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Publisher's Summary

At most technology companies, you'll reach Senior software engineer, the career level for software engineers, in five to eight years. At the career level, your company's career ladder won't require that you work towards the next promotion; being promoted further is an exception rather than expected. This is also when many engineers are first given an opportunity to move into engineering management. 

Over the past few years, we've seen a flurry of books unlocking the engineering management career path, like Camille Fournier's The Manager's Path, Julie Zhuo's The Making of a Manager, Lara Hogan's Resilient Management, and even my own An Elegant Puzzle. The engineering management career isn't an easy one, but there are maps available to help navigate it. What if you want to advance your career without becoming an engineering manager? The technical leadership path remains relatively undocumented, hard to navigate, and inconsistent across companies. Staff Engineer is your guide to building your career towards a staff engineering role, receiving the title, and succeeding within the role.

©2021 Will Larson (P)2021 Will Larson

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  • K. Mayer
  • 21-09-2021

A screen reader would have been better.

When you take a book with a lot of headings, sub headings and quotations from a print medium to spoken word, you should expect some editing. This performance has none. It is a literal reading of the work. It suffers because of that.

Citing a person, reading the quote, then repeating that person’s name is distracting from the content. It also tells me that there was no thought put into it.

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  • David M. Tang
  • 08-07-2021

Great content but some audio issues

The content is excellent and I don’t think there is another book out there like this. The only negative thing is that there are a few recording issues where the recording sounds like it got cut early and skipped. One chapter doesn’t even finish. Nevertheless, I still feel like I got a lot of value out of the book and would recommend buying it. If these issues get fixed, I will update my review.

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  • N. Craver
  • 29-08-2021

Hugely informative

As someone who found themselves in a principal role possibly by virtue of being somewhere so long and not ever knowing what my job actually was, what the expectations where, or who I was supposed to be for others, this was the best information I’ve ever found. I’m still not sure who I’m supposed to be and don’t believe I’m worthy of the title given, but having a much better idea of what the words mean and what the expectations are at many other places at least gives me an idea of how to improve and get there. Thanks Will, this was a huge help to me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-2021

Not Just for Software Engineers

I really enjoyed the format of the career stories in the book and hearing the experiences of others. The lessons these individuals learned can apply across domains and into Pre-Sales / Post-Sales Engineering or Engineers with a focus outside the software development realm. I greatly enjoy Larson’s other book, and this one was no different. Keep up the great work!

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  • Welington Veiga
  • 05-09-2021

The book content is outstanding / audiobook has editing issues

The content of the book is excellent, very concise, informative and insightful. Definitely with the reading, even if you are a manager or has a senior role that's not precisely “staff engineer”.

The audiobook does not keep up with the quality of the content. Although the narrator performance is good, the audio editing cuts off mid-sentence at the end of multiple sessions and chapters - nothing that compromises too much the understanding, but very annoying.

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  • Dee
  • 28-08-2021

amazing book, shame about some editing

amazing book, truly; crystallized a lot of a complex role that I've been doing for a long time; some minor editing problems - like chapters cutting off mid-sentence, is vexing; I don't want this to reflect badly on the author or narrator, but: audio engineer? get your head in the game!

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