Lessons From a Staff Engineer at Slack

Lessons from Diana Pojar, a Staff Data Engineer at Stripe:

  • It’s recommended to spend time each year to reflect on what you have been doing in your current role/company and see if you are progressing and growing. It’s also recommended to plan what you want to achieve next.
  • You need to build a “track record of mentoring, visibility and technical quality” in the projects you did.
  • What made you from a junior to senior won’t take you from senior to staff-plus engineer. You need to develop your communication and leadership skills.
  • Driving change and having impact are the challenging aspects of being in a staff+ role. Execution and being hands-on are the easy parts.

These are key takeaways, highlights or “learnings” that I captured while reading the book Staff Engineer by Will Larson. You can read the full article here. The above takeaways are by far not a complete summary, but rather my personal highlights or understanding (which can be wrong) and thus do not capture all the wisdom in the original article, so you should read the full article to form your own view & understanding.

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