Going Staff

Tobias Pfeiffer


What’s up with becoming a Staff Engineer? What does it mean? Is it just for people who want to keep coding? How do you become a Staff Engineer and what does the work entail? What if I told you that being a Staff engineer actually required a lot of communication and collaboration skills?

In this talk, let’s answer all those questions! To aid in our journey, we’ll also take a look at what it means to be “glue”, help you navigate organizations to find value and succeed at being a Staff engineer!

Key Takeaways:

  • what is a Staff+ engineer? What role and responsibilities does this entail?
    • (discusses the classical 4 archetypes + a fifth one and their application)
    • what does the work of a staff+ engineer entail?
  • How do you get promoted to be a Staff+ engineer?
    • classical promotion path
    • “Staff project”
    • detour via management track
  • How do you excel at a Staff+ role?
    • why the term “individual contributor” is misleading
    • being glue
    • yes, you are a leader
    • navigating big organizations and finding value