5 Qualities of a 10x Engineer


You most likely heard about a magical 10x engineer producing 10x more output than any other engineer in the company. It’s not a myth. They do exist. It’s just hard to find them. This post goes over the qualities of such people so you can recognize them in your organization and set them up for success.

What Makes a 10x-er

In general, 10x engineers are well-rounded T-Shaped professionals with their core expertise in software engineering. In addition to it, they amplify the effectiveness of their main skill with some complementary skills like people management, leadership, product strategy, architecture, and more. Doing so allows them to operate at a higher level of efficiency than a regular engineer making each contribution more impactful.


A 10x-er is usually self-sufficient, doesn’t need hand-holding, and doesn’t need to be micromanaged. They enjoy the freedom of making their own decisions. Choosing what to work on and how to execute allows them to make a greater impact. People of this caliber always keep the big picture in mind allowing them to identify issues and fix them as they go. An issue may be in code, in the current process, people, methodology, etc. They are often curious about why things are the way they are. They’re constantly asking themselves if we can make things better than they are.

Architect Systems

You can find 10x-ers spending most of their time building systems as opposed to executing the systems they built. This leads us to the next point.

Excited For a Challenge, Bored from Routine

Developing something new is exciting for them. On the other hand, repetitive tasks drain their energy and make them more disengaged. If you have a 10xer on your team, you’ll need to keep them engaged by throwing more challenges at them and perhaps moving them to the next project once the current project gets into the maintenance phase.

Lead by Example

10x-ers demonstrate their work often, make presentations and get input from their colleagues. They like putting together a proof of concept to see if it’s a fit for the current project. They often challenge the status quo, bringing some fresh perspective into the mix.

Always Hands-On

You rarely see a 10xer as a pure hands-off manager. They are always deeply involved in the process. They code, participate in architecture discussions, engaged with product managers and stakeholders while having fun doing it.


10x engineers are a special breed of people with a set of complementary skills in addition to their strong core engineering fundamentals. They are self-sufficient self-starters, able to identify inefficiencies and opportunities. They execute on them while being hands-on and leading by example. On the other hand, they don’t like to perform the same procedure over and over again, they get bored quickly and need a challenge.

The best use of a 10xer on your team is to rethink your current technology and processes, set up the best practices, and train the existing staff on it. Greenfield projects, modernization of the existing architecture, new product or feature development is something that excites them and keeps them motivated.

Get in touch

Want a 10xer for your team?
Don't hesitate to ask, we're here to help.

top50.png logo
goodfirms.png logo