What is a 1x Engineer?

You might have already heard of a 10x engineer. Probably too often, actually. If there's such a thing as a 10x engineer, surely there must be a 1x engineer, too?

Of course there is! Let's dig into a non-exhaustive list of what qualities make up a 1x engineer.

A 1x Engineer...

  • Searches Google when they're not sure what's up.
  • Spends time on things outside of engineering, like hobbies, friends, and family.
  • Writes code that &emdash; gasp &emdash; has bugs.
  • Writes code that others can read.
  • Reads the Docs.
  • Updates the Docs.
  • Doesn't need to be passionate about the code they write or the problems they solve, but may be.
  • Are willing and able to collaborate with others.
  • Doesn't act surprised when someone doesn’t know something.
  • Is willing and able to collaborate with others.
  • Willing to admit when they're wrong, and aren't afraid to say "I don't know."
  • Will help up-level others.
  • Copy/pastes code snippets from StackOverflow.
  • Asks questions.
  • May or may not like writing documentation, but does it anyway for future maintainers.
  • Can be thankful for others' time, effort, and energy.
  • Appreciates code reviews from their peers that are constructive and helpful.
  • Provides code reviews to their peers that are constructive, helpful, and presented tactfully, helping their peers to grow personally and professionally.
  • Is open to learning.
  • Asks for help when they need it.
  • Can have colorful desktop backgrounds.
  • Supports code in production, even if they did not write it.
  • Can feel like an impostor at times.
  • Makes sure discussions are always productive and everyone gets to have their say before the team makes a decision. Only disregards opinions by providing arguments.
  • Creates community and shares knowledge.
  • Never stops learning.
  • Is willing to leave their comfort zone.
  • Contributes to the community.
  • Can be a slow coder.
  • Doesn't hate on Framework Y when working with Framework X.
  • Sometimes takes short breaks to clear their head.
  • Has productive and unproductive days.
  • Doesn't take themselves too seriously.
  • Isn't defined by myopic Tweetstorms by clueless VCs.
  • Fails from time to time.
  • Says, "I've never heard of that" in lieu of nodding and pretending.
  • Is trustworthy.
  • Works to live, rather than living to work.
  • Has a favorite editor, browser, and operating system, but realizes others do too.

Notice something missing from the list? 1x engineers are often humble and willing to accept Pull Requests to fix mistakes.

If you feel like you've got something that's missing from the list, feel free to open a Pull Request against the website's repo.