People tend to push back on the concept of 10x developers—either they claim they don’t exist, or they think that if they do exist they’re all jerks that are terrible to work with.
I just don’t share those automatic negative feelings toward 10x devs.
I’ve also heard some people say that the only 10x developers are the ones who make 10 other developers 1x better. That’s cool in and of itself, but it’s just not the only type of 10x developer out there. There simply are people out there who are that much more productive.
It’s just a reality in life that talent is unevenly distributed. If you asked someone if 10x athletes existed, the answer would be, “of course.” There are 100x and 1,000x athletes.
For athletes, the constraints are physical. How much more likely are we to see those differentials in productivity in developers, where the constraints are your mind and electronic circuits?
To me, it’s a cool thing. If someone is highly productive and able to create awesome work, it doesn’t need to be a negative thing.
Sure, there are some developers who are really great but terrible to work with. But that’s not necessarily the case.
I don’t think we need to view that as a negative right off the bat.