In this guide, you will learn my personal road map that helped me become a '10x level' developer. We have all seen films like WarGames, Hacker, and Swordfish where with a single keystroke someone can hack into a bank and cause havoc. In software books, we always read about the rockstar developer who will do twice the amount of work as everyone else.
This concept of how to become a rockstar developer fascinated me when I got into programming. When I started my career I do not think that anyone would have classed me as a rockstar developer. When I started my career I was competent but let us say I did not exactly shine.
I was made redundant in my second ever job. I failed to pass probation in another company shortly after. At the time I assumed that I was simply not cut out for software development. After failing to pass my probation at one particular company I made a commitment to myself to learn the secret of becoming a fabled rockstar 10x developer.
I wanted to be so good that I would never fail at a job or probation again. In this guide, you will learn how to level-up your skills. One book that really helped me on my journey towards this mythical 10x developer was Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice. If you are starting out in your programming career and you are not sure that you have got what it takes to become a 10x developer then the first thing you should do is read this book.
Before we carry on too far, we should define what a '10x' developer is. Everyone will have his or her own definitions, mine is that you work in such an efficient manner you can do the same level of work as two or more people. I have done this several times in my career. When I worked on the support desk, I closed the same number of tickets on a weekly average as 3 other people. When building a recent project, I had the same velocity as 3 other team members. This is what I consider a 10x developer. You do not need to be 10x times more clever than anyone else, you simply know who to work with in an efficient manner to maximize your output.
Anyone can become a 10x developer if they want to. Some developers may naturally be really good and can crank out code faster than everyone else without doing anything special. I have yet to find or work with any of these mythical unicorns. Instead, I fall into the camp of I need to practice and invest time and effort in order to be considered good at my job. To become good, you need to practice. Your practice can not just be you performing your job. You need to deliberately practice on a daily basis new skills and learnings in order to become better.
For my journey, I went out and read over 100 programming and personal development books. When it comes to leveling-up and becoming a 10x developer there are several areas that you will need to have a solid understanding These are:
- Technical Skills
- Communication Skills
- Mindset Skills
Leveling Up Your Technical Skills
Out of all these books, if you read most of them then you will become better at your job:
- The Pragmatic Programmer: your journey to mastery, 20th Anniversary Edition
- Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
- The Robert C. Martin Clean Code Collection (Collection) (Robert C. Martin Series)
- Dependency Injection Principles, practices, and patterns
- Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design (Robert C. Martin Series)
- You Don't Know Js
- Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide
- Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software
- Unit Testing: Principles, Practices, and Patterns: Effective Testing Styles, Patterns, and Reliable Automation for Unit Testing, Mocking, and Integration Testing with Examples in C
How To Level Up Your Communication Skills
- How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life
- The Phoenix Project: A Novel about It, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
- The Manager`s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change
- High Output Management
How To Level Up Your Mindset
Some people reading this may not want to put in the effort of reading a book in their spare time, or, paying a few hundred dollars to purchase 'work' books. This is exactly what differentiates a 10x developer from an average developer. Developers who are willing to commit time and passion to their own careers will become a lot better.
Unfortunately, this change may not be noticeable within a few weeks or months. If you can commit to yourself that you will read 4 workbooks a year. In 10 years' time, you will have read over 40 books and you will have a level of knowledge that only the top 10% of your industry will have. After 5 or 10 years you will notice a big change in your career. Happy coding!