What's a Staff Director?

2020-08-31 Management Thoughts Culture

Community is growing fast.

More business. More customers. More people. More money. More (necessary) complexity (software and people).

The demand for this kind of growth can create a lot of interesting strains, problems and challenges.

In situations like this it is easy to end up between a rock and a hard place: Grow fast and run a/the risk that the growing pains will kill you or end up being too slow to fully capitalize on the magnitude of the opportunity.

The mindset that has served me well in these sitations is to Try a lot and keep what works and to Constantly fail forward. Means I innovate myself to a better future, the better place and a good outcome.

For that to happen/work you have to experiement a lot (but not too much :)). You need to experiment with software and technology, but also with the way you work (tools, processes, behaviors and org structures).

The next experiment is a good one. To scale our organisational growth from a technical point-of-view we have introduced the role of Staff Engineers (reporting to the Engineering Directors to address technical growing pains) and realized that we can take this idea to the next level by introducing the role of a Staff Director (reporting to the CTO/VP Engineering). The Staff Director is a Staff Engineer, but for management and leadership (in software engineering organisations).

I will report back with the results of the experiement in due course. Stay tuned …