10x engineer - a myth?

Jul 9, 2019 39 Comments

Has anyone ever met a real 10x engineer? Are they a myth? I think I’ve finally found one.

My team recently hired a new principal engineer and I was asked to help them as their onboarding buddy. I didn’t know what I (a SDE3 with 6 YOE) could help this new PE with, but I figured I could at the very least help him find wikis.

The first thing that shocked me was that this new PE was only 27 years old. I’ll admit I felt a bit annoyed and kind of jealous - here I am close to 33 years old and only SDE3! As we got to talking it became apparent to me that this guy was next level - he clearly knew how to think big and was asking questions about our service that had me stumped. I didn’t hear from him for a few days, and figured he was reading through the onboarding wikis.

Later that week he submitted his first CR and, I’ll be honest, I was shocked. He skipped the onboarding assignments and instead started to pick up issues that were in our sprint. The CR he submitted was for an issue I had been working on for the past 3 weeks - we had a nasty race condition that was causing fatals to be thrown almost every other request. What had taken me over 3 weeks of investigation took him a mere two days, and his solution involved a major refactoring of our entire SQS processing package. Our L7 PM was so happy it looked like he could cry - we were finally green for prime day.

I’m stil shocked. I finally mustered up the courage to ask him to lunch this Monday to learn more about his past work experience, and he explained to me that he didn’t have a degree and has been programming since he was 12, and had just finished a 12 month internship as bag boy at Albertsons. As I looked into his eyes I saw years of engineering experience and wisdom... it was as if I was staring into Pandora’s box.

Has anyone else experienced this? I’m still annoyed he took my task but I can’t complain because he saved our asses.

TC 312k


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TOP 39 Comments
  • Apple datascie
    Quality shitpost
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Reddit Ppajq7
    Good god, what a twist. I don't even know if you wanted an answer, but great take on the meme.
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Symantec GoRams
    He joined Albertsons as a boy. Left Albertsons a man.
    Jul 9, 2019 1
    • Walmart.com / Eng QTFP86
      Had he tried Walmart, he would have came out as a grandpa!
      Jul 10, 2019
  • New / Eng

    New Eng

    Lol got me. See folks, if you're gonna troll this is how you do it.
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Google FfEA67
    This is the kind of shitposting we need more of
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • New / Eng MwSA45
    Albertsons gave it away :) You couldn’t resist? :)
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Facebook XiWP69
    Please don’t make this Blind’s version of a Loch Ness monster.
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Apple Hansel2
    You should post this to reddit - you’ll get reddit gold for sure.
    If you code as well as you troll, you are a 10x engineer already
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Credit Karma / Strategy

    Credit Karma Strategy

    Thank you so much for this.
    Jul 9, 2019 0
  • Microsoft sillyboi
    I don't know about 10x engineer but today for sure I know there can be a 10x troll. I've a tear of happiness in my eyes. Give this man a badge already!
    Jul 9, 2019 1


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