The Myth of the Senior Engineer

Job descriptions for senior engineers often require people who can “hit the ground running” or “get in and get stuff done”. In this session, I examine the myth around the “senior engineer” and why people can’t just get in and get stuff done. No matter the engineer’s experience level, codebases are more than just code they represent the values and history of a business.

I address this issue through research conducted by Github and Google along with business management academics into Organisational Socialisation within their own companies but also within the open-source ecosystem. I present practical steps that companies can take when hiring to create an engaging experience for senior engineers that have proven benefits for productivity and career development.

I present examples from within Buildkite and other organisations that showcase how this research has been implemented either successfully or unsuccessfully.



Cath Jones


Cath is the People Operations Manager at Buildkite where she assists in implementing human-centric leadership practices. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion and enjoys discussing