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Engineering Team Ladder

Individual Contributor (IC) Track

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L1: Software Engineer I:
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Key Area
Attribute
Competencies
Impact
Scope
Learns, writes, tests, reviews and documents code according to Ockam's Engineering standards and development best practices.
Responsibility
Completes any
@Task
assigned to them by their
@Team, Teammates
and acts as an on-call first responder for their
@Team, Teammates
.
Functional Skills
Technical Capabilities
Participates in software design for small features and bug fixes under direct supervision.
Completes small system administration
@Project
s or
@Task
s under direct supervision.
Knowledge
Has a developing understanding of at least one key component in Ockam’s architecture and how their work further drives their
@OKRs
.
Understands how to identify issues and learn from them to improve their skills.
Broad understanding of source product code.
Understands the importance of security.
Behavior
Reliability
Can accurately forecast and deliver existing and future deliverables = "fill in the blanks".
Given an introduction to a small
@Task
or sub-
@Task
from their
@Team, Teammates
, can drive that
@Task
to completion independently.
Collaboration / Communication
Asks for help when appropriate and learns from it.
Effectively communicates progress of
@Task
s as part of larger
@Project
s to the
@Team, Teammates
according to their Responsibilities’s in
@RACI
Contributes to team activities and collaborates within the
@Team, Teammates
to solve problems and complete
@Task
s assigned to them.
Living Values
Shows initiative and is motivated to learn tools, resources and processes to grow as an engineer with a view toward being more self-sufficient = continuous improvement mindset.
Accepts feedback graciously and learns from everything they do.
Continuous Learning
Skills Continuity
N/A

L2/L3: Software Engineer II / III:
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Key Area
Attribute
Competencies
Impact
Scope
Develops, ships, and maintains
@Feature
s with guidance from their
@Team, Teammates
.
Responsibility
Responsible for the entire lifecycle of small-to-medium sized
@Project
s: development, test, production, and subsequent fixes and improvements.
Capable of providing on-call support for
@Feature
s they or their
@Team, Teammates
are responsible for or other
@Feature
s that they may not be fully familiar with.
Functional Skills
Technical Capabilities
Writes code that is clear, concise, tested, and easily understood by others. Tracks GitHub issues to see if an external contributor or customer raises a ticket/issue related to their code.
Improves the development experience for their
@Team, Teammates
by enhancing development tools, test coverage, and/or code structure.
Contributes to functional specifications and participates in code reviews.
Knowledge
Mastered understanding of all components of at least one key
@Feature
or section of Ockam’s architecture, with a high-level understanding of all other key
@Feature
s.
Strong background or understanding of Ockam's Engineering standards and development best practices.
Solid understanding of source product code.
Utilizes their knowledge of security to ask their
@Team, Teammates
for help on making decisions that may have security implications.
Behavior
Reliability
Rarely makes the same mistake twice, begins to focus on attaining expertise in one or more technical areas or
@Feature
s.
Understands how to identify issues and learn from them to improve their skills.
Learns quickly and makes steady progress on
@Task
s or
@Project
s without the need for constant feedback from their
@Team, Teammates
.
Capable of taking well-scoped
@Task
s from a larger
@Project
and completing them within a reasonable time frame (or prioritizing accordingly).
Provides basic guidance to external open source
@Stakeholder
s.
Collaboration / Communication
Knows when to ask for help in order to unblock themselves or clarify a
@Task
. Ensures that all assumptions are vetted before work starts to reduce the need for re-work.
Effectively communicates progress of
@Project
s to their
@Team, Teammates
according to
@RACI
responsibilities and capable of delivering thoughtful feedback to their
@Team, Teammates
.
Understanding how their individual
@Task
s / Responsibilities are aligned with or mapped to
@Team, Teammates
@OKRs
.
Ensures continuous communication with, and knows when to push appropriate information to, their reporting EM.
Contributes to
@Team, Teammates
activities and collaborates among their
@Team, Teammates
to solve problems and complete
@Project
s and
@Task
s assigned to them.
Living Values
Demonstrates ability to be trusted by
@Team, Teammates
for their area of responsibility.
Shows initiative and offers assistance when needed without being asked = is consistently proactive.
Demonstrates self-assurance in expected and unexpected situations.
Improving the speed at which they learn from their mistakes.
Continuous Learning
Skills Continuity
All IC1 competencies.
L4/L5: Senior Software Engineer I / II:
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Key Area
Attribute
Competencies
Impact
Scope
Understands and makes well-reasoned design decisions and trade-offs with respect to the
@Project
s and
@Feature
s their
@Team, Teammates
are responsible for.
[Shared] Prioritizes and values unowned or undesirable work that enables their
@Team, Teammates
to move faster.
Responsibility
Responsible for the entire lifecycle of medium sized
@Project
s or
@Feature
s: engineering design, development, test, production, and deployment and subsequent fixes and improvements.
Finds solutions to technical problems defined by their
@Team, Teammates
.
Functional Skills
Technical Capabilities
[Shared] Designs abstract interfaces and constructs modular libraries that are well-tested and bug free.
Improves code structure and architecture in service of testability and maintainability.
Consistently writes, co-writes, and reviews feature documentation and production-ready code that is clear, concise, tested, and easily understood by others. Actively looks for things that need immediate patching/updates/clarifications.
Approaches all engineering work with a security lens and actively looks for security vulnerabilities both in code and when providing code reviews.
Knowledge
[Shared] Growing understanding of industry trends and development best practices and is comfortable writing code in a team and open source setting.
[Shared] Solid understanding of all of Ockam’s product components and mastery of those
@Feature
s under their responsibility.
Uses and understands systematic tools needed to debug and diagnose issues in a test and/or simple production environment.
Behavior
Reliability
Accurately forecasts deliverables two weeks ahead and delivers on that timeline.
Requires minimal oversight beyond high-level direction.
Proactively fixes issues without being told/assigned to and identifies problems with requirements (lack of clarity, inconsistencies, technical limitations) for their own work and adjacent work.
Takes a complex
@Project
, breaks it down into
@Task
s and sub-
@Task
s, and completes their
@Task
s with relative ease.
Collaboration / Communication
[Shared] Works with their
@Team, Teammates
and
@Across Teams
(e.g., devex) to solve problems and drive
@Project
s to completion.
[Shared] Constructively escalates problems and issues early to help course-correct and ensure progress towards
@OKRs
.
Identifies conflicting requirements across the
@Organization
and flags them to their
@Team, Teammates
.
Identifies risks in code,
@Feature
s, and design, and communicates these to their
@Team, Teammates
or
@Across Teams
.
Effectively communicates impact of information that they are presenting to their reporting EM.
Influence
Able to understand when proposed
@Task
s are not aligned with
@Team, Teammates
@OKRs
and able to defer those
@Task
s into backlog.
Understands and effectively communicates
@RACI
responsibilities for their
@Task
s across their
@Team, Teammates
.
Living Values
Persistent in the face of roadblocks and determined to drive
@Project
s to completion.
Possesses developer empathy and uses that empathy to guide
@Project
decision-making. Maintains a mindset that favors high quality and high standards.
Able to identify and suggest areas of future work for themselves or their
@Team, Teammates
.
Continuous Learning
Skills Continuity
All IC1 to IC3 competencies.
[Shared] = Criteria shared between IC 5 & EM L5 at this level
L6/L7: Staff Engineer I / II:
Search
Key Area
Attribute
Competencies
Impact
Scope
Provides technical guidance and makes architectural and design decisions to avoid risks and issues with the guidance of their
@Team, Teammates
.
Estimates, assesses and manages
@Project
timelines in consideration of risks.
Responsibility
Leads or significantly contributes to medium-to-large sized
@Project
s and
@Feature
s throughout entire lifecycle; usually multi-person
@Project
s that span
@Across Teams
.
Anticipates and defines technical issues, risks and problems and works with IC L1 to L5s to find solutions and drive
@Task
s to conclusion.
Functional Skills
Technical Capabilities
Participates in the design review process, seeking and providing constructive criticism and ensuring feedback is appropriately broken down and well-understood by their
@Team, Teammates
.
Understands the limits of Ockam’s tools, and when a problem exceeds those limits, produces, or directs their
@Team, Teammates
, to build a new tool.
[Shared] Demonstrates ability to succeed in a wide range of complex technical situations across multiple axes: e.g. scale, uncertainty, interconnectedness.
Knowledge
Has expertise in their
@Team, Teammates
@Use Case
domain, including the breadth of services for their product, how their product impacts
@Across Teams
, and what data and information should flow between systems, within their
@Team, Teammates
and
@Across Teams
.
Expert in large sections of the source product code.
Team Building / Coaching
[Shared] Advises Leads and Directors with insights and recommendations to improve the
@Team, Teammates
.
[Shared] Recruiting participation increasingly becomes helping to fill open headcount for the
@Organization
, not just for positions on their
@Team, Teammates
.
Mentors multiple
@Team, Teammates
, primarily IC L1 to L4s.
Behavior
Influence
[Shared] Able to quickly resolve tactical issues across the
@Team, Teammates
in order to ensure timely completion of
@Project
s and alignment with
@OKRs
@Across Teams
.
[Shared] Contributes to defining strategic direction, planning the roadmap and
@RACI
responsibilities, escalating issues, and synthesizing feedback to ensure
@Team, Teammates
success.
[Shared] Ensures that knowledge is shared amongst the
@Team, Teammates
and does not position themselves or others as a single point of failure.
[Shared] Builds relationships with
@Stakeholder
s, seeking feedback and using it as a tool for growth.
Monitors work across their
@Team, Teammates
and drives changes to their
@Team, Teammates
work to achieve stability and performance improvements.
Accurately forecasts deliverables two months ahead and delivers on that timeline.
Living Values
Shows initiative and offers assistance at all levels within their
@Team, Teammates
or
@Across Teams
when needed without being asked. Builds trust within the
@Team, Teammates
.
[Shared] Works through others. Lifts the skills and expertise of those around them.
Continuous Learning
Skills Continuity
All IC1 to IC5 competencies.
[Shared] = Criteria shared between IC & EM L6 at this level
L8: Principal Engineer:
Search
Key Area
Attribute
Competencies
Impact
Scope
[Shared] Demonstrated success leading large, strategic, or complex
@Project
s or
@Feature
s that have clear impact to the success of the
@Organization
.
Primarily acts as a multiplier by building systems, authoring tools, or introducing policies or patterns that raise the level of productivity of the
@Organization
.
Responsibility
Explores broad
@Use Case
and product spaces and works with IC L6 to L7s to define problems and guide IC L1 to L5s in finding solutions. Anticipates future expectations among various
@Use Case
s.
Makes decisions on product direction based on deep subject matter knowledge, usually requiring collaboration
@Across Teams
that cross
@Organization
boundaries.
Functional Skills
Technical Capabilities
[Shared] Ensures technical designs are properly evaluated for
@Project
s under
@RACI
and advises
@Team, Teammates
on how to improve execution.
Shapes coding methodologies, style, devex, and best practices across wide areas of the source product code. Leads code reviews and can approve large
@Feature
s under
@RACI
.
Capable of debugging the hairiest problems that their
@Team, Teammates
encounters.
Has deep expertise across multiple Ockam products and is recognized for high quality and quantity of hands-on technical contributions to
@Feature
s.
Engineering Strategy
Works with EMs on their
@Team, Teammates
to break down complex
@OKRs
into easy-to-understand
@Project
s and
@Task
s that can be effectively built and maintained by IC L1 to L5s.
Fosters a culture of observability
@Across Teams
and helps them use operational data to improve stability and performance of their
@Team, Teammates
products.
Team Building / Coaching
[Shared] Recruiting participation increasingly becomes sourcing, selling, and closing offers for Leads and all ICs. Has the ability to recruit senior candidates outside of their technical expertise.
Behavior
Influence
[Shared] Influences and leads conversations about the direction of major
@OKRs
and product roadmaps, drives
@Organization
-wide alignment of
@OKRs
, and uses that direction to inspire their
@Team, Teammates
.
[Shared] Collaborates
@Across Teams
to solve problems and resolve technical debates.
Has and continues to build a track record of significant product ‘wins’ for their
@Use Case
focus.
Living Values
Focuses on being a mentor and role model to all of their
@Team, Teammates
; empowering each of their
@Team, Teammates
to excel and take responsibility for the direction of
@Project
s under
@RACI
.
[Shared] Demonstrates effective judgment and critical resolution in all scenarios, and has a track record of proven good judgment by successfully executing key
@Project
s for their
@Organization
.
Continuous Learning
Skills Continuity
All IC1 to IC7 competencies.
[Shared] = Criteria shared between IC & EM L7 at this level



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