Who is a 10x Engineer?

Adhithi Ravichandran
4 min readFeb 6, 2023
10x Engineer
Photo by Mehdi MeSSrro on Unsplash

The “Brilliant Jerk” Problem

I once worked with someone who was celebrated as the best engineer on a team because of their exceptional coding abilities. But soon things went down for the team because of their bad behavior! This person had no soft skills and absolutely did not respect their peers! Their pride went over the roof, bringing down the morale of everyone around them!

They acted like they had control over the entire team’s codebase, and the company cannot operate without them. This is a classic “brilliant jerk” in tech!

If there is one thing that I have learned with several years of being in tech, it is that no one is indispensable to a company! You are absolutely replaceable!

The recent tech layoffs is a good reminder to that.

I would rather work with 10 software developers with average coding ability, who are modest, and willing to learn, than 1 brilliant jerk who puts people down because he/she is really good at something!

Brilliant jerks bring down the morale of others on the team and can create a very toxic work environment.

Coding is a hard skill and being a great coder is very important in your journey as a software engineer, but exceptional coding ability does not give one the leverage for bad behaviors!

Who is the true 10x Engineer?

Who is a 10x Engineer?

The best architects and engineers that I have worked with who were truly exceptional and 10x had these qualities:

Coding and Architectural Skills

10x engineers are great at coding and architectural skills. They know the right tools to use, and are extremely productive and fast!

Focus on Big Picture

They pay attention to architectural decisions and long term impacts on products with the big picture in mind. They do not look for shortcuts and are always thinking ahead.

Problem Solvers

10x engineers are natural problem solvers. This is their passion, and they look forward to solving challenging problems in hand. They do not shy away in solving complex problems.

Great Mentors

The best engineers and architects I have worked with all had one thing in common; they were all great mentors. They were willing to help uplift the team and mentor other developers on the team. Naturally these people are loved by the whole team.

Encourage Open Dialogue

The create an environment for open dialogue between team members. Debate and discussion is a natural part of the team, and team members discuss different approaches to solving problems without any inhibition. This kind of open dialogue between the team members results in a happy workplace, with the birth of the best ideas.

Open to Feedback

Great engineers are always open to feedback and are willing to learn from others. There is no hierarchy in providing feedback and the newest engineer may have something that the more experienced engineer can learn from. 10x engineers do not have ego to learn from others and are open to feedback.

Great Communicators

A striking quality that all exceptional engineers have in common is that they are great communicators. They are not the engineer working in silo, without interactions. They are able to communicate effectively to all stake holders both technical and non-technical.

Disciplined and Organized

Staying disciplined and organized is a required quality to be really good at something, and this comes with practice and patience.

Life long learners

They are life long learners and stay curious always. Those married to a technology are usually not open to change. This is not a 10x engineer’s quality. The best engineers are those who are constantly curious and learning is part of their everyday


Staying humble and grounded is an important quality to achieve success in any field, and it applies to engineering as well! They are the most humble people you will come across!

They are the most humble people you will come across!

Being a 10X Engineer is not just about you, but a wholesome quality that you bring to uplift the entire team!

I hope you enjoyed this short article on my thoughts of being a 10x engineer. I am Adhithi Ravichandran, a Software Consultant, Author and Speaker based in Kansas City. I am the owner and founder of Surya Consulting, Inc. through which I provide various software consulting, architecture, and teaching services.

I am passionate about technology and teaching. Through my Pluralsight courses, I have taught over 80,000 students topics such as React, React Native, GraphQL, Next.js, and Cypress.

For more info visit:


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Connect with on Twitter: @AdhithiRavi



Adhithi Ravichandran

Software Consultant, Author, Speaker, React|Next.js|React Native |GraphQL|Cypress Dev & Indian Classical Musician