What does a Staff Engineer do All Day?

What does a Staff Engineer do All Day?

We all heard about a myth people called Staff Engineers! And what do they do actually? Write code, do they talk the whole day, or sleep yada yada yada!


I have been working as a Staff Engineer at Protolabs Network since 2023. And I have been fortunate to work with some amazing staff engineers in different workspaces. So when I could not miss the opportunity to give a talk at a small conference arranged by our engineering team. The talk topic was "What does EM/Staff do all day!". Now this blog highlights some aspects of that talk on Staffs role I maintain in the current company.

Every company is different, so are their tech team and their technical needs too. And that impacts the Staff engineer's role as well. This post is just my version of the staff engineer for my current role.

I did a live voting poll to understand what does out audience thinks about us, the staff engineers πŸ˜….

πŸ‘†, this is what the audience thinks about staff engineers in our company.

The Two Weeks schedule

Instead of explaining everything, here is my two-week calendar! I added some color to make it more sense, and give it a more categorized view. Let me give some brief examples:

  • Monitoring: Every morning I start my day by looking into the dashboards, and errors, run some queries to see what happened, and most importantly DataDog/NewRelic.
  • Mentoring: Where I actively Work with people to help them with their careers, pair code, sponsor their ideas, etc.
  • Any Sync: Any kind of meeting, chatting, having coffee with people to understand the unknown unknowns or everything related to product, tech, future planning, etc.
  • Meta Planning Meeting: All of our staff engineers sit down together to talk about planning, issues, meta-level planning, etc.
  • Glue: Connect the dots, check issues, take interviews, and anything that connects things to achieve company OKRs.
  • Doc Read: You know it 😊
  • Doc Write: You already know, what is happening here 😊. Β 
  • POC: Some code writing πŸ˜…, which will never go to production(95% time). These activities mostly help me to dive deeper into technologies we are working on and whether we are going to implement them or not πŸ™πŸΌ.
  • Friday Stuffs/Fun Stuffs: Lot's presentation, demos, retros, socials, etc.

Looking Closer

Here I just tried to combine my activities into higher groups.

  • What happened before
  • What's happening now
  • What's the forecast
  • Let's connect them together
  • Now let's figure out things for the Future
  • Yay, We are Creating history

More specifically:

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