The Newbie Developer Skills Super-Multiplicator

By Ludo Fourrage

Last Updated: August 2nd 2023

Even the most junior developer should be hugely excited by Generative AI

Even the most junior developer should be hugely excited by Generative AI

So much chatter out there right now about the dangers of ChatGPT making developers redundant.

Well, this morning I did something that I think points to precisely the opposite: I think AI is going to make existing developers way more valuable—and enable new ones to leapfrog years ahead, and so make you way more valuable too.

Why I know this: this morning, I created a PHP plugin from scratch. And I don't know PHP at all.

I've never been taught it… and yet, by prompting ChatGPT, I was able to make a functioning plugin.

To be clear, this was only possible because I know coding already: if I didn't already know how to write JavaScript, I would not have understood what ChatGPT could do for me, and I would not have been able to also challenge it when things were not working right either.

What this experience showed me is that there's always been that mythical 10x developer.

When you were hiring engineers, this was the character you really wanted to surface, as these super-skilled, intuitive wizards will have meant a ton for your company, because they alone could produce so much and also teach and coach so many of your other team, too.

Am I a 10x developer?

Maybe I am, maybe I'm not: I've racked up some years and done some stuff before I set up Nucamp. But whether I am or not doesn't matter—what does matter is that, over 2-3 coffees, I was able to produce a plugin in a language I didn't know.

What this really means is that a junior developer can go from being a 1x developer to a 10x one way quicker than would have happened otherwise… and that with some AI help, maybe today's 10x developer could become a 100x one.

‘You can be as much part of the first wave of doing that as anyone else is’

To be clear, that 1x to 10x step only happens if you know the basics of computer software engineering, and not everybody can become 10x more productive and impactful overnight.

But the possible ramifications for our industry are stupendous… are we going to need fewer developers?

Or does this kind of competence force multiplier mean we're going to have as many developers as we have today, but who are going to produce so much more—leading to a world that we can't really imagine will look like?

I don't know; I don't think anyone can yet.

But if you as a new recruit can deliver projects that would have taken you years of coal face work and maybe more native skill to produce now, then think of what that means in terms of your employability.

For anyone holding back from getting into development or doing a Bootcamp, this has to change your mind.

This is a very special moment for anyone thinking about joining tech, as we are the beginning of a huge revolution which you can be part of.

You're going to be building new things from the ground up that at their core leverage AI, and you can be as much part of the first wave of doing that as anyone else is.

So. Do you want to be in the middle of that revolution—or do you want to be looking at it regretfully from the outside?


Ludo Fourrage

Founder and CEO

Ludovic (Ludo) Fourrage is an education industry veteran, named in 2017 as a Learning Technology Leader by Training Magazine. Before founding Nucamp, Ludo spent 18 years at Microsoft where he led innovation in the learning space. As the Senior Director of Digital Learning at this same company, Ludo led the development of the first of its kind 'YouTube for the Enterprise'. More recently, he delivered one of the most successful Corporate MOOC programs in partnership with top business schools and consulting organizations, i.e. INSEAD, Wharton, London Business School, and Accenture, to name a few. ​With the belief that the right education for everyone is an achievable goal, Ludo leads the nucamp team in the quest to make quality education accessible