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It's 10x more productive than the least productive, which means about 3x more productive than average. http://www.ybrikman.com/writing/2013/09/29/the-10x-developer...

I don't understand why HN readers are so eager to debunk the idea of 10x developer when it's obvious they exist.

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 make it sound so trivial to do, but in fact if you did that you'd burn out. All that ratholing and reading is in fact resting.

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.

I disagree. That ratholing and reading is not resting at all, it is procrastination. If you want to rest, go to lunch or take a coffee break, or meditate or something.

> 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?

You say this, and yet here you are, posting repeatedly on HN. :-P

I think part of the denial is people can't imagine something is posisble if they can't see how or do it themselves.

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.

The article I linked to summarizes multiple studies showing the 3x effect. I don't know of any that show a 10x effect. It's not just my imagination.

Are you specifically disagreeing with the original post, about working less hours in a week etc?

I posted my general thoughts on this topic yesterday:


This was a good read when it had come out. I can say I know more than a couple of (experienced very bright) 10x developers and they commonly annoy lots of people around them because they're so effective between their technical chops are so high they can focus on using them in the right amount.

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