Session + Live Q&A

A CTO That Still Codes: My Tortuous Path to the Staff-Plus Engineer Role

It takes time to figure out what kind of work you want to do, what you are good at, what makes you jump out of bed every day excited with the challenges ahead. For me, the answer was always to get as close to the code as possible. However, my path to a Staff-Plus engineer, like for many others, was not straightforward.

Working for companies where the technical ladder would not reach far, my praised technical contributions were awarded a manager job. And as I got further from code, the more miserable I was. It took a lot of self-discovery, a sabbatical year, and helping to create a company that would allow me to do what I did the best to finally reach the technical position I wanted.

Clearly, the poor industry support for individuals who want to pursue a technical career affects us all. We have a shortage of technical professionals and outstanding technical individuals who see themselves forced to seek a management position to have the compensation they need.

Fortunately, a recent shift in our industry has opened space to Staff-Plus engineer roles, acknowledging the need to provide a career that values technical experience and provide adequate compensation to individuals who want to pursue it.

In this talk, I will share the lessons learned in the path to pursue a technical career. We will discuss the skills needed to be a successful individual contributor, how what I learned as a manager helped me be a better technical leader, the need for companies to support Staff-Plus engineers better, and why the future of our industry depends on it.


Fabiane Nardon

Data Scientist, Java Champion & CTO @tail_oficia

Fabiane is a computer scientist with many years of experience in large information systems with huge amounts of data. She was chief architect of the Sao Paulo Healthcare Information System, considered the largest JavaEE application in the world and winner of the 2005 Duke's Choice Award. She...

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Tuesday Apr 5 / 11:50AM BST (50 minutes)


Whittle, 3rd flr.


Staff-Plus Engineer Path


Staff-Plus EngineerLeadership

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