The most productive engineers I’ve ever worked with aren’t the engineers who pull all-nighters or clock in 80 hour work weeks. Nor are they the engineers who can effortlessly craft an elegant five lines of x86 assembly to succinctly and efficiently solve a problem. They are the engineers who always seem to be solving the right problem in the first place. If the mythical 10x engineer really does exist, it’s the engineer who is 10 times more likely to solve the right problem. While we might always set out with the best of intentions to solve the right problem as engineers, there are many mistakes we can make that will send us in the wrong direction. What solving the wrong problem looks like Imagine you’re working for Silicon Valley’s newest, hottest unicorn start up. Your job is to build the best new to-do product since man first put pen to paper and the bullet point list emerged. The great visionary of the company, the VP of Product, walks up to you and tells you that it’s time. You’re going to build the killer new feature: notifications on your phone to remind you to tackle a task on your to-do list. The idea comes to you straight away. “Let’s
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