IT/Ops Skill Matrix and Leveling
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SRE SKILL MATRIX AND LEVELING
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SCOPEResponsible for SelfResponsible TeamResponsible DivisionResponsible for Company and Community
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TITLEIntern/EntryIndividual ContributorSenior Individual ContributorTech / Team LeadPrincipal / ManagerArchitect / DirectorSenior Architect / Senior DirectorFellow/VP
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LEVELI-1I-2I-3I-4I-5I-6I-7I-8
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Radford1,23456
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Decision Making: Creativity, Judgment, Initiative & FlexibilityNeeds direction; Knows when to ask questions. Takes initiative to tackle tasks relevant to skill level.Can work independently with minimal direction. Takes initiative to tackle tasks relevant to skill level. Capable of and responsive to change.Self-starting, able to work with minimal direction from management. Understands need for lateral thinking; Displays willingness to adapt to new ways of doing business. Able to initiate projects; Able to provide direction to management on technical matters. Identifies what needs to be done and acts before being asked to or required by the situation.Able to initiate cross team projects; Able to provide direction to management on technical matters. Consistently anticipates and drives needed changes.Initiates cross team projects; Provides out-of-the-box solutions to difficult problems. Able to balance technical and business needs. Consistently anticipates and drives needed changes.Initiates cross team projects; Provides out-of-the-box solutions to difficult problems. Able to balance technical and business needs. Consistently anticipates and drives needed changes.Fundamentally changes what products and services are offered; Proven ability to anticipate trends; Able to spot discontinuities in technical and business landscape.
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Teamwork & CultureStrives to be a team player. Does their best to support the team and extend trust and confidence to others.Strives to be a team player. Fosters team by demonstrating trust, confidence, and commitment in others' actions and decisions to create a supportive work environment. Effective team player. Fosters team by demonstrating trust, confidence, and commitment in others' actions and decisions to create a supportive work environment. Is able to detect when things aren't working and works to address problems.Effective team player. Fosters team by demonstrating trust, confidence, and commitment in others' actions and decisions to create a supportive work environment. Is able to detect when things aren't working and works to address problems. Introduces new members to team culture. Encourages others to value team culture.Improves any team they are part of. Actively looks to provide mentorship and encouragement to team members; Involvement with outside community. Reaches out to other teams; Regularly examines team culture looking for ways to improve team dynamics;Improves any team they are part of; Actively looks to provide mentorship and encouragement to team members; Involvement with outside community. Reaches out to other teams; Regularly examines company culture looking for ways to improve it; Is able to separate personal agenda from company direction.Improves any team they are part of; Proven as a transformational coach; Involvement with outside community. Reaches out to other teams; Regularly examines company culture looking for ways to improve it; Is able to separate personal agenda from company direction.Creates a culture that allows the team to operate at peak efficency and learn together.
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Technical LeadershipAble to build packages; do service deployment; Able to scope out small projects; Able to drive simple live cutoversAbility to mentor team members; plan and provide technical leadership for medium sized projects. Able to create formal requirements for a project. Able to own live cutovers.Ability to plan and provide technical leadership for large sized projects; Ability to provide mentorship & technical leadership to staff; Participates with the external technical community. Skilled at formalizing requirements for projects.Ability to plan and provide technical leadership for large size projects across organizational structures and anticipate needs; Ability to provide mentorship & technical leadership to technical staff; Provides leadership to technical community (published, active committee member, etc.)Proven ability to plan and provide technical leadership for large size projects across organizational structures and anticipate needs; Ability to provide mentorship & technical leadership to technical staff; Provides leadership to technical community (published, active committee member, etc.)Proven ability to drive cross company projects; Ability to provide mentorship/technical leadership to technical staff; Provides leadership to technical community (published, active committee member, etc.)
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Work Quality & EfficiencyFollows team processes and reads documentsFollows team processes. Documents work. Attention to detail. Digs in and makes progress on work.Improves existing team processes. Creates effective documention used by others. Attention to detail. Digs in and makes progress on work. Stays focused and isn't distracted by irrelevant things. Understands quality improvement process. Creates new processes and documentation. Stays focused on key issues and efficient in time use. Produces the desired outcome with a minimum of effort. Able to estimate schedules. Leads quality improvement process and motivates others. Authors team processes and documents. Highly effective at completed work on time. Able to effectively estimate schedules. Finds ways to improve efficiency of team.Can drive meta processes. Authors organizational process. Attention to detail. Highly effective at completed work on time. Able to effectively estimate schedules. Is able to improve efficiency across organizations.Drives meta processes; Authors organizational processes. Attention to detail. Highly effective at completed work on time. Able to effectively estimate schedules. Has a proven track record of improving the company's overall efficiency.Drives meta processes; Authors organizational processes. Attention to detail. Highly effective at completed work on time. Able to effectively estimate schedules. Has transformed company's efficiency.
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CommunicationHas reasonable verbal skillsHas reasonable written and verbal skills.Good written and verbal skills; Ability to work well with others.Strong verbal & written skills; Works well with others; Can distill complex issue to a short and simple explination. Can work with upper management;Very strong verbal & written skills; Works well with others. Can bridge communication gaps. Understands the need to develop a listener oriented communication strategy; Works with upper managers;Very strong verbal & written skills; Works well with others and bridges communication gaps; Able to communicate cross cultures; Can work with executives; Able to speak publicly;Very strong verbal & written skills; Improve any team they are part of; Able to communicate position even when others have conflicting viewpoints; Works well with executives; Accomplished speaker.Very strong verbal & written skills; Highly effective at getting consensus even with others who have conflicting agendas; Works with executives outside company Accomplished speaker.
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TECHNICAL ABILITYI-1I-2I-3I-4I-5I-6I-7I-8
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System Design and Architecture (Shift 1 right for IT)n/aAppreciates basic trade-offs for large scale administration.Understands basic components in service. Able to create requirements which reflect solid large scale administrative principles.Solid understanding of production services. Expert in large scale administration. Understands basic techniques and trade-offs for HA (High Availability) systems.Expert in large scale administration. Able to design complex services which have high availability requirements;Ability to design complex systems trading off technical issues and other factors. Skilled at creating requirements from customer interviews.Proven ability to architect complex systems which meet customers' needs even when need isn't well articulated.Has created completely new or novel solutions to exceptionally difficult problems though effective re-framing changing what constrains are applied
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Diagnosis & TroubleshootingAble to follow basic diagnosis scripts and resolve expected problems.Able to follow basic diagnosis scripts. Has basic understanding of decomposing problems into smaller problems. Knows when to pull in someone to help.Uses causal reasoning to triage problems. Demonstrated ability to decompose complex problems. Able to engage in lateral investigations.Uses causal reasoning to triage problems. Skilled at decomposing complex problems. Skilled at lateral investigations. Skilled at weighting options and can reason from first principles.Uses causal reasoning to triage problems. Skilled at decomposing complex problems. Skilled at lateral investigations. Able to rapidly correlate problems against experience. Can write good post mortem.Able to diagnose any technical problem in a timely fashion. Can write a good client facing RCA (Root Cause Analysis).Able to diagnose any problem, even when it crosses company boundries.Can solve intractable problems by moving the industry or redefining the problem space.
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OperationsUnderstands the need for operations-ready systems.Understands the need for operations-ready systems, can articulate the need for automation; has a "trust nothing" mindset. Detail oriented.Able to clearly articulate key operational principles, able to identify key items to be automated; able to estimate what is most likely to break. Extremely detail oriented. Always has a plan B. Able to perform capacity planning.Able to clearly articulate key operational principles, able to identify key items to be automated; able to estimate what is most likely to break. Extremely detail oriented. Always has a plan B. Experiences at capacity planningAble to clearly articulate key operational principles, able to identify key items to be automated; able to estimate what is most likely to break. Extremely detail oriented. Able to plan for all normal and abnormal situations.
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Programming Ability (Shift right 1 for IT; Level 5-8 applicable to technical track)able to understand and write simple scripts.able to write scripts; knowledge of 1-2 scripting languages; can read python and C. Understands code management.can program in an administrative language; Can port & install C programs and create packages. Understands code management.program in an administrative language; Can write simple python and C programs. Able to scope small size software projects.fluent in Python, C or other appliable language; known system API and can write networking code; able to design a good APIproject level coding experience; know 3+ languages; able to decompose complex systems and identify key APIs.project level coding experience; know 3+ languages; able to decompose complex systems and identify key APIs. Theory background.
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Amazon Web Services APIs (shift left 1 for people focused on CLD tasks)
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O/S Knowledge & Diversity (shift right 1 for people not working on hosts day to day)Good users skills with one OS.Strong user skills in primary OS; Basic admin experience Understands local OS environmentExpert user skills with one OS; Strong admin skills with one OS; User knowledge of second OS; Basic performance tuning skills;Expert user and admin skills primary OS; Strong user and admin skills with second OS and/or specialty systems; Strong understanding of primary OS kernel.Expert user and admin skills primary OS; Strong user and admin skills with second OS and/or specialty systems; Expert understanding of primary OS kernel; OS theory background.
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LAN & Networking Experience (shift right 2 for people not in networking group and make 3rd level ceiling)familiarity with hubs & switches, routersbasic understanding of LAN, UDP/TCP, ports and services, Nets/Subnets/Routing. Basic network gear configuration experienceUnderstands LAN routing protocols; Intermediate network equipment configuration skills and WAN circuit management. Able to examine packet traces to debug problems.Deep WAN and LAN routing protocols experience; Any to work to resolve problems from hardware to application layer. Understands Networking Theory.Deep WAN and LAN protocols experience; Any to work to resolve problems to application layer. Experience designing networks for HA services. Network theory.Understands complex site design. Experience dealing with Internet scale topology. Deep appreciate of trade-off for service availible. Understands QoS.
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Security (Levels above 3 applicable to security folks only)Understands the need for security; knows to ask for help with respect to security.Understands the need for security. Has basic host security knowledge; understands the concept of a firewall. Takes a defensive posture.Understands security theory. Can install and configure basic firewalls. Understands VPN technology and implementation. Understanding of certification, authentication and intrusion detection. Understands basic intrusion response.Strong security design and theory; Design and configure complex firewalls. Can build basic certification, authentication and intrusion detection systems. Basic understanding of incident response and forensics acquisition.Expert understanding of current security technology, including firewalls, VPNs, intrusion detection, certification and authentication. Designs site-wide security infrastructure. Can lead incident response. Solid knowledge of forensics analysis, and legal implications.Expert understanding of current security technology, including firewalls, VPNs, intrusion detection, certification and authentication. Can lead company wide security program which implements industry standards. Skilled at balancing technical and business requirements.Expert understanding of current security technology, including firewalls, VPNs, intrusion detection, certification and authentication. Sr Dir. has led company wide security program which implements industry standards. Sr Arch: Has moved the industry forward.Expert understanding of current security technology, including firewalls, VPNs, intrusion detection, certification and authentication. VP: Has led company wide security program which implements industry standards. Fellow: Has made major advance in state of the art.
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Databases (Shift right by 2 for non DBA, and cap at 1)Can write basic SQL queries; Understands basic database concept; able design a basic schema; can perform basic database monitoring.Can write SQL and read PL/SQL. Can perform basic database installation, creation, and monitoring knowledge; Understands basic database concept; Understands basic replication. Can perform basic database tuning. Can be responsible for basic database backup and recovery.
Can write complex SQL and PL/SQL; can perform database installation, creation, and monitoring knowledge with basic trouble-shooting skills; Can establish backup policies; Can tune performance; Understands database internals; Understands database networking; Able to evaluate replication strategies.Extensive experience in daily database administration; defines policies within database; Skilled at schema design; Performs application and database tuning; Defines data recovery strategy; Has good knowledge of the distributed database; Can develop database replication strategies;Fully understand database internals and features; Expert in schema design; Has thorough system and database tuning knowledge; Can devise complex strategies to meet data available and performance metrics.Fully understand database internals and features; Expert in schema design; Can devise complex strategies to meet availability and performance metrics; data warehousing and experience doing information management.Fully understand database internals and features; Expert in schema design; Can devise complex strategies to meet availability and performance metrics; data warehousing and experience doing information management. advanced information processing expertise (SLT, etc).
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Facilities (shift right 2 for people who don't work in a data center, Level 2 max for not facilities team)Understands need for, and able to cleanly wire, rack, and mount devicesCan clearly articulate data center standards. Basic electrical signalling (ethernet length, how many pairs, etc). Familiarity with datacenter facilities infrastructure (Power, Air flow, cabling). Can clearly articulate data center standards and can develop labeling and basic layout plans. Understands signal flows on all media (and can use test sets for those), Understands power (phases, ground, etc), able to deal with vendors to resolve technical issues.Can create a project book. Understands signal flows on all media (and can use test sets for those). Can model basic cooling. Can make tradeoff for power distrubution. Can lay out physical space designed for reliability. Can order and manage all materials for a build out. Manage vendors and subcontractors.Has built data centers in the past. Outside plant experience with OC-X. Can model and resolve cooling. Designs for workflow and reliablity. Establish specifications for subcontractors and can run geo-diverse work crews.Facilities infrastructure engineering experience; able to develop standards and best practices across multiple datacenter sites; plan for company growth and changing business needs.
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Relevant Work Experience0-3 year0-6 years4+ years6+ years8+ years12+ years15+ years20+ years
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Degree2-years or equivalentBA/BS or equivalentBA/BS or equivalentBS in CS or equivalentMS or equivalentMS or equivalentMS or equivalentMS or equivalent
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NOTE: The section on technical leadership, as well as many of the soft skills needs to be updated making use of insights from action research, orginizational learning, and leadership fields
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Mark Verber © 2005, 2017, Some Rights Reserved
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