Talent Agents Representing Computer Programmers

Entertainment agency 10X is now working with new talent: digital rockstars.

According to The New Yorker,  talent agency 10X no longer represents just big-name musicians. The company is now representing technology professionals all over the world.

The agency, famous for representing clients like Vanessa Carlton and John Mayer, has moved beyond its usual entertainment industry roster and is branching out to what it calls "digital rockstars," or people with highly successful careers in information technology. These technologists are the very best in their fields and capable of being 10 times more productive than their colleagues, hence the agency name: 10X. 

The digital rockstars are people who have advanced degrees, have managed and founded multi million dollar startups, and have won awards at college, national and global levels for coding, app creation, ingenuity and more. These are the best of the best in the tech world. They charge fees like $150-$200 an hour, more than five times the rate that an outsourced coder from India or Pakistan would charge, and for good reason: proven success.

Bidding wars over top programmers are common place in the hiring process, with interested companies throwing in benefits like a vacation before starting the new job, on-site dry cleaning, napping facilities and well-stocked buffets to entice the experienced programmers to join their company. According to The New Yorker, a mobile-game publishing company called Scopely even offers a harpoon gun, $11,000 wrapped in bacon, and an oil portrait of him or herself to new hires or anyone who brings in a new hire.

The idea for 10X working with technology talent came when Altay Guvench, a coding musician, asked the agency's co-founder, Michael Solomon, to negotiate a freelance contract for him. When Guvench continued to ask for Solomon's advice, the two became business partners. Rishon Blumberg, the other co-founder of 10X, is in charge of the company's 11 musician clients, while Guvench and Solomon seek out and manage technology clients and their contractual obligations. The company currently has about 80 of the world's top programmers and industry experts.

The goal of 10X is to make freelancing less risky and more easily doable, Guvench told The New Yorker. Clients of 10X talent have access to the tech industry's top minds to create innovative new sites and programs as well as fix existing coding and more. 

Star clients include John Coggeshall, a main contributor to the programming language PHP, and Adrian Holovaty, co-creator of Django.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_IT

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