Hello Blind, I could really appreciate some honest career advice.
I have been at a startup since its early days, and the startup is now pretty successful (late stage enterprise-focused startup in the bay with 300+ employees).
I started as SWE writing a lot of code and systems from scratch, productively. After successfully leading several projects for ~3 years, I've been promoted from SWE to "Chief Technical Director" (I know, super BS title). It's basically one step below the CTO, to whom I report. I don't have any direct reports and my role is an advisory one, I work with different teams when they are in need to execute some critical projects.
This is how I spend my day:
- 25%: Reading up on new technology and keeping up with what the teams in the company are doing.
- 25%: Do code reviews (but I don't write code!).
- 25%: Meetings where I try to constantly simplify the technical agenda of projects by working with tech leads and managers.
- 25%: Meetings where I offer technical advice to teams on how to architect systems for the project they are working on.
The role is complete bullshit as you can see and I'm burning out because of it. I write no code, I don't feel productive at all, I don't own anything, all I do is "suggesting" people what to do. I am very envious of the engineers in the trenches who get to stay focused and work on real problems, bringing them to production, while my skills rot. I feel so miserable!
I tried to interview outside the company and got E5 FB offer for 380k TC (base + equity) for a pure SWE role.
My current comp:
Cash: 300k (base + bonus)
Equity: it is currently roughly ~0.7% of the company after dilutions, or $5M nominal value, but there is no plan at the moment for the company to sell, and I'm aware it could go to $0 easily. But, last year I sold some on the secondary market for ~1M, so it's not just complete paper value.
What would you do?
If you want to be more tactical I doubt you'll find that in your current role. You've risen to to the top, and the top does a lot more talking and telling people what to do than doing it themselves. This is natural in most hierarchies