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Role of Staff Engineer at startup?

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Anonymous User at Taro Communitya year ago

What is the role of Staff Engineer at a early stage startup where infrastructure is on an average setup? In terms mobile application it is standard app with migration scope to react native but there are no takers for migration at all (only product release need)

Here how can staff engineer play a role and how to deliver product and engineering goals with awareness to large eng teams?

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    What's your definition of early stage? When I think of "early", I'm thinking of Series B at the latest, but things will vary a lot between Seed and Series A and Series B.

    As a heads up, when you ask a question in Taro as a startup engineer, it should have just your company stage (not the name) to preserve anonymity. I recommend attaching that context next time so people can give more specific responses.

    That being said, here's a good video covering the topic from Airbnb Engineering Director Rachel Zhao: "What's the Difference Between A Senior And Staff Engineer?"

    Something I want to expand on from Rachel is that being a Staff Engineer isn't just about creating scope, it's also about quality of project delivery. Between a Staff Engineer and more junior engineers, I would expect this:

    • They ship the project faster (i.e. they have very impressive code velocity)
    • They ship the project with high quality
      • Clean code
      • Minimal bugs
      • Smooth performance (this is really important on Android in particular)
    • They ship the project with minimal thrash
      • Everyone is aligned well every step of the way
      • The timeline had clear milestones and was always met
      • Nothing exploded in production after shipping

    These angles can be applied to any project at any company at any stage.

    In terms mobile application it is standard app with migration scope to react native but there are no takers for migration at all (only product release need)

    A lot of startups will do cross-platform, but if the native apps are already written and are doing fine, this feels like the opposite of an early-stage startup project due to low short-term impact. Feature work is probably more important. In general, I'm fairly skeptical of large rewrites, which I cover in-depth here: "How do you measure the impact of refactoring your codebase to use a new pattern?"

A startup or start-up is a company or project undertaken by an entrepreneur to seek, develop, and validate a scalable business model.
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