“I am successful if I’m saying the right “No”s to my manager. If the ICs that report to my manager end up feeling like “I told you so” or “We knew this was a bad idea” and that wasn’t surfaced for a discussion, that’s on me.”

“I confidently trade on my manager’s authority in ways my teammates may struggle with. Because of my time and my deeper involvement in the technical details being discussed, it is my responsibility to step in and deescalate if a technical conversation is starting to circle the drain.”

I really like this explanation of the variety of things that a staff engineer can do (and does).


It sounds very familiar here that the mark of a senior is to have continuous pressure against getting anything done and then still getting stuff done.

One part of it is that if you’re capable in a platform, you should be able to get out the same amount of code in a fraction of the time.

I’d add glibly: if you’re getting stuff done, maybe you’re not a senior?