Staff Engineer

Leadership beyond the management track

Paperback, 371 pages

Published Jan. 31, 2021 by Will Larson.

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3 stars (1 review)

1 edition

Fundamentals, padded out

3 stars

There are not a lot of great books on how to be a Staff+ Engineer, because there are not a lot of books on being a Staff Engineer, period. I really enjoyed Larson's book on Engineering Management (An Elegant Puzzle) and so was hopeful I'd get a similar volume equally packed with good strategies and information.

This is... not that. It's not bad by any means, and the first third, the section that synthesizes everything gleaned in interviews with Larson's own thoughts, was excellent and insightful. The issue is that the Staff Engineer interviews, making up somewhere around the back two-thirds of the book, started feeling repetitive to me very quickly. Were there insights there? Yes. Were they worth the time spent reading them? Unclear. The book does make it clear that Staff Engineering is more art than science, more ✨vibes✨ than a clear path, and I think the book's …