For example, in this post you seem to be setting the upper bound around 3x. But actually, it is trivial to be 3x more productive than average: (a) Don't browse the internet while at work; (b) Sit there and spend your time working on the actual problem, not ratholing on programmer fixations that have nothing to do with the end result. Done. Congratulations, you are now 3x, before any consideration is made of experience level or talent or smartness or unique instinct or whatever else.
You can only concentrate so many hours a day. Without that resting your productivity drops.
The most productive/best programmer I knew used to piss around flying virtual helicopters for half the afternoon, would throw together prototypes no-one asked him to because he was bored, and went home at 5:30 every day.
> You can only concentrate so many hours a day. Without that resting your productivity drops.
This is the kind of thing people tell themselves to justify procrastination. If you are unable to concentrate for long, maybe you have damaged your attention span by too much internet browsing, and the cure is just to stop?
Also the age demographic of hn lately is younger and less experienced and perhaps the next wave are still learning about the reality of developers that are many orders of magnitude more effective and productive than their average peers.
Some people are just more prolific than others at certain skills.