Slow Is a Superpower

Every company needs people who can work quickly. Stuff happens. Production goes down. We found a showstopper bug right before a big release. So-and-so called in sick--can you finish their thing that was due today?

Some engineers distinguish themselves by how much chaos you can throw at them. The plate-spinners. The late night heroes. Someone has to save the day. 

But it's also possible to distinguish oneself--and build a reputation--as a slow and methodical engineer. Someone needs to take really deep, nasty problems, and figure them out once and for all.

Someone needs to do the work where the attention to detail required is so tedious and annoying to mere mortals, that only a select few are steadfast enough to see it through to completion.

After five different engineers have spent a couple hours each on that bug, and only emerging with theories about what might be wrong, someone needs to spend a week going all the way to the bottom of the rabbit hole, and emerging with the rabbit in hand.

After generations of engineers have struggled to set up Project X locally on their machines, relying on hearsay and ancient scrolls to get to barely functional, and then moving on and never thinking about it again, we need a hero who goes through the process from scratch, writes down every damn thing that goes wrong, every caveat, every blind alley, records the verbal legends, takes screenshots marked up with the important bits circled, and meticulously documents in a format so easy-to-understand and beautiful, that the next generation of engineers will never again waste another moment setting up Product X in a breezy afternoon with all of their questions anticipated and answered before they even have a chance to ask them.

Who will think through the edge cases, draw the diagrams, note the long-term implications, ask the hard questions (and answer them), write the comments, edit for clarity, and study every changed line in a 57-file merge request?

Slow is a superpower. Not everyone can do it.