Engineering Competency Matrix [public version]
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Key area (5)Attribute / value (15)Theme (27) (Competency)Competency
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Engineering Competency Matrix Guidelines & FAQE1E2E3E4E5E6
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TitleAssociate EngineerEngineerSenior EngineerStaff EngineerSenior Staff EngineerPrincipal Engineer
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Focusexecution of work facilitating, guiding, mentoring others in areas of work
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scaling of competencieswithin taskwithin epicwithin teamwithin team & with team's business stakeholdersacross several teamsacross organization
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Technical skillsQuality & testing Writing codeWrites code with testability, readability, edge cases, and errors in mind.Consistently writes functions that are easily testable, easily understood by other developers, and accounts for edge cases and errors. Uses docstrings effectively.Consistently writes production-ready code that is easily testable, easily understood by other developers, and accounts for edge cases and errors. Understands when it is appropriate to leave comments, but biases towards self-documenting code.see E3see E3see E3
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TestingKnows the testing pyramid. Writes unit tests, sometimes with help from more senior engineers.Understands the testing pyramid, writes unit tests in accordance with it, as well as higher level tests with help from more senior engineers. Always tests expected edge cases and errors as well as the happy path.Understands the testing pyramid, and writes unit tests as well as higher level tests in accordance with it. Always writes tests to handle expected edge cases and errors gracefully, as well as happy paths.Understands their team's testing approach, and uses quality metrics to identify gaps. Works with their team to recommend solutions that are in accordance with accepted testing frameworks and the testing pyramid.Understands the testing approach of several teams, and uses quality metrics to identify gaps. Works with those teams to recommend solutions that are in accordance with accepted testing frameworks and the testing pyramid. Influences organization wide testing strategy.
Understands organizational testing approach, and uses quality metrics to identify gaps. Works with all teams to recommend solutions that are in accordance with accepted testing frameworks and the testing pyramid. Drives organization wide testing strategy.
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Debugging & observabilityDebuggingUnderstands the basics of debugging and the tools used for it. Uses a systematic approach to debug issues located within a single service. Proficient at using systematic debugging to diagnose all issues located to a single service. Uses systematic debugging to diagnose cross service issues, sometimes with help from more senior engineers.Proficient at using systematic debugging to diagnose all issues within the scope of their domain.Proficient at using systematic debugging to diagnose all issues within a set of related domains.Leads incident response across the engineering organization as needed. Uses systematic debugging to diagnose issues across the organization.
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Observabilityn/a (not applicable at this level)Is aware of the organization's monitoring philosophy and the operational data for their team’s domain.Is aware of the organization's monitoring philosophy. Helps tune and change the monitoring on their team accordingly. Is aware of the operational data for their team’s domain and uses it as a basis for suggesting stability and performance improvements.Drives monitoring work on their team based on the organization's monitoring philosophy. Is aware of the operational data for their team’s domain and uses it as a basis for driving changes to the team's services to achieve stability and performance improvements.Fosters a culture of observability across several teams and helps them use operational data to improve stability and performance of their domains.Fosters a culture of observability across the engineering organization. Helps teams across the engineering organization use operational data to improve stability and performance of their domains.
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Software design & architectureUnderstanding CodeIs able to gain context within team's domain with help from more senior engineers.Understands a portion of the team's domain, can gain sufficient context to work productively in that portion.Understands their team's domain at a high level and can gather sufficient context to work productively within it. Has expertise in a portion of their team's domain. Has expertise in their team's domain, including the breadth of services, how they interact, and data flows between systems. Understands adjacent domains as they affect their team.Has expertise in a set of related team's domains, including the breadth of services, how they interact, and data flows between systems.Has expertise in the organization's architecture, including all domains, their bounded contexts, and how they interact with each other.
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Software Architecture Is aware of overall service architecture. Designs basic functions with an awareness of overall service architecture, avoiding duplication across codebases and interface-breaking changes.Designs functions that are aligned with the overall service architecture.Consistently designs code that is aligned with the overall service architecture. Utilizes abstractions and code isolation effectively.Architects services and systems using well accepted design patterns to allow for iterative, autonomous development and future scaling. Anticipates future use cases and makes design decisions that minimize the cost of future changes. Works across teams to foster a culture of architecture that allows for iterative, autonomous development and future scaling. Guides several teams in anticipation of future use cases and helps them make design decisions that minimize the cost of future changes. Works across the organization to foster a culture of architecture that allows for iterative, autonomous development and future scaling. Guides teams in the organization in anticipation of future use cases and helps them make design decisions that minimize the cost of future changes.
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SecuritySecurityUnderstands the importance of security. Understands the importance of security. Utilizes this knowledge to ask more senior engineers for help on making decisions that may have security implications.Approaches all engineering work with a security lens. Actively looks for security vulernabilities both in the code and when providing peer reviews.Actively works with the security team, as well as their own team, to refine their team's approach to security based on the organization's security strategy. Fosters a security first mindset within their own team, and leads by example.Actively works with the security team, as well as across several teams, to apply the organization's security strategy. Fosters a security first mindset across those teams, leading by example.Actively works with the security team to set and refine organization wide security strategy. Fosters a security first mindset across the organization. Can recognize obscure security threats that go unnoticed to others.
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DeliveryIncremental value deliveryWork breakdownUnderstands value of rightsizing tasks to enable continuous integration and incremental delivery.Before beginning work, ensures that tasks are appropriately sized for continuous integration and incremental delivery with help from teammates and manager. Reviews tasks critically and ensures they’re appropriately sized for continuous integration and incremental delivery.Reviews epics and projects critically and ensures they’re appropriately broken down and prioritised, and well understood by the team.Reviews cross-team work critically and ensures it’s appropriately broken down and prioritised, and well understood by all involved teams.Reviews organization-wide work critically and ensures it’s appropriately broken down and prioritised across the organization.
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Prioritisation, dependenciesActs according to task prioritisationUnderstands and acts according to task prioritisation. Notes dependencies.Ensures tasks are prioritised correctly, and that dependencies are noted.Ensures dependencies are noted and well understood by the team, at both the task and epic level. Works within their team to foster a culture of priority setting and urgency in alignment with organizational strategy.Ensures cross-team dependencies are noted and well understood by all teams involved and other relevant stakeholders. Works across teams to foster a culture of priority setting and urgency in alignment with organizational strategy.Identifies dependencies across the organization and works with individual teams to resolve them before they become an issue, and installs preventative measures to mitigate repeat occurrences. Works across the organization to foster a culture of priority setting and urgency in alignment with organizational strategy.
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Dealing with ambiguityn/a (not applicable at this level)Usually handles risk, change, and uncertainty within their personal scope of work effectively. Usually decides and acts responsibly without having the total picture during routine business, and when in high pressure situations.Handles risk, change, and uncertainty within their personal scope of work effectively. Decides and acts responsibly without having the total picture during routine business and when in high pressure situations.Effectively handles risk, change, and uncertainty within their team. Decides and acts responsibly in their work with their team without having the total picture during routine business, as well as when in high pressure situations.Effectively handles risk, change, and uncertainty across several teams. Decides and acts responsibly in their work across teams without having the total picture during routine business, as well as when in high pressure situations.Effectively handles risk, change, and uncertainty across the organization. Decides and acts responsibly in their work across the organization without having the total picture during routine business, as well as when in high pressure situations.
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Self-organizationReliability, delivery accountabilityHas daily conversation with the team about the progress of their work. Delivers on commitments with a sense of urgency.Commits to a realistic amount of work, and works with their teammates both to ensure they understand priority and urgency, and to deliver upon them accordingly. Escalates any blockers, delays, and cost ballooning to their team daily. Clarifies expectations with their teammates. Ensures their commitments are realistic, understands their priority and urgency, and delivers upon them accordingly. Anticipates and communicates blockers, delays, and cost ballooning for their work before they require escalation. Ensures expectations within their team are clarified between all parties involved. Anticipates and communicates blockers, delays, and cost ballooning within their team’s projects, before they require escalation. Ensures expectations with their team and external stakeholders are clarified between all parties involved. Successfully manages cross-team commitments, their progress, and roadmap to delivery. Anticipates and communicates blockers, delays, and cost ballooning across teams, before they require escalation. Ensures expectations across teams and stakeholders are clarified between all parties involved. Successfully manages organization-wide commitments, their progress, and roadmap to delivery. Ensures expectations across the organization and external stakeholders are clarified between all parties involved.
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Economic thinkingUnderstands the importance of weighing cost and value in decision making. Asks more senior engineers for help in applying this type of thinking to their work.When taking action, weighs cost and value in order to take the most economic action with help from more senior engineers. Sometimes uses this type of thinking to make suggestions to teammates.When taking action, weighs cost and value in order to take the most economic action. Uses this thinking in their own work, and to make suggestions to teammates.When taking action, weighs cost and value in order to take the most economic action. Uses this thinking in their own work, and to foster a culture within their team where people apply economic thinking to make timely decisions.When taking action, weighs cost and value in order to make the most economic action. Uses this thinking in their own work, and to foster a culture across several teams where people apply economic thinking to make timely decisions. When taking action, weighs cost and value in order to make the most economic action. Uses this thinking in their own work, and to foster a culture within the organization where people apply economic thinking to make timely decisions.
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Feedback, Communication, Collaboration FeedbackDelivering Feedback Understands how to deliver praise and constructive feedback in a useful manner.Delivers praise and constructive feedback to their team, teammates, and manager in a useful manner.Delivers praise and constructive feedback to their team, teammates, and manager in a useful manner. Delivers feedback to their team's business stakeholders when opportunities arise. Fosters a culture of delivering praise and constructive feedback within their team and team's respective business stakeholders. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Fosters a culture of delivering praise and constructive feedback across several teams as well as their respective business stakeholders. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Fosters a culture of delivering praise and constructive feedback across the organization. Actively demonstrates these behaviours.
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Seeking and receiving feedbackActively seeks out feedback from their teammates and manager, and works to use feedback that they receive as a tool for growth.see E1see E1Works within their team and with its business stakeholders to foster a culture of seeking out feedback and using it as a tool for growth. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Works across several teams and with their business stakeholders to foster a culture of seeking out feedback and using it as a tool for growth. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Works across the organization to foster a culture of seeking out feedback and using it as a tool for growth. Actively demonstrates these behaviours.
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CommunicationEffective communicationCommunicates effectively, clearly, concisely and in an audience-oriented way, in written and verbal form. Actively listens to others and ensures they are understood. Pays attention to nonverbal communication.Usually communicates effectively, clearly, concisely and in an audience-oriented way in written and verbal form both technical and non technical subjects, to their teammates. Actively listens to others and ensures they are understood. Pays attention to nonverbal communication. Communicates effectively, clearly, concisely in written and verbal form both technical and non technical subjects, and in an audience-oriented way. Actively listens to others and ensures they are understood. Pays attention to nonverbal communication. Is able to communicate effectively with a diverse team. Fosters a culture of clear, concise, effective, audience-oriented communication on their team, ensuring teammates actively listen to others and are understood. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Pays attention to nonverbal communication. Is able to communicate effectively with a diverse set of teams. Fosters a culture of clear, concise, effective, audience-oriented communication across several teams, ensuring teammates actively listen to others and are understood. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Pays attention to nonverbal communication. Is able to communicate effectively across the company. Fosters a culture of clear, concise, effective, audience-oriented communication across the company, ensuring teammates actively listen to others and are understood. Actively demonstrates these behaviours. Pays attention to nonverbal communication.
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Knowledge SharingUnderstands their area of work and shares their knowledge frequently with their teammates.Understands their work domain, shares their knowledge frequently with their teammates and contributes to their team's documentation. Watches out for opportunities to share knowledge.Understands their team's domain, shares their knowledge frequently with their teammates and contributes to their team's documentation. Watches out for opportunities to share knowledge and encourages others to do the same.Fosters a culture of documentation and knowledge sharing within their team and with their team's business stakeholders; actively demonstrates these behaviors.Fosters a culture of documentation and knowledge sharing across several teams and their respective business stakeholders; actively demonstrates these behaviors.Fosters a culture of documentation and knowledge sharing across the organization; actively demonstrates these behaviors.
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CollaborationTeamworkHelps their teammates when requested. Gives or shares credit where due.
When requested, helps their teammates overcome obstacles, resolve blockers, and complete work tasks. Gives or shares credit where due.Sometimes helps their teammates overcome obstacles, resolve blockers, and complete work tasks. Gives or shares credit where due.Consistently helps their teammates overcome obstacles, resolve blockers, and complete work tasks. Gives or shares credit where due.Consistently works across teams to help them resolve blockers, and complete work tasks. Ensures that credit is shared and given where due. Consistently works across the organization to enable teams to support each other. Ensures that credit is shared and given where due.
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Relationship buildingWorks to build strong relationships with their teammates and manager. Works to build strong relationships with their teammates, manager, and product counterpart.Works to build strong relationships with their teammates, manager, as well as their teams' relevant business stakeholders.Works to build and improve strong relationships with their teammates, manager, their teams' relevant business stakeholders, and senior engineers across the organization. Leverages relationships to better plan for and position their team.Works to build and improve strong relationships with engineers and managers across the organization as well as relevant business stakeholders for several teams. Leverages relationships to better plan for and position those teams.Works to build and improve strong relationships across the organization. Leverages those relationships to better plan for and position the engineering organization.
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Handling disagreementOpenly shares their opinions and contributes to discussions in a respectful manner. Works with teammates to resolve disagreement in a healthy manner. Is open to changing their perspective and plans based on others' input. Openly shares their opinions and contributes to discussions in a respectful manner. Approaches disagreement with their teammates non-defensively with inquisitiveness. Uses contradictory opinions as a basis for constructive, productive conversations. Is open to changing their perspective and plans based on others' input. Encourages their teammates to openly share their opinions and contribute to discussions in a respectful manner. Approaches disagreement non-defensively with inquisitiveness. Uses contradictory opinions as a basis for constructive, productive conversations. Is open to changing their perspective and plans based on others' input. Fosters a culture within their team where people are encouraged to share their opinions and contribute to discussions in a respectful manner, approach disagreement non-defensively with inquisitiveness, and use contradictory opinions as a basis for constructive, productive conversations. Is open to changing their perspective and plans based on others' input. Fosters a culture across several teams where people are encouraged to share their opinions and contribute to discussions in a respectful manner, approach disagreement non-defensively with inquisitiveness, and use contradictory opinions as a basis for constructive, productive conversations. Works through surface-level disagreements to expose the concerns of disagreeing voices and integrates these concerns into their perspective and plans.Fosters a culture across the organization where people are encouraged to share their opinions and contribute to discussions in a respectful manner, approach disagreement non-defensively with inquisitiveness, and use contradictory opinion as a basis for constructive, productive conversations. Integrates disagreeing perspectives from the whole company into their perspective and plans.
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LeadershipDecision makingDecision makingUnderstands the impact of biases on decision making. Understands accountability.Strives to be objective and reflects on their own biases when making decisions. Holds themselves accountable for decision and outcomes.see E2Takes ownership of decisions made in their team by helping their teammates make clear decisions in alignment with organizational goals, backing decisions made, and taking responsibility for their success. Raises awareness for how biases impact decisions and ensures accountability is practiced within their team. Demonstrates these behaviours themselves.Takes ownership of decisions made across teams by helping them make clear decisions in alignment with organizational goals, backing decisions made, and taking responsibility for their success. Raises awareness for how biases impact decisions and ensures accountability is practiced throughout those teams. Demonstrates these behaviours themselves.Takes ownership of decisions made in the engineering organization by helping organization members make clear decisions in alignment with organizational goals, backing decisions made, and taking responsibility for their success. Raises awareness for how biases impact decisions and ensures accountability is practiced throughout the organization. Demonstrates these behaviours themselves.
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Driving alignmentDriving alignmentContributes to conversations based on organizational strategy and principles with their teammates when appropriate. Strongly oriented towards goals and works towards their team's goals.Has conversations based on organizational strategy and principles with their teammates when appropriate. Strongly oriented towards goals and works towards their team's goals.Has conversations based on organizational strategy and principles with their teammates when appropriate to ensure team alignment. Strongly oriented towards goals and ensures their team is continuously working towards their shared goals.Fosters a culture within their team of having conversations based on organizational strategy and principles to create alignment. Strongly oriented towards goals and ensures their team is continuously working towards their goals.Fosters a culture across several teams of of having conversations based on organizational strategy and principles to create alignment. Strongly oriented towards goals and ensures several teams are continuously working towards their goals.Fosters a culture across the organization of of having conversations based on organizational strategy and principles to create alignment. Ensures goals are understood and continously worked towards across the organization.
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Process thinkingProcess thinkingUnderstands their team's practices and processes.Sometimes thinks about team practices and processes and discusses improvements with team.Regularly thinks about team practices and processes and discusses improvements with team.Thinks about team practices and processes and regularly discusses improvements with their team. Sometimes collaborates with others to improve organizational practices and processes.Thinks about practices and processes that affect several teams, discusses improvements with appropriate parties, and drives implemention. Usually collaborates with others to improve organizational practices and processes.Takes ownership and responsibility for organizational practices and processes and their continuous improvement.
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FacilitationFacilitationn/a (not applicable at this level)n/a (not applicable at this level)Facilitates discussions within their team, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to share their opinion and be heard, and that discussion outcomes tie to stated goals. Encourages quiet participants and ensures no one person dominates the conversation.see E3Facilitates discussions across teams, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to share their opinion and be heard, and that discussion outcomes tie to stated goals. Ensures relevant parties are included in discussions. Guides discussions toward decisions, clarifies and gets buy-in.Facilitates organization-wide discussions, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to share their opinion and be heard, and that discussion outcomes tie to stated goals. Encourages quiet participants and ensures no one person dominates the conversation.
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MentoringMentoringSeeks out mentorship to grow their own experience.Seeks out mentorship to grow their own experience. Sometimes mentors their teammates in an open, respectful, flexible, empathetic manner.Mentors their teammates in an open, respectful, flexible, empathetic manner. Seeks out mentoring opportunities specifically to create team redundancy and backfill ability.Mentors their teammates in an open, respectful, flexible, empathetic manner. Seeks out mentoring opportunities specifically to create team redundancy and backfill ability. Mentors members of other teams as needed. Mentors across teams in an open, respectful, flexible, empathetic manner. Fosters a culture of mentoring across teams by seeking out mentoring opportunities for themselves and others, and supports others in their growth as mentors. Mentors across the organization in an open, respectful, flexible, empathetic manner. Fosters an organizational culture of mentoring by seeking out mentoring opportunities for themselves and others, and supports others in their growth as mentors.
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Strategic ImpactBusiness Acumen & StrategyBusiness acumenHas a basic understanding of their team's domain and CI/CD marketplace.Has a basic understanding of their team's domain, and how it contributes to overall business strategy. Has a thourough understanding of their team's domain, and how it contributes to overall business strategy. Has a basic understanding of adjacent teams' business domains.Has a thourough understanding of their team's domain, strategy, and how it maps to overall market trends. Has a thorough understanding of adjacent teams' strategies and how they map to their team and interaction points.Has a thorough understanding of several team's domains, and how they contribute to overall business strategy.Has a thorough understanding of the entire business, including individual domains, and how they contribute to overall business strategy.
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Strategic workn/a (not applicable at this level)Understands the organization's engineering strategy.Understands the organization's engineering strategy. Usually involved in discussions about the implications for their team.Collaborates and decides on their team's engineering work based on organization's engineering strategy, together with their teammates and senior engineers. Sometimes involved in work on organizational engineering strategy.Usually involved in strategic organizational decisions and plans. Leads cross-team strategic efforts, influencing decisions to achieve cross-team alignment on major goals.Leads strategic organizational decisions and plans. Consistently works at a strategic level, influencing decisions to achieve organizational alignment on major goals.
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Product ThinkingUnderstands basic utility of the product.Understands product area of focus, how it fits into the overall business, and sometimes makes improvement suggestions for it.Thoroughly understands the business model in relation to their current product focus area. Sometimes participates in roadmap feedback with product team. Looks for opportunities to simplify product & technical design.Evaluates and creates new product features in collaboration with the product team. Regularly participates in the creation of the team roadmap and ensuing feedback. Simplifies product and technical design through proactive conversations.Recognizes product opportunities and differentiators in relation to the competition. Often helps refine roadmaps across teams based on technical strategy & constraints. Helps to define & create new product abilities by changing technical strategy or constraints.Actively seeks to create or redefine roadmaps across the organization with product & business counterparts.
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