This post fits squarely in "other thoughts" category. Some engineers asked for my advice on advancing their careers. To avoid giving bland advice, I hope these strategic framework might help guide their decisions. Be a Hero What does it mean to "Be a Hero"? It means you have to achieve something many people in the company will say is significant. It could be improving a tedious process, solving a customer issue that's been a pain in the rear for too long or introduce a tool that solves an unsolvable problem in the past. Let's call these " Hero Problems ". To be a hero, you will have to first develop an understanding of what the company needs. All companies will have their share of problems. Ask around, pay attention when coworkers say phrases like "I wish we could..." or "this is ridiculous, we should...". These offer clues on real Hero Problems. But why? Why should this be a strategy? This is the " Demand "