Sunday, October 28, 2012

Senior Engineer

John Allspaw wrote a fantastic post on senior engineers that is a must read for those seeking to improve themselves:

On Being A Senior Engineer

Through this post, I found a number of areas that I improved in the past few years, and also some areas that I need to make some adjustments. But that's the beauty of it, if you are actively trying to improve yourself and making the effort for that, results will come. In the post above, John also gives some references to additional posts or books that may good to read for those actively looking to improve.

There are many parts of this post I could quote here, but just a couple of teasers for you:
I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but I must emphasize the point more: the degree to which other people want to work with you is a direct indication on how successful you’ll be in your career as an engineer. Be the engineer that everyone wants to work with.
I also noticed that to be a really strong indication of an engineer maturity. Managers sometimes think differently and don't take that as an indication, but I most definitely think they should. And the interesting thing is that oftentimes these are the most knowledgeable engineers and that will offer learning possibilities to those around you and let the creativity flourish on the team.
The only true authority stems from knowledge, not from position. Knowledge engenders authority, and authority engenders respect – so if you want respect in an egoless environment, cultivate knowledge.
This is very true. In spite of formal authority, one can simply not have any actual authority if he/she doesn't have the knowledge and doesn't actually earn the authority. Other people become the de fact leaders and, unless boycotted for some reason, they will probably have a much higher influence. So the key verb here is earn.
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