10X Programming

“the 10X programmer is hypersensitive to problems. Solving a problem that costs other programmers a minute of waiting will gain a lot more than a minute for any programmer who then encounters that problem later. This is because of flow).

A common experience I have is that I’ll be coding happily, but when I run into a hard bug, I’ll suddenly find myself surfing Hacker News or wasting time – a lot more time than the few minutes it would take to solve.

This is a problem, but it’s not sufficient to just say that I need to learn better focus and move on. That’s addressing the symptom, not the cause, and this problem is common to many programmers.

The cause is that even small problems will knock you out of flow. Flow is the state of being totally engrossed in work. It’s difficult to get into flow, and a small distraction or irritation can pull you out.

Importantly, the 10X programmer fixes the problems that knock her out of flow. Fixing problems – even trivial ones – , leaving documentation so people can understand faster, keeping a database of common problems, and so forth, all potentially make a much larger difference because of flow than just a few minutes it takes to fix them.

Source: How to be the 10X programmer


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