Senior Engineer Skills Beyond Programming (non-exhaustive list)

  1. How to hold a meeting. And no, not to chat more than anyone else in the meeting, namely to hold it.
  2. How to write project documentation, get feedback and bring it to a solution within a reasonable time frame
  3. How to mentor a “junior” teammate, a mid-career engineer, a new manager who needs technical advice
  4. How to please a senior manager who wants to talk about technical things he doesn’t really understand without rolling his eyes or making him feel stupid
  5. How to explain a technical concept behind closed doors to a dignitary too embarrassed to openly admit that he does not understand it
  6. How to convince another team to use your solution instead of writing your own
  7. How to get another engineer to do something for you by asking for help in a way that makes them feel appreciated
  8. How to lead a project, even if you are not managing any of the people working on it
  9. How to get other engineers to listen to your ideas without making them feel threatened
  10. How to listen to other engineers’ ideas without feeling threatened
  11. How to give up your brainchild, from that project that you turned into something great, so that you can do something else
  12. How to teach another engineer to care about what you really care about (operations, correctness, testing, code quality, performance, simplicity, etc.)
  13. How to communicate the status of a project to stakeholders
  14. How to convince management to invest in a non-trivial technical project
  15. How to create software while bringing added value in the process
  16. How to write a project proposal, socialize it and get support for its implementation
  17. How to repeat your thoughts enough to get people to listen
  18. How to choose a battle / How to prioritize
  19. How to help someone get promoted
  20. How to get information about what’s really going on (how to gossip, how to communicate)
  21. How to find an interesting job on your own, and not wait until someone brings it to you
  22. How to tell someone they are wrong without making them feel ashamed
  23. How to take negative reviews gracefully

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