Staff Software Engineer


Merrill, St. Paul, MN (USA)

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Job Description:

An engineer at this level has shown strategic impact over some combination of a large team, a very large technical problem, and/or a long time horizon. The problems that the staff engineer is solving are very open-ended even to the leadership who presented the problem. Most engineers at Merrill would not be able to own and solve the problems that this person is attacking. 

The staff engineer is sought-after for technical guidance across the team. They have a track record of anticipating technical problems that will fall out of major products and designing solutions to overcome those problems. They are deeply knowledgeable in major parts of our technology stack and are the technical owner of large parts of our code base. They have a sustained track record of creating major improvements in large business-critical systems around stability, performance, and scalability. 

A staff engineer is still acting in a very hands-on role, and as such, they are a prolific contributor to both core projects as well as side and experimental work. When presented with a complex problem, process or existing system they are consistently able to reduce the complexity in order to get more done with less work. This ability to manage and simplify complexity is the hallmark of the staff engineer; working with this person should leave team members feeling like they are going to leave with something significantly better than they came into. 

The staff engineer has broad impact across Merrill tech. They create architecture that shapes large parts of our business, and ship complex projects including many systems or major pieces of infrastructure. The impact of their work is felt across the team in the quality of the engineering that we produce, the ways we write code, the core libraries that we use, and the underlying design of systems. There are multiple obvious large technical contributions that can be pointed to as originating from this team member.

The staff engineer has excellent abilities to influence without requiring reporting authority to do so. They effectively facilitate cross-team work and are influential far beyond their individual group. They are capable of driving groups of disparate interests to decisions, and clearly communicating and seeing those decisions through to impact. The staff engineer is capable of setting short to medium term

strategic direction for part of the technology stack, identifying areas of critical need based on future growth and developing roadmaps to attack those problems.

The staff engineer may act as a tech lead but is probably not acting as the reporting manager for most or all of the team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Sought out for technical guidance; anticipates technical issues at the product level and makes architectural and design decisions to avoid them.

Recognized as a prolific contributor to core and side projects.

Shapes broad architecture; ships multiple large services, complex libraries or major pieces of infrastructure.

Multiples the effectiveness of others by facilitating cross-team work.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

Owner of and expert on large sections of our codebase

A record of creating sweeping improvements in stability, performance, and scalability across major business-critical systems.

Consistently able to reduce the complexity of projects, services, and processes in order to get more done with less work.

Has made an obvious positive impact on the entire company's technical trajectory.

Listens and guides debates to help reach a consensus; once a decision is made, clearly communicates and backs that decision.

Sets short to medium-term strategic technical direction; able to look ahead6-12 months and identify the areas of greatest need and create plans to improve them.

Minimum Education 

4 year college degree in Computer Science, MIS, Mathematics or similar, Masters preferred.

Minimum Experience 

8 Years

Preferred Experience 

10+ years

About Merrill

Merrill is an international organization that offers technology-enabled platforms for secure content sharing, regulated communications, and disclosure services for the world of international finance. 

For half a century, they've provided the tools to help some of the biggest companies in the world connect with speed, accuracy, and confidence. And in 2000, they became the first online management resource legally required for publicly traded companies.  

Their digital transformation, in partnership with Microsoft and Pivotal Software, now allows clients to leverage highly innovative technology and advanced analytics, alongside ironclad security - all without losing the human touch. 

And the transformation continues - Merrill is opening a digital innovation lab in New York in 2018. 

As a global organization, Merrill knows that diverse perspectives are essential to our success. We’re committed to maintaining a diverse workforce to serve our customers around the world. Merrill is an equal opportunity employer (EEO) and furthers the principles of EEO through Affirmative Action.

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