10x engineers?

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10x engineers?

I read a neat article from the tech lead of Twitter’s “Engineering Effectiveness” group, Peter Siebel.  In it he talked about how that engineers all start with something small and manageable, and as a business grows (in this case Twitter) that effectiveness can dwindle among engineering organizations.  A broader discussion resulted in the concept of 10x engineers, that is, a resource that works at a rate that is 10 times more productive than the average engineer.

“We don’t even really know what makes people productive; thus we talk about 10x engineers as though that is a thing when even the studies that lead to the notion of a 10x engineer pointed more strongly to the notion of a 10x office.”

He mentioned how that his groups motto is ‘Quality, Speed, Joy’ — building things right will let you go faster, building faster will give you more time to experiment, and everyone enjoys building good stuff and a lot of it.

How do you affect engineers productivity in a positive way?  Time savings is one thought — saving 5 minutes a day that engineers are waiting for things to happen would automatically lead to a 1% speed gain.  Also reducing distractions — how that it may take 15 minutes to ‘get in the zone’ but only an instant to lose it.  Also — for effectiveness across all of engineering, things need to be standardized.

A fascinating perspective from a team that has dealt with massive growth and peak workloads.

As a network engineer, I see how his insights reflect current best practices of lean, Six Sigma, and ISO 9001.

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I can help you put those methodologies to work for your business!

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I highly recommend Peter’s article –

Let a 1,000 flowers bloom, then rip out 999


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