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What are some roles after Staff?

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Staff Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

What would be the next roles/avenues to look for, after being staff engineer for a couple of years?

Does moving to a managerial role become easy after being a staff for a while, in terms of lateral/vertical hire and also managing the role once hired?



  • 3
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    Yes, the most common path after Staff Engineer is a transition into management.

    Upward mobility is, frankly, easier on the management chain than on the IC ladder. Growing as a manager is about increasing the # of people reporting to you, not necessarily needing to keep up with the latest framework/tech changes (which can get especially tiring if you've been coding for 10+ years).

    Staff Engineers have a ton of context about the team and the respect of their peers, so their transition to management is graceful.

    Here's a relevant question about How to make the decision on Staff IC vs manager roles?

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

    Here's all the possible paths:

    1. Stay as a Staff Engineer (most common)
    2. Switch into management (2nd most common)
    3. Try to get to Senior Staff and Principal (this is attempted a lot, but most people fail as those levels are insanely difficult)
    4. Pivot out of SWE (for those who pivot, I think PM is the most common)
    5. Go back to senior (this is a work-life balance play which is more common than people think)

    When it comes to management, I recommend this: [Taro Top 10] Software Engineer To Engineering Manager (IC -> M Track)

    For the less common (but still very exciting) transition to product management: [Taro Top 10] Product Management For Engineers