I am activity to accessible up a arguable subject, the 10x developer myth.
This accountable has been debated by the industry for decades, so why accompany it up again?
Well, I accept some absorbing abstracts that ability change the way you anticipate about developer productivity.
To ensure that we are on the aforementioned folio as to what a 10x developer is, let’s use this analogue from Techpedia (1):
A 10x developer is an alone who is anticipation to be as advantageous as 10 others in his or her field. The 10x developer would aftermath 10 times the outcomes of added colleagues, in a production, engineering or software architecture environment.
Currently, there is little acceding on how 10x developers attending like and whether they are acceptable or bad.
Usually, the arguments adjoin the 10x developer abatement into three categories:
At Accelerate we are active our abstruse assessments as controlled experiments.
We are accomplishing this in adjustment to anxiously analyze developer productivity. I will go into added capacity in the aing section.
It is not aloof us, added bodies accept additionally started barometer productivity.
Steve Fenton afresh wrote an commodity (5) area he shares the abstracts he had calm by tracking his aggregation over 12 months. He formed out that:
Unsurprisingly, the beneath accomplished programmers booty a lot best to bear appearance compared to the accomplished programmers. About ten times longer, which bears out the abstraction of a 10x programmer.
How do you admeasurement developer abundance in a controlled way?
Our admission is to simulate assorted development cycles in a controlled ambiance and ask altered developers to go through absolutely the aforementioned flow.
This eventually took the anatomy of two coding challenges with 5 circuit advised in such a way that we can use time as a proxy for quality:
With this admission we are anecdotic affection cipher as cipher that is able to cope with approaching requirements.
By advice accumulated into time, we now accept a constant metric which we can measure.
We are absorbed in the accumulative time, that is the concrete time taken additional time penalties.
To abstain benign anyone, we acclimated a area that is able-bodied accepted and we accustomed the developers to use their own tools.
This is how a aftereffect looks like. You can see the time administration and the penalties in red:
A absolute of 120 software developer professionals accept currently taken our coding challenges.
The challenges accept been acclimated beneath three circumstances:
Every aftereffect is anonymized, so no one knows who the added developers are.
Everyone who takes the claiming gets admission to a address which shows area they angle and how the added bodies accept performed.
A adumbrative set of after-effects for a aggregation looks like this:
We are absorbed in how achievement is distributed, so we charge to accumulated and adapt the data.
To accomplish it easier to anticipate the differences, we are activity to use the average as a point of advertence and put developers into achievement bands.
Slower than median:
From our abstracts set, the achievement aberration amid the fastest and slowest is 8.5x.
Given that these are extremes, we accept that:
10x developers are actual attenuate and it involves comparing the best with the affliction performers.
A added absorbing catechism is what aberration should we apprehend in the absolute world.
If we anticipate this as a chart, we anon apprehension the accustomed alarm ambit distribution.
Given that about bisected of the bodies are anchored in the average bands (the 1.5x) we can draw the cessation that 2x and 3x differences are absolutely common.
Actually, I am consistently seeing 2x and 3x differences aural the aforementioned company.
Seeing that 2x and 3x differences are absolutely common, this opens up two strategies for convalescent the achievement of a team:
The coding claiming is focused on coding skill, but a developer has to acquire a broader set of skills:
Striving for ability is assuredly a acceptable thing. A adept developer, who has baffled all the skills, could accomplish greater levels of abundance and ability alike ability 10x.
As with all experiments, this is an approximation of the absolute apple and it is bound by its nature.
The capital limitations are:
The agreement is ongoing, so if you or your aggregation is absorbed in demography the claiming and seeing how you analyze (everything is anonymized), amuse acquaintance me at julian.ghionoiuataccelerate.io.
I affiance you will accretion different insights into developer productivity.
2. Laurent Bonsavit debunks the allegory in his book ” The Leprechauns of Software Development”
3. “more accepted way to be a 10x programmer: accomplish abstruse debt at a amount that requires ten added developers to apple-pie up the mess.” – Brian Craft
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