolute criteria in my summary.


Refer to my hair/bald analogy.

Just because there is no generalization like "Most humans have hair on the head" people are interpreting a seemingly harmless statement as :
"In order for you to be called a human, you MUST have hair on the head"

Even if every absolute they gave was a generalization, they are listing strong generalisations for a "most often" case. This "most often" case happens to be a stereotype-ridden person.

It isn't that one statement was taken out of context, they did a series of tweets along the same lines and many people drew the same conclusions. Either their message is exactly like we are interpreting or their message has come across very poorly and needs a better explanation.

If you're adamant that they were just misinterpreted, write an article explaining where we've gone wrong and what the real intention of the "10x engineer" thread actually was.

I think this discussion is going in the wrong direction.

My apologies.

No need to apologise - you were kind and respectful. Have a nice day! 🙂


Oh my word. I've been reading the buzz around 10x developers but hadn't seen the tweets until now.

So my first hire as a tech startup should be someone who

  • doesn't come to standup, grooming or sprint planning
  • can't parcel out work, and so can't produce roadmap estimates
  • writes the whole codebase themselves and can't explain anything to anyone else

These are the exact opposite qualities of the person I most admire at work, whose productivity comes from their skill at planning, discovery, and mentoring juniors.

I'm embarrassed that as an industry we even have to discuss the 10x thread, rather than immediately dismissing it as childish machismo.

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