Extinguished engineers

This is a recent joke with senior friends from Microsoft. The top level on the developper ladder is the legendary "Distinguished Engineer", or actually not, there is also a "Technical Fellow" level after that. Anyway these are ridiculously high levels towards which the career path is very unclear, and which might have more to do with who you are friend with, or which start-up did you sell to Microsoft that your actual competences. Yes of course you always need to build you network of professional relations to grow your career, network that supports your achievements. But there is a point where there is no achievement left, only a very ‘friendly’ network. Non-mentioning that the contribition of these engineers for the company becomes to say the least unclear. So this senior friend while drinking beer referred to them as "Extinguished" engineers.😉
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