10x DBA

16 August,2011 by Tom Collins

Code monkey A couple of years ago , I heard some new terms:“10x developer” and “2x developer”.

A 10x developer seemed to complete tasks almost instantly. A 2x developer took a long time to complete a task. These terms can also be applied to other jobs such as DBA.

The main difference between these groups was that a 2x developer learnt how to complete the task while on the task. The 10x developer learnt how to complete the task before the task. 

I did a quick survey in the workplace and identified developers who would fit into these groups.  I thought about the attributes of  both groups

The immediate one is that 2x developers did what they were told, whereas 10x developers spent time learning new skills .

How does a 2x developer change into a 10x developer? What practical steps would they need to take to change their mindset?

Here’s a list  of practical steps:

1)    Write code – lots of it!

If you don’t have many opportunities at work , use open source or create projects and publish your code. Think of the 10000 hr rule  as explained by Malcolm Gladwell. This means daily parctise


2) Study code

Find the top 10 developers in your field of expertise and study their code. Study it continiously until you absorb their technique. 

 3) Read everything

Product documentation, blogs, whitepapers, articles. Analyse your daily routine and ensure a designated amount of time is spent on these activities. I try and spend at least 2hrs a day reading about all aspects of  Database Servers and performance tuning.

4)  Stay focused on learning

This means even if things don’t go your way 100% , maintain concentration on learning.  Quite often you may work on a problem all day  and discover it was a change you made late last night!   This can be frustrating

 5)   Communicate with fellow professionals

Attending Live meetings, workshops and technical conferences will motivate you. Listening to people who are smart and experienced will help you learn and give you a perspective on you can progress.

6)     Change your job

If you’re current environment is made up of developers who run fiefdoms and will not share any knowledge then resign immediately. It is critical for a developer to grow.

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