How to find 10x engineers in Asia

2 min read

Last year I interviewed Quang Pham, founder of the SaaS company

He is a Vietnamese developer who lived in the west for most of his professional life. He came back to Vietnam to recruit engineers for his startup.


These are the notes from an interview I did with him in 2023. Watch the longer version on YouTube.

How does it look like when you work with a 10x engineer?

  • They can do everything.

How to find them?

  • Hiring through relationships and meetups.

  • Great engineers always have options. They are not on linkedin.

  • Starting with freelance work before offering full-time positions.

  • The inefficiency of traditional HR in finding good talent.

  • Ask them difficult questions in a conversation right away

What can you expect?

  • they know English now. No middle management needed. They can talk directly with the client
  • Once you find someone, you can hire their friends as well

Can you find them through usual channels?

  • Yes, but harder.
  • Insert an easteregg in the job post. Else you won’t get good talent.
  • The significance of evaluating problem-solving and research skills (e.g., effective Googling).

Differences between Asian 10x engineers and Western?

  • Overestimation of abilities by developers and the “Title Inflection” issue.
  • Differences in work estimation and time management.
  • Cultural attitudes towards authority and decision-making in Vietnam.
  • Encouraging a culture where it’s safe to fail and learn.

Till Carlos

I'm Till, a senior developer who started a software company. I explain software concepts for people in leading roles.