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I swear, some companies go straight from intern to senior team lead.

That's not always as absurd as it sounds. Particularly talented people can do it. The case of Seymour Cray, admittedly an outlier on the talent side, comes to mind. He was basically a senior team lead from the moment he got his first job, and that was in 1951.

I got that from this wonderful book, btw: https://www.amazon.com/Supermen-Seymour-Technical-Wizards-Su...

You giving an example all the way back to 1951 makes it sound like it is indeed almost always as absurd as it sounds...

I didn't mention Cray because there aren't others! He's just endlessly fascinating.

I mentioned 1951 because organizations were so much less flexible back then, making the example more compelling. I was going to say that, but then I remembered that in the book it talks about how the engineers at that company would bring their dogs to work, so it was obviously atypical.

My first job I accepted was a help desk tech. In 8 weeks I was a sr engineer. Why? I was the only person who stood up and suggested a way to test and isolate a problem that was happening on a few Sun servers. Mind you I had zero exp with sun at this point, but I showed initiative. This was circa 2000

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