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Agreeing on anything in a large group has always been tricky. It requires quite a bit of patience, thick skin and persistence in staying focused on the subject.

June 27-29, 2023 Conference
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With a conference for every level of engineering leadership, find a community that will help you reach your career goals.

Now, imagine agreeing on your own responsibilities, expectations and things you look after with the whole company. Together with a group of friends we took the challenge and defined the first "Staff Engineer Guide" at MongoDB. And wow, it was quite the trip.

During today's presentation, I will take you on a journey and tell you about all the adventures we've gone through writing this document. I will share the books and blogs we read, and the videos we watched while preparing the materials. I will highlight what discussions were crucial in the process, and finally, we will enter unexplored territory of new Staff Engineer Archetypes.

This presentation is mainly targeted for Staff Engineers who work on defining their own roles and responsibilities. Writing a Staff Engineer Guide, and agreeing on the expectations between the engineering and the management, is a great way to learn about your organization. Senior Engineers could also learn from it. Aligning with the explicit expectations from Staff Engineer roles is a great practical pointer to be promoted.