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At our company we've implicitly split the technical ladder at the principal level into "broad" principals (this article), and "deep" principal (expert at their field).

We're struggling to formally define it, though. How much pure IC work do we expect of broad roles? How much coordination/communication do we expect of deep roles?

Amazon invented the SWE 4/5 roles late because they were losing people who were surpassing 3 as individual engineers but couldn't meet the people-leadership requirements of Principal.

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