10X developer is a person who is 10 times more productive than a normal developer. But the productivity doesn’t come from being able to code fast. Instead, it comes from knowing what not to do.

To become a 10X developer you have to go through stages of becoming more and more valuable to the project you’re working on.

And, spoiler alert, you will never code 10 times faster than your average junior developer.

So where does that productivity come from?

1X Developer (Junior)

At this stage you are ok with code. You can implement whatever someone tells you to implement. And you are a valuable member of the team.

You still struggle with handling complex features so they are tackled by more experienced developers.

But you can proficiently do 80% of all the work that comes up on any project.

2X Developer (Mid)

You are just like the junior but you’re much more familiar with the code. And overall you are physically coding 2 times faster.

This is simply because you had more practice. And you are more familiar with the libraries you’re using.

In short, you’re more familiar with the tools.

And because of that, you are able to do the tasks much faster.

5X Developer (Senior)

As a senior developer, you are a person who has a lot of experience under your belt.

You’ve seen already which approach works and which doesn’t.

And all this experience helps make the correct coding decisions immediately without having to test things out or backtrack.

You are good at estimating how much something is going to take. And you are able to see all the benefits and drawbacks of any particular technology or library you’re planning to use.

The biggest productivity increase comes to you from knowing which things not to do.

Because those things are huge time wasters. And by avoiding them, you can quickly grow from 2 to 5X developer.

10X Developer

To become 10+ times more productive, your skills need to go beyond “simple” programming.

If you can understand:

  • business requirements
  • user needs
  • available technology
  • budget
  • deadlines

And you can merge that into optimal strategy and plan of action – then your contribution is going to be immense.

In this phase your biggest productivity increase comes from understanding the business side of your project.

Not just how to develop something and what is the best way – instead, what is the best solution for the business requirement.

You are 10X developer when you:

  • can say not to develop some feature at all because it won’t significantly help the end user
  • suggest 10 times simpler feature that will satisfy 80% of the business needs
  • show that another twice as big/complex feature will increase customer retention
  • etc.

10X pproductivity is:

  • not about the development speed
  • not about writing the best code
  • not about your technical knowledge

It’s about solving business problems.

Why Is 10X Developer Hard To Find?

Let’s say you reach this phase where you are extremely proficient with code AND you understand the business side.

Then you’ll likely use that knowledge to build your own company. And fairly easily.

After that, no one will be able to hire you because you’re building your own thing.

So the moment you become a 10X developer, is the moment you realize you could keep all these superpowers for yourself.

And you realize you can make much more money on your own rather than working for someone else.


In the meantime, while you’re still growing to be a 10X developer… check out what can you do to double your salary in your current career phase.