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Engineering Career Ladders v2.0

We invite you to explore our growing collection of public Engineering Career Ladders and Rubrics gathered across various industries around the world. Feel free to explore, or log in to contribute your own ladders and rubrics.
Currently, a total of
20 public career ladders/rubrics have been added!


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Individual Contributor
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Basecamp's Programmers


Basecamp's Programmers
Career Ladder*

View all roles/functions in this ladder

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1 // Junior Programmer
1
2 // Programmer
1
3 // Senior Programmer
1
4 // Lead Programmer
1
5 // Principal Programmer
1
Expectations
5
Work is thoroughly reviewed with substantial back’n’forth frequently needed before merging.
Basic language features are mastered, but some advanced structures may still be unfamiliar.
Occasional issues following patterns and approaches within existing code bases.
Works primarily on tightly scoped, routine problems.
Usually less than 2 years of experience being a professional programmer in the specific domain.
Work is reviewed with the occasional need for material direction or implementation changes.
Follows established patterns and approaches within existing code bases with ease.
Works mostly on clearly defined and scoped individual features or problems.
Usually at least 2-5 years of experience being a professional programmer in the specific domain.
Work doesn’t necessarily need to be reviewed, but general approach may be.
Fully capable of taking substantial features from concept to shipping as the sole programmer (alongside a designer).
Can provide material feedback on the work of junior programmers and programmers.
Deep expertise within at least one programming environment.
Basic proficiency in at least one additional programming environment.
Usually at least 5-8 years of experience being a professional programmer in the specific domain.
Work happens completely autonomously with no regular need for review.
Fully capable of owning and running entire subsystems of work (Queenbee expert, Action Cable implementation).
Helps set and maintain professional standards for the entire organization.
Deep, substantial expertise in multiple programming environments.
Capable of running and directing small teams for substantial projects.
Capable of executing projects across multiple domains (say, native app that needs API backend).
Usually at least 8-12 years of experience being a professional programmer in the specific domain.
Can set and direct an entire department, like SIP, Core Product, or Research & Fidelity.
Fully capable of designing, owning, and running entirely new, novel systems (design billing systems, Trix, Active Record from scratch)
Capable of running and directing larger teams for large, long-running projects.
Recognized widely in the industry for material contributions to the state of the art.
Invents new concepts, pushes the whole organization forward regularly.
Usually at least 12-15+ years of experience being a professional programmer in the specific domain.


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