Staff Design is a collection of interviews exploring how product designers navigate the individual contributor path to its highest levels.
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I’ve observed two general patterns*:
With these observations in mind, I want talk about what life is like for people who stay on the IC (individual contributor) path for the long term. I want to know how people level up, what it means to “practice design” at the highest levels, how to track career growth, and what new skills are required.
* But of course there are obvious exceptions.
There seems to be an invisible line between the senior and staff levels (in a traditional design ladder) where people are able to choose between the IC and management track. That invisible line is where I want to add definition and context.
What would make this project better? Are there different questions I should be asking? Or would you prefer a different conversation medium – like audio or video?
I’m all ears! Let me know what you think of this project – constructive or otherwise. Leave your email in case I need to follow up.
My deepest thanks to the following people for graciously giving me feedback and support while working on this project.
Hey, I’m Brian Lovin. I’m a Staff Product Designer at GitHub.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking about what it takes to level up as a product designer. I started this project to answer questions I wish I had the answers to five years ago. Something like this would have saved me a lot of time and stress.