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This article uses "individual contributor" too freely. Many decisions even for small projects have long-term impact on thr team.

Even if you believe it's an accurate term, I find it a bit dimunutive or even condescending.






In our org it just means "not a manager." We have two tracks in engineering, IC and managers. You can stay on the IC track and continue to be promoted to positions of higher responsibility, without your comp getting dinged because you're not a manager.

It solves for the decades-old "well now what?" mid-career dilemma where an engineer would have decide if they wanted to keep doing what they love (i.e. coding) or go into management for the comp but leave the work they love behind.

I found it freeing. Not at all condescending.


This is a very common industry term and I've never been in an organization where it was considered condescending. It's mostly synonymous with "non-manager" and seems much preferable to that.

how much experience in tech and how many companies have you worked for? i ask because IC is not intended as a condescending term. it’s industry jargon, and not related to the importance or impact of the person.

for one thing, it defines where they are in the sexual harassment stack. as an IC you require only an hour of training a year and you can freely have relationships with people who aren’t in you mgmt chain. stuff like that.


When I was a dev lead, I would not go to lunch alone with any of my reports male or female. If I went to lunch with just the males it would seem like playing favorites and if I went to lunch with just females, it could lead to rumors and innuendos and it wasn’t worth the risk.

On the other hand, one of my former coworkers when I was an IC is now my wife....




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