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.
Almost unanimously Staff-plus engineers’ most valuable learning resource weren’t a book, blog, talk or paper, but instead their network of peers and mentors. If you only have one hour to develop yourself as an engineer, your best bet would be meeting people in similar roles.
There are also many great resources on other facets of strategy as well, for example Marty Cagan’s series on Product Strategy.
Although I’ve found that many folks don’t read too many books, when I asked Staff engineers for their most valuable resources, they inevitably mentioned a personal mentor or a book. They had blog posts and tech talks they might mention related to a more specific problem, but they were most changed by this larger, more papery format.
Relatively few Staff-plus Engineers are avid readers of Computer Science papers. However, most are familiar with a handful of foundational papers, and the small subset who do spend time reading papers tend to get quite a bit out of it.
If you aspire to join the category of frequent paper readers, there’s no better place than Adrian Colyer’s the morning paper, which will send you a summary of a computer science paper every weekday. If you’re more interested in getting some foundational exposure to some well-known papers, first read one of How to Read an Academic Article by Peter Klein or How to Read a Paper by S. Keshav, and then jump into this list of recommended papers: