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Why are companies openly sharing their engineering career ladders?


There’s no shortage of articles today highlighting the importance of
. Employees today are not only interested and motivated by compensation, but also, if not more, interested in personal development and professional growth.

People want to know what it will take to get to them to the next level in their role.


For this reason, an increasing number of companies are starting to not only document, but publicly sharing them—their career ladders and their detailed competency rubrics. It’s not only useful for engineers within a company, it’s incredibly useful for job seekers as well.

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In a
, Varun Srinivasan shares how he developed an engineering career ladder and created a clear, growth path for his engineering organization at Coinbase.


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We had a company-wide career ladder, but no engineering specific ones. This was fine in the early days, but as we grew a common pain point was lack of clarity on what people should be focussing on. This is not an uncommon problem - people want clarity on what their company values, so they can hone their craft accordingly. But you can't just take a career ladder from another company and drop it in yours - what works for a Google will not work for a 100 person startup, because you value different things from your engineers.



3 reasons why career ladders are important

Financial Times has a nice writeup describing reasons why they think career ladders are important, including:

#1: Clearly present expectations for each level
...to help engineers understand what is expected of them at each level, and to be able to track their progress against this map

#2: An assessment tool for promotions
...for the promotions board to...look at a career map and understand how well an engineer is meeting the competencies at the level they want to be promoted into.

#2: As a recruitment tool
...Sharing our career maps can be very helpful for anyone trying to work out if the FT is for them.


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