Staff Engineer

Staff Engineer

Core Competencies

  • Your primary role as a staff engineer is to enable more engineers, senior engineers etc. - with design, reducing risk, architecture and planning ahead from your experience. While you are hands-on - you are doing it only in areas which are supercritical and no one else on the team can do without your help.
  • You can own the design of the entire application/infrastructure stack and break it down into smaller chunks so that you along with the team can deliver it. You are pretty good at estimating the efforts and planning any risks ahead of time.
  • You are comfortable with technical problems that are unknown/new in nature and you can work with principal engineers in the organization to define problems, zero down on the solutions from multiple solutions and then work to implement those problems.
  • You work across teams of customer/internal teams to navigate and align and agree on objectives and work through details to ensure the completion of projects.
  • You keep the team moving quickly by working on engineering efforts that aren’t glamorous.
  • You proactively communicate issues and address necessary trade-offs and take ownership of issues.
  • You dedicate time to keep your knife sharp i.e. you work constantly and consistently to keep your technical chops sharp through a combination of reading, experimenting, and working with other colleagues.

Functional Competencies


  • You are learning to take decisions for your team and customers, you work closely under the mentorship of a principal engineer to get better at this.
  • You can clearly write & articulate architecture diagrams, high-level designs and low-level designs along with risks and POCs that would need to be carried out for successful execution and completion of project/product features.
  • You write detailed documents such as proposals/high-level design documents/plans such that based on these teams can drive the work they have to do and execute it.
  • You plan the project execution and call out risks etc. as needed and communicate this to stakeholders from internal as well as customer teams’ point of view.

Delighting People

  • You love coaching people and a good chunk of your time is spent teaching engineers techniques to debug hard problems, work on complex designs and get better at their craft.
  • On the customer side you are involved in understanding the requirements and their goals and working closely with them to make them a reality with your team. You also empathize with the challenges and problems they face and constantly work to improve those.
  • You believe the success of your engineers and customer members is more important than yours and their success is a sign of your success eventually.

Organization Building

  • You own and drive entirely at least one major initiative which has an organization-wide impact.
  • You are accountable for the team you work with including their concerns, growth plans, and making them successful.

Social Capital

  • You actively run/majorly contribute to community-level activities and initiatives such as meetups and conferences - around your area of specialization.
  • You understand the work we at InfraCloud do via various customer engagements and research on it and then present it via various channels such as conference talks, blogs, case study writing etc.

Behavioral Competencies

Enabling Traits

  • Decision making: You will be bombarded with decisions from multiple areas - from technology to people & customers. You prioritize and deal with decisions on a constant basis and take help from or escalate as needed.
  • Big picture/system thinking: You are learning to understand the big picture and take a systems view of things. You understand the second-order effects of every decision and are constantly learning to make better decisions and learn about the system as a whole.
  • Self & continuous learning: While you are growing in responsibilities and impact, you set up a system for learning on a consistent basis. You understand that the learning previously may have been tactical and code related but the learning now is strategic and about systems and how complex systems evolve.
  • Connected InfraCloud core values: Be resourceful & Stay Ahead of the Curve

Broad Indicators

As a broad range indicator, your time and energies are roughly split in the following proportions.

Split of responsibilities in the role Core: ~50%
Management: ~20-25%
Delighting People: ~15-25%
Organization Building: ~15-20%
Social Capital: ~10-15%
Enabling Traits: We expect these traits to be demonstrated consistently in your role.
Approximate Tenure in this role
(This is not meant to be exact tenure - some people move up in half time and some take 100% more for example)
~3 year