Written by Dominic Caudell, Director of Business Solutions at Cloud Interactive
Speaking from experience, the difference between a 10x developer and a 1x developer doesn’t come down to talent and experience nearly so much as you might have been led to believe.
In fact, productivity skyrockets and your average developers become rock stars when you use this one simple trick!
Are you ready for it?!
— > Make it interesting. < —
That’s the trick. Seriously.
Why do younger developers bust-ass and older developers go get into management? Because when you’re green, everything is new and interesting. But as you get older, it so often starts to look the same. Capture the inspiration of a developer and it becomes almost impossible to get them to stop working. You can turn the lights out, but they’ll stay at their desks. You can send them home, but they’ll be still thinking about tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems. I know it because I’ve done it. You want hungry developers? Whet their intellectual appetites.
Development is creative work, and as one falls into a state of flow, the boundary between work and not-work blurs, and projects take on their own momentum.
This I think is one of the insights that gets skipped over by people that have little experience in actual engineering. Another day we’ll get into the argument that, in this day and age, everyone is in the software business, and software takes engineering, so all organizations (should be) are engineering organizations. And you can’t really run an engineering organization if you’re not an engineer. But that’s a fight for another day.
Suffice to say that there’s a lot of companies out there that will build software for you, and you have your pick-and-choose. And all of them will tell you that they have a leg up on the competition, offer more innovative solutions, and can solve your problems better, faster, and cheaper than the other guy. Of course, our Marketing Department will tell you the same thing. It’s their job, after all. Cloud Interactive is a full-service engineering organization that provides Software Development, Data Science, and Design service.
We’re the best software development house in the known universe.
(That’s actually true.)
But telling you that isn’t my job.
Bring us your problems, your intractable, intransigent, inveterate and incorrigible problems, for that is fertile ground for engineering. Engineering starts with a problem. You find a good problem, and I’ll find you an office full of 10x engineers. Put another way: Why is it, do you think, Elon Musk (an engineer) seems to do so well?
Having trouble getting good engineering done? It might just be because your problems aren’t hard enough.
There’s an ocean of software companies out there solving same-y problems over-and-over again. DRY is a principle that seems to work well within a codebase, but utterly fails in its application across society. I’m often approached by potential clients that seek to build software to solve an already-solved problem. In fact, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “have you solved this problem before?”
If a SaaS solution exists to solve a problem, but you propose to re-develop the solution for yourself, you should know that the redevelopment of that solution may cost 1000x (or more) what the SaaS solution costs. The mental exercise of why that is, I leave to you dear reader. But it should be pretty obvious. And so a great amount of what is left for most software outsourcing firms is to stitch together solutions from blocks of existing solutions, and that’s just fine.
In my previous 13 blog posts (which were all redacted in their entirety by our marketing department), I talked about growing Cloud Interactive as a company. And as we grow Cloud Interactive, personally, I want us to be the company people go to solve new, novel, and challenging problems. As you iteratively solve each new problem, as an engineer you grow — you get better at it. The organization gets better at it. It’s better for our company culture. It’s better for our clients. It’s cheaper, faster, and more efficient.
Cloud Interactive will not be the kind of company that ever says to you, “that problem is too hard.” And as far as I’m concerned, that is what sets us apart.
About Dominic Caudell
Dominic Caudell is the Director of Business Solutions at Cloud Interactive. He’s been working in the software development industry for over 20 years, he is an avid student of the entire Software Development Lifecycle, and he’s an equally passionate advocate of Client Experience. Cloud Interactive apologizes profusely for his behavior.
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