Staff vs Principal Software Engineers

One View on Differentiation

As a follow-up to my last post Designing Engineering Culture @ Shutterstock, I wanted to get a little bit into some of the rationale behind the decisions that were made. As a quick refresher, here’s the general track framework: I’d like to drill a bit into the bifurcation that we created as part of the IC Track at Shutterstock, specifically between team and organizational dimensions. At a large number of places I’ve worked, there have always been IC engineers that were exceedingly good at solving deep technical problems in their domains and products of choice, but, at the same time, had little to no interest in marketing themselves outside their respective teams or increasing their visibility beyond the work that interested them (coding). [Read More]

Designing Engineering Culture @ Shutterstock

Directed Evolution of Organizational Design

Clear definition of levels and active enablement of individual career development are cornerstones of healthy, high-performing, highly-engaged engineering organizations. At any given point in time, it is important for engineers and managers of engineers to comprehend where they stand, the possible paths before them, and the specific behaviors and impact expected of them at each level from both performance and career progression perspectives. Although tech companies generally share many traits, what expectations are deemed important at a given company are highly dependent on their own unique engineering cultures. [Read More]

Etsy's Charter of Mindful Communication

It’s tough to navigate a chorus of personalities without a common, shared foundation upon which to base communications. This charter was conceived and rolled-out by Etsy’s Culture & Engagement team, embodying the best of its culture and mindfulness in order to achieve optimal benefit. It’s a brilliant articulation of how to ensure a diverse group of people can communicate and work effectively together by following a few basic principles. Etsy’s Charter of Mindful Communication We strive to embody the behaviors outlined below in all our interactions (with fellow employees, Etsy sellers, vendors, partners, industry peers and even strangers in the elevator) to ensure a foundation of mutual respect, accountability, open-mindedness and productivity. [Read More]