The Engineering Ladder is our way to provide people a professional growth path. What is needed to advance to the next level and get a promotion is well explained and explicit (transparency).

Our Path is composed of seven levels. The first four are the same for everyone, while the last three are different for tech and manager tracks, as shown in the below image.


The Engineering ladder is not related to self-management roles. Self-management roles are needed by the organization, while each individual requires ladder levels to grow as a professional. It helps to develop skills across four main directions:

  • Dex - Technical skills
  • Str - Get Stuff Done
  • Wis - Impact
  • Cha - Communication & Leadership

The extended document is located in BigData Sharepoint / Career Ladder

This ladder was built taking inspiration mainly from the "rent the runaway" ladder and many others. Thanks


  • Expectations at each level are cumulative
  • Dex and Str ( the «adder» attributes) are the primary drivers of promotions at lower levels. At higher levels, the importance gradually shifts to Wis and Cha ( the «multiplier» attributes ) • Not everyone will progress in each column in lockstep. If you are Dex:6/Cha:3; you will not be stuck at L3, but you will likely not be promoted all the way L6 • To advance to the next level, you need to consistently perform at that level for some time (6M – 1Y) and then needed by the organization
  • To reach Engineer 3, a positive experience as Project/Team leader is helpful
  • Each level has a compensation range associated. If you are stuck in a level, you can anyway move forward your compensation, but only up to the upper limit.
  • Each level has a quota, calculated by the engine lead link based on the total number of people in the Engine department and their distribution across levels.

How to get promoted

  • When is possible we approach things to bottom-up and with self-responsibility in mind
  • If you want to be promoted, you need to assess yourself and pitch for it
  • The first person to convince is your project leader/lead link
  • Ask your project leader/lead link to assess if there is quota into the next level.
  • Your project leader/lead link will mentor you on this, helping to build a dossier to support your pitch
  • Pitch will be done to a specific committee.

Promotion Committee

We want to distribute the accountability and don't let a single person judge for a promotion, limiting the judgment bias and the candidate's frustration against a single person.

The following roles will compose the committee:

  • Lead link of the Architecture circle
  • Lead link of the Software factory circle
  • The candidate's project leader/lead link
  • the lead link of the candidate's project leader/lead link (upper lead link)
  • 2 team members of the candidate, chosen by the candidate. ( if you are not in the position to pick up two team members, explain why and proceed anyway)

After the pitch of the candidate, the committee will express an evaluation in the following way:

  • Technical Skills: project leader/lead link + Architecture lead link + Software Factory lead link + team member
  • Get Stuff Done: project leader/lead link + team member
  • Impact: project leader/lead link + upper lead link
  • Communication & Leadership: project leader/lead link + upper lead link + team member

To get the promotion on each feature, you need to reach unanimity. If you get not promoted, you will receive extended feedback about motivations and what you should focus on to get there.


The compensation must always be decided by a person that is possibly two levels ( of the ladder) above the promotion's candidate's target level.


Found an error in the handbook? The source code can be found here. Please feel free to edit and contribute a merge request, powered by Gitbook
Modified at: 2021-09-22 07:41:17

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