6 - Staff Engineer
As a Staff Engineer, you have a strategic impact on a combination of areas that could include a large team, a very deep technical problem, and/or a long term. The problems that you’re solving are open-ended.
You provide considerable high-level technical guidance across your team, anticipating and planning for technical problems. You're highly knowledgeable in major parts of our technology stack and are the technical owner of significant components of our code base. You have a sustained track record of creating improvements in business-critical systems around stability, performance, and scalability.
At this stage, you’re still acting in a very hands-on role, and as such, you’re a prolific contributor to both Glossier’s core projects, as well as side and experimental work. When presented with a complex problem, process, or existing system, you’re able to reduce the complexity in order to maximize efficiencies. You provide guidance, direction and help colleagues build and produce better outcomes.
You and Your Team
You have strong abilities to influence without requiring reporting authority. You facilitate cross-team work and are influential beyond your individual squad. You're capable of driving groups with disparate interests to decisions with clear communication and follow through. You’re capable of setting a short to medium-term strategic direction for aspects of the technology stack, identifying areas of critical need based on future growth and developing roadmaps to attack these problems.
As a Staff Engineer, you may act as the leader of a technical team, but are probably not acting as the people manager of fellow engineers. In order to move on to Senior Staff Engineer, it is expected that you are operating in more of a leadership role, and are active across multiple squads or technologies.
Example skills and behaviors
- Identifies complex and high-churn areas of the codebase, and systematically works to improve them
- Stays up to date with technology trends, and applies a critical lens to assess whether they’d be beneficial for Glossier
- Improves Glossier’s performance, reliability, and scale
- Proactively identifies and advocates for high-impact technical projects
- Understands the prioritization process, and how projects need to fit into broader goals for the company
- Scopes work on complex projects involving multiple engineers, and ensures the team’s delivery
- Proactively identifies and addresses potential roadblocks before they impact the team
- Facilitates healthy discussions across the Engineering team
- Guides others on the team through disruptive change
- Capable of running hiring for a role, can identify and recruit talent, runs pre-briefs/de-briefs, etc.
- Contributes to Glossier’s external brand, e.g.: through impactful blog posts, networking, public talks
- Sought after as a coach and leader – mentors the mentors