As I understand it, some companies like Intel have had roles for people who were purely researchers and there to teach and inspire and think about "the big picture." However, I think those are unusual roles and are usually reserved for people who made some huge contribution like the creation of a widely used language or hardware invention.
I'm told where I am now that there is such a thing as an "Enterprise Architect" which would be like my current role but looking at problems across the company and how we could create new software or adapt existing software to help that. That would be a different role for me and if I get it I would welcome that because I think it would allow me to contribute more.
But rather than that being a common thing, I think that's actually pretty unusual in my experience. Also, it's not a job I actually have yet :)
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