I worked on backend for 10+ years and was a Tech Lead before switching to iOS for the last 10+ years. I was offered an E6 position at a Big Tech company, but I asked to be down-leveled to E5 due to imposter syndrome since I mostly worked at smaller startups and didn't know what to expect. When Leadership later found out that I have backend experience, they started pushing me to do backend. Is it easier to get to E6 doing only iOS or doing both iOS and backend? I'm much faster coding iOS than backend since I know the Xcode shortcuts, a lot has changed in backend over the past decade (e.g., AWS, Kubernetes, etc.), etc.
Is it easier to get to E6 doing only iOS or doing both iOS and backend?
Since a lot of getting to Staff is filling in the gaps, it really depends on the needs of your team and organization. Here are some thoughts on both sides:
I hope these thoughts are helpful for your situation. I recommend talking to your manager and surveying the team to see where the gaps are: From there, figure out the best path to uplift the team and tailor your behavior accordingly. That's what I would expect from a strong E6.