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Senior Staff Engineer at Cruise Shares The Most Important Skill - Rama Karve

Rama Karve is a Senior Staff Software Engineer [L7] at the autonomous vehicle company Cruise, working on fleet management.

Previously, Rama spent 9 years at Meta and 9 years at Amazon as a software engineer. At the very senior levels, engineers have an impact in more unique ways, leveraging their strength as a generalist or specialist.

As one of the most senior engineers in the company, Rama says the most important skill at the Senior Staff level is to get disparate teams and systems to work together for the same goal. A further challenge here is to identify which teams or people even need to start working more closely together.

Rama has 2 pieces of advice for other Senior Staff Engineers:

  1. Figure out your superpower. Understand what you are uniquely good at in the context of what the company is trying to accomplish.
  2. Give yourself time to ramp up. Your impact is not as simple as writing a bit of code in the first week. The first few months should be dedicated to learning how things work.

Here's the full playlist asking engineers what the most important skill is for their level: Asking 7 Levels Of Engineers The Most Important Skill