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What are main mindset shifts to get to Staff?

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Senior Software Engineer [L4] at LiveRampa year ago

I've been a senior engineer for a while, so I would like to start making real progress towards that level. I see a lot of other engineers in the company making it to Staff or an equivalent level, and I'm wondering what I can do to make that same level up.

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    Executive Coach, VP Eng at Mixpanel
    a year ago

    Every company is a bit different in how they define staff. Here's what I look for:

    Most of engineering is about building solutions to problems that are largely handed to them by managers or PMs. But at certain stage of seniority in every career path, you start to become responsible for finding the right problems to solve as well. IMO, staff+ engineers are the ones who have a track record of doing this effectively. It looks something like this:

    1. Identify a high leverage problem that few others are thinking about
    2. Persuade those around you that this is worth solving
    3. Solve it and be right about the impact you expected
    4. Repeat

    I know it's a high bar but this is how people reach the most senior levels of their profession.