Superman, the 10X Programmer

You probably grew up watching the TV program ‘Superman’ where you meet Clark Kent, a slick haired reporter for the Daily Planet. After a few episodes you learn that Clark Kent is from another planet, raised by humans like you and I. Always hiding who he was, never seeking fame & glory because his mission was greater than any material possession could offer.

Maybe you have thought about what it would be like to be “Super” at anything… Maybe you dreamed about it, because who wouldn’t like to be better than everyone else. Accomplish anything you put your mind to, make anything happen because you wanted to make a difference. Maybe it was the challenge that drove you to work so hard. Because you never liked giving up, no one was watching but you did it anyway.

About a year ago, I met Clark Kent, a regular guy who was probably in his 40’s, didn’t think too deep into who he was. He posted on the Apartment Community forum, where I worked at. He said he was a Ruby Programmer, I had recently started to read about programming. I decided to message him, we met and talked about my ideas. He was very nice, he had recently moved to San Diego from Georgia and was just getting to know his way around.

He told me about a book I should read, the title seemed over the top, but I read it anyway. 30 pages in, I emailed him saying thank you. I don’t think I had ever been touched by a book that made me believe my dreams were possible all I had to do was jump. I felt like he was a friend at this point, we would talk via email. About ideas anything and personal goals and the friendship grew from there. I faced some serious problems, I was able to somewhat overcome them because I believed in my self.

Fast forward a few months, many conversations later, he even invited me over to his house. He told me about his career in programming, spanning over a period of 31 years! His first job out of College was at IBM, after that he got a job at his Alma mater, Georgia Tech Business Office… Don’t let me forget to mention some of his past clients were AT&T, John Hopkins Medical, the list goes on and on…

Turns out that Clark Kent was secretly wearing a Red-Cape and was running around and over-hauling failed software systems, automating companies and making them in some cases 300% more efficient. I was stunned to say the least, I even checked his resume and I could not believe who I was friends with. He didn’t think anything of it, he even talked about the team of 40+ developers who were working under his super vision. He said it was fun making the most difficult things easy to use for the end-user.

Now he spends his time working from home, taking contracts from companies when he wants and charging them what he wants. He eventually asked me about an idea he had, he assured me it was worth worthwhile. He wants to help people with dreams of making it on the internet a reality. 10 hours and any future entrepreneur can learn how to build their own landing page for their product and advertise on social media platforms with the ease of 1 button. Get yourself out there and let people judge you and let them tell you what they want. Then you can decide whether or not a $5,000 website is worth the money, make a small mistake not a big one!

The reason I call him Superman, was because he showed me some of his pet projects. Automating Amazons Mechanical Turk in about 20 lines of beautiful Ruby code. My favorite one was where he automated checking all your accounts in 1 place . He describes it as “ Dinero makes logging into all your online banking websites trivial for retrieving accounts, balances, and transactions.”… He opensourced this, he doesn’t care about the money at all. It was something that was annoying him one day, so he scratched his itch and made it real.

I could name other programs, but the outcome is the same. If I can explain his mind for you, it goes something like this: instead of building a road brick by brick, build a machine that does 20 bricks a second. This kind of programming knowledge, can’t be taught at a school. I think it’s the individual who makes it happen without having to be asked to. Money is only a means to an end, he is more interested in making it happen for his own interests.

Make the machine work for you.

So what’s the difference between Superman and the 10X programmer? Maybe they are the same person, because they don’t think about problems the way normal people do. They think about how to get this done faster and make it last for a long time. I think there is no difference between the two, because like Clark Kent he changes his clothes and becomes the Superman. However this Superman Fluently speaks coding Languages, and for the kicker… At the age of 2 lost 90% of his hearing. He reads lips & can have normal conversations too.. This 21st century Beethoven, I am proud to say he is my friend, Business Partner & Mentor…

Clark Kent has a name, it’s Michael Lang the “10X Programmer” (he won’t tell you that though). Check him out at sometime