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On Being A Senior Engineer

By John Lafleur 1 minute read

TL;DR: A great article by the former CTO of Etsy about the attributes of what makes an engineer senior (or mature as he says):

  • Mature engineers seek out constructive criticism of their designs.
  • They understand the non-technical areas of how they are perceived.
  • They do not shy away from making estimates, and are always trying to get better at it.
  • They have an innate sense of anticipation, even if they don’t know they do.
  • They understand that not all of their projects are filled with rockstar-on-stage work.
  • They lift the skills and expertise of those around them.
  • They make their trade-offs explicit when making judgements and decisions.
  • They don’t practice CYAE (“Cover Your Ass Engineering”)
  • They are empathetic. They don’t make empty complaints.
  • They know the importance of (sometimes irrational) feelings people have.


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