How Emotional Intelligence Multiplies Intellectual Capacity and How It Is Changing the Definition of the “10X Developer”

During an interview for a vice president of engineering position, it’s valuable to ask the candidate about their most significant career challenge and how they tackled it.

It’s likely that in conversations about the workplace and management, issues will come up. For instance, there may be a skilled programmer who struggles with teamwork or a CEO who is ambitious but doesn’t want to oversee others. The team may have recently grown substantially, yet lacks a standard onboarding procedure or an efficient system to share knowledge.

It’s evident that effective leadership in software development involves more than just coding, so why don’t recruitment procedures prioritize this reality? Why isn’t there more developer training that emphasizes both technical expertise and interpersonal skills, both of which are crucial for success? It’s clear that deficient education in this regard is holding back developers from achieving optimal results, and it’s essential to make changes that will enable the software industry to advance in a productive and efficient way.

For years, the idea of a “10x programmer” has been a popular topic. Initially, it referred to a programmer who was ten times more productive than their colleagues. However, the definition has evolved to focus on a programmer’s ability to elevate the productivity of their team members. More and more executives are acknowledging and supporting this new delineation of what it means to be a 10x programmer.

As per a survey by ICIMS, around 19% of IT recruiters believe that soft skills are more crucial than hard skills. Hiring staff who prioritize soft skills will likely focus on qualities such as effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.

  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management
  • Organisation
  • Verbal Communication

Technical leaders value problem-solving skills greatly.

HackerRank’s 2022 Developer Skills Report, which surveyed over 39,000 developers, revealed that problem-solving skills are the most in-demand characteristic among employers. This trait was ranked above knowledge of certain programming languages, debugging proficiency, and the capability to design novel systems.

Achieving a tenfold impact on your team, company, and codebase doesn’t require you to produce flawlessly-architected code.

As a leader in integrated receivables, Billtrust owes its triumphs in part to the “mindset” of its developers, according to Vice President of Product Strategy Alex Ross. For Ross, the crucial factor is having the mental agility to approach new projects with a determination to uncover practical solutions. Additionally, developers must think innovatively to aid their team in overcoming any hurdles that arise.

A tenfold developer isn’t just someone who can produce the most code, but someone who can routinely outmaneuver the competition. To adeptly surmount any challenges or obstacles in the market, these developers ask “why” first. By posing this question, they can think more broadly and develop imaginative solutions.

During his interviews with potential developers, Alex looks for a specific quality: analytical thinking that leads to innovative solutions. He seeks individuals who not only consider the immediate issue at hand but also anticipate future considerations. While a strong resume is important, Alex also values candidates who are approachable, cooperative, and positive.

Camille Fournier, author of The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change, posits that successful software development relies heavily on collaboration within most organizations, making effective communication a necessity. Fournier maintains that team success depends on effective communication to achieve shared goals.

Now is a crucial moment to reassess your expectations for any team member who may be capable of becoming a tenfold unicorn. To find the individual who can deliver solutions to problems and boost team productivity, it’s crucial to think beyond your codebase.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the 10x Series from Works

Are you seeking skilled programmers to add to your team? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. Similarly, if you’re an experienced developer searching for your next career challenge, we welcome new applicants.

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