Square Software Engineering Career Ladder
This document contains the software engineering career ladder at Square. Here is how you should read it:

Each level builds on the criteria from the preceding level. An L4 must also meet all the criteria for an L3.

• Engineers and Engineering Managers can exist at the same Square Level with different job criteria. Becoming an EM is not a promotion—it's a different role. Some criteria are shared between ICs and EMs at the same level.

• Software Engineers begin at L3. Engineering Managers begin at L5.

• For a given level, meeting the specified number of years of relevant experience is not strictly required. However, every year short is harder to account for with respect to promotions or hiring. Years of relevant experience are important in establishing a track record since it takes time to assess the impact of long-term decisions. Time served in industry or academia cannot stand alone. Your experience should also be relevant to level criteria.

• Every engineer should eventually reach at least L6 at a pace roughly inline with experience guidelines.

• We promote individuals to the next level after they demonstrate consistent performance at that level. While they do not need to meet every single criteria of the next level to be promoted, they must meet the Scope & Impact criteria.

• We expect engineers at every level to share and practice the values stated in the Engineering Handbook.

• In this document, team refers to an engineer's immediate team; organization refers to the group under a GM or Core Lead in orgs that don’t have GMs.