This is a post in the Remote Blog:

Inside Remote software engineering jobs: Working as a staff engineer

Currently, our Remote Engineering Career path says the following about Staff+ expectations:

Continuously works towards the improvement of the codebase and drives others to do the same. It is expected that Staff Engineers drive the continuous evolution and innovation of the codebase.

Although correct, this statement is far from helpful in practical terms. The document you are about to read will help you answer the question: “What should a Staff+ Engineer do at Remote?”.

At Remote, our engineering team is responsible for creating a streamlined user experience for all those who use the global HR platform. Our global team of engineers helps to shape the future of work by addressing technical challenges and making product and process improvements.

If you’re passionate about the work that we do and want to pursue an engineering career, particularly, the role of a Staff Engineer — you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of the Staff Engineer role, what it entails, and our set of guiding principles that can help you succeed at Remote and perhaps in your career too!

Expectations of a Staff Engineer

You might already be aware that compared to other engineering roles that have a clear-cut definition and path, the term “Staff Engineer” is highly under-documented in the engineering community. This has been changing in recent years with industry articles and publications defining what a Staff Engineer’s path actually looks like.

Every company has a different definition of the role and responsibilities of a Staff Engineer. That’s why the expectations of a Staff Engineer in an organization need to be clearly defined and written down so that they can be more efficient (and confident) in their role.

The community has been doing study cases on Staff and Principal Engineers from big companies. Some even tried to group their routines into four common archetypes of Staff Engineering roles. As Remote is still small, most archetypes don’t perfectly fit our needs yet. So, instead, we have defined certain “mantras” that every Staff Engineer should strive for regardless of their working routine.

The role of a Staff Engineer at Remote

Remote’s engineering department currently has around 200 engineers and over 15 Staff Engineers. We aim to cover each product area with a combination of at least one frontend Staff Engineer and one backend Staff Engineer. Their day-to-day responsibilities depend on the product area’s requirements. We explain the role of a Staff Engineer at Remote in further depth below.

As a Staff Engineer, your number one mission is to help Remote grow by providing excellent technical solutions and empowering others to do the same. However, depending on your team/vertical’s current needs, your path to accomplish that mission might be very different in comparison to roles with other Staff Engineering teams.