Jul 5, 2015

Fording the Code Gap

Fuck it, Ford. You were supposed to deflate the 10x programmer mythology.  Not prop it up on some sort of "yes, but not for you" conjectiture.

The irony of hubris is that if you tell a person who believes firmly in their own exceptionality that there does in fact exist such a thing as a 10x programmer (they *don't* exist) and then go on to cheekily explain why said exceptional person cannot find and recruit them. Well yes, some portion of your reading population will take your point. The minority that doesn't will see 10x-ers under every rock, nook, and hackathon winners podium.

And. Worse of all, rather than letting this terrible mythology of rock star programming code slingers and problem solvers die the ignoble death of obscurity, you've prolonged and bolstered the idea that these people, no, deities, exist.

10x programmers do not exist. There are great, smart, wonderful coders that are marvelously productive. But thats a productivity that comes from practice. From studying. From domain knowledge.

No programmer's productivity exists in a vacuum. Programmers are often embedded within existing structures: languages, libraries, preexisting conditions called legacy code: ie everything that was written either before you arrived or before the new hotness of a JavaScript framework that you're currently using was introduced to the project. Legacy code, often times, is the code that you wrote last week.

10x-ers don't exist. Instead I'd posit that what you're looking for is harder to find, but far less tangible. Chances are your organization has some already : they're called senior engineers.

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