Could this actually explain why a lot of people don’t like their managers? Because they are just too damn inexperienced.
Re: knowing few staff or principal engs, my personal anecdotal observation (and other people have told me the same), is that many engineers don’t change their titles on LinkedIn, or say they are “staff eng” etc in public. In fact, for some people, the higher they go the more they downplay their title in public. Don’t have data to back this up, just anecdotal convos with some people I know.
I’d also like to think the culture is slowly changing, about feeling forced to get into people management to progress your career. But that could be wishful thinking!
that's exactly why! i've worked and had managers who were so green and bad at their job. the staff engineers that i worked with were older folk that really have been around the block and had better communication skills than the managers. it's all extremely backwards