Amazing person: Claes Nästén

This guy seems competent“, I thought. “Let me check out the code quality“. I pulled down the source code, opened some core files and started going through the lines of code. “Neat. Structured. Well built“. An hour of sifting through the craftsmanship of Claes Nästén made me walk into his chat room and send him a private message. Was he open for a job offer?

Not quite yet. He was 19 back in 2004 and had to finish his military service before he could come on board in my company.

On the very first day I met him, he managed to solve a technical problem in less than two hours that other technical very competent people had thrown more than 130 hours at without getting a result. And that was no coincidence. This guy turned out to be a freakin’ genius.

There isn’t a handful of magic instances where his genius came on display – it was every week for more than five years – like a constant magic show where he mastered one impossible technical problem after the other, or produced code or solutions like I’ve hardly ever seen before.

This ex-punk rocker, pierced, high-school drop-out, swede from up in the cold north is easily 50 times more productive than the usual university-grade IT-professional.

Claes is able to pick apart any code or IT solution and put it together in less time and with less effort than anyone I’ve seen.

Unfortunately I am not in the IT business anymore. If anyone reading this is in need of a programmer or sysadmin for highly complex IT-systems, you should get hold of Claes. Pay him whatever he wants and give him impossible challenges. He needs a bigger game to match his genius.

5 thoughts on “Amazing person: Claes Nästén

  1. Amazing story. I heard about somebody who had this kind of genius in the field of physics. But the way he did it was that he meditated and while meditating was able to solve very difficult problems in a very short time. I wonder if Claes has some secret like that. And what his secret is!

    1. No secrets or magic tricks. I usually try to create a visual map of the problem in my mind, put questions that you do not need to answer now on hold (they will resolve themselves as the understanding of the problem increases) and most important, do not be afraid to try try try!

      1. Thanks Claes. That explains it for me. I have a friend who designs and builds electronic and mechanical machines. He says that visualization is a big part of how he understands concepts and develops new things. From what I understand, visualization is basically “picture thinking” and it seems to me that this is the most direct way to look at a problem rather than with concepts (like I think I do) or whatever other ways there are of thinking. So it may not be magic but perhaps visualization truly is the secret to your success, along with the other things you mentioned, which also seem to me like pretty good secrets of success. 🙂

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