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The 10x Learning Factor

Updated: Jan 12

How to increase learning opportunities in your business by a factor of 10

There has been much talk amongst CTOs and engineering managers about the 10x developer, the one who is 10 times more productive than any other developer. In this post I write about learning activities that are 10 times more productive than other methods that organizations use in order to create learning opportunities.

The need for learning to develop is this: If you are a software developer, learning is a part of your job. As products evolve fast, developers who write the codebase are required to be in the know of new languages, processes, methods, and architecture. Some companies offer learning opportunities for developers also as a way to grow professionally and personally.

How we learn new skills

Tech companies have a few ways to answer this need; self learning is one of them. Using learning platforms such as Pluralsight, Coursera and Udemy, is one way to do it. Self learning is great, but it has a one-to-one ratio; one developer takes one course at a time. It also does not answer internal knowledge transfer needs, since internal materials are not available in these platforms; They are proprietary and are not to be shared.

Self learning
Self learning: 1-to-1 ratio

A company's intellectual property or legacy code is kept mostly in its employees' mind. Usually those expert employees affect their immediate team’s knowledge. That's why knowledge bases have gained popularity in recent years, to make professional knowledge accessible. However the challenge remains how to translate this knowledge to an effective training program or knowledge base. Technical writers or instructors can do that, though you would have to train them first. It's also not an option for startups as it has a high cost.

Group learning and tech articles have a one-to-many ratio so that's good: one trainer, many participants. One tech writer, many readers.

Group learning
Training / Knowledge base: 1-to-many ratio
How to grow learning organically

So how do you increase any business' learning activities by a factor of 10? How do you provide up to date knowledge to all developers fast? Most importantly, how do you do it without wasting the time of your most valuable resource, the expert professionals themselves?

A low cost solution that takes the many-to-many approach and allows you to grow as you need is teaching those professionals how to teach via train-the-trainer workshops. Having completed a workshop, 10 participants will have the blueprint to teach the topic they chose, the way they prefer to do it. That's a 10x factor for growing learning opportunities at scale.

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