vtt-compactor: slightly less verbose VTT files.

March 7, 2020.

I'm working on a small project that involves interviewing a number of folks to capture their experience becoming and working as a Staff engineer. Hopefully the first stories will be ready to post in a couple of weeks, but what I've been surprised by is just how tricky it can be to get good interview notes.

Resources for Staff-plus engineers.

March 7, 2020. Filed under staff-plus 8

When I was working on "Your first 90 days as CTO or VP Engineering", one of the most valuable things I did was build a list of resources for folks (especially me) to continue their learning and exploration. Recently, I’ve been focused on the question of “What does it mean to be a Staff or Staff-plus engineer, and how do you get there?”, and have gathered this collection of resources for folks who are looking to grow as or into such roles.

From one to two: how to start a successful distributed engineering office.

March 3, 2020. Filed under management 110

Recently it feels like companies are moving beyond the single office model earlier and earlier in the lifetime. Maybe it’s improvements in video conferencing, perhaps it’s the increasing costs of operating in Silicon Valley, perhaps it’s just a fad, but in any case, effectively supporting additional company offices is an important and increasingly core skill for engineering leaders.

Interviewing senior engineering leaders.

February 18, 2020. Filed under management 110hiring 8

A friend recently reached out for advice on interviewing and hiring senior engineering leaders. I’ve spent a good deal of time on this topic over the last couple years, starting with partnering with Laura Hilton to design Stripe’s interview loops for engineering leadership, and more recently going through a search for my own role. Leadership hiring is particularly interesting as a window into an organization’s psychology: for the highest stake decisions, do they turn to structure or to intuition?

Mailbag: Evolving your engineer career beyond the career level.

February 13, 2020. Filed under career 13staff-eng 4mailbag 2

Recently I got an email asking about evolving your engineering career after you’ve hit the career level, but before you feel like you’ve accomplished what’s important to you. I wrote up my response here in case others are interested.