Top software developers are 10x to 100x faster than average software developers. One reason is that the best developers have seen many more problems than average developers, and solving a problem the second time is 10x to 100x faster than solving it the first time.
Why have good developers seen so many more problems? Well, even if good developers are just slightly faster than average developers, that extra time compounds over the years. Experience grows on itself, like the interest on an investment.
For example, during America’s amazingly prosperous Gilded Age, the economy grew at 6.8% annually ( link). Right now, the economy is growing somewhere around 2% annually, and it’s a huge problem. Compounding is a powerful thing.