It seems like every single company I’ve worked for, or interacted with, is currently striving to find the “10x” engineer, the rock-star developer, the genius game-changer software architect. Much effort and time are put toward getting these liberators of success, with companies not only believing but actively spreading the idea that these people exist, and they are going to get them.

There’s just one small problem. No one really knows what the 10x engineer does, or looks like, or represents. Is it someone that generates ten times as much SLOC than their peers? Do they deliver projects weeks earlier than others? Or do they just turn a mediocre team into a passionate, kick-ass development machine that creates products at insane speeds?

In this post, I’m going to argue that the problem is that we’re looking in the wrong spot. Instead of searching for the mythical 10x engineer — and making our current employees second guess themselves about whether or not they’re any good—we should instead be looking on how to improve our own teams, and make them more efficient.

  • Source lines of code (SLOC), also known as lines of code (LOC), is a software metric used to measure the size of a computer program by counting the number of lines in the text of the program’s source code. SLOC is typically used to predict the amount of effort that will be required to develop a program, as well as to estimate programming productivity or maintainability once the software is produced. ~ from Wikipedia