What makes a good engineer?
The more time I spend evaluating engineers (or anything really), the more I come back to three core things: execution, initiative, and personality.
Execution. The people we all respect the most get a lot done quickly. And that work is of high quality - builds on a strong knowledge base, well documented, thought out, performant, correct, not overwrought.
Initiative. Seniority is really marked by an engineer constantly learning about technology and the company, looking at the company’s goals, identifying high-impact things on their own, and coming up with a plan to build them, all with little supervision.
Personality. To be really effective, a good engineer has the personality to persuade, discuss, and mentor, as well as collaborate and be open-minded.
Does this miss anything? I’ve already found this framework pretty useful, and usually when somebody seems almost-but-not-quite ready to be a leader, it’s easy to spot one of three that needs some more work.