Learn what software engineering job titles really mean, how companies standardize them, and how they relate to your work and pay. The matrix has a three-level structure that correlates with the Junior-Middle-Senior role distribution. The administrative engineering company level is the highest level of the company that incorporates professionals who are the main doers of the company. Programmer Competency Matrix. That’s an obvious fact. I know what it means, but I don't know how it stacks up against the other titles, which is why I asked. Yes I am still a maker not a manager and I do not have anyone reporting to me but my new position now requires leadership duties that are best not left implicit or not handled with the same outcomes oriented focus as my past coding assignments. I also realized that while I am still an individual contributor, the principal engineer role carries enough cross-organization work, and enough people skills, that it is much closer to management than it may seem without engineers reporting directly to me. Ultimately, levels reflect the employee’s value to the company based on the impact they’re expected to deliver. A few years ago I was where a lot of senior engineers (maybe more the women than the men) tend to be:. See: Member of Technical Staff. In fact, this is the level where one wishes more problems were purely code because we can make code do a lot of things. We have five levels on our engineering technical career path: Associate, Engineer, Career, Consulting and Principal. And few things are more strategic to a company than its ability to recruit great engineering talent. This is a much more mature definition of ‘10x engineer’ than the Silicon Valley cargo cult likes to use. A PE does not produce 10x the features or fix 10x the tech debt tickets. The Principal level is VERY limited based on business need and "global expert/guru" qualifications. The hierarchy in engineering company is divided into three levels. For this reason, compensation is typically tied directly to clearly established, standardized levels. At SendGrid, principal engineer and principal engineer 2 are manager and director level roles respectively without having human direct reports. Principal, Distinguished, and Fellow. The arrangement can be on the basis of job profile, duties, and power of decision making & authority of a person in the company. The various Engineering job profiles at this highest level of the hierarchy in engineering company include: These are the entry level professionals and majority of times enter the engineering company as an intern or trainee. It will be a proper systematic arrangement of all the job profiles associated with an engineering company. I have heard it said about data stores that ‘all databases have schemas…even the ones that say they do not’ and I think the same applies to organizations that are larger than a small handful of individuals. principal engineer; Edit: Let me elaborate on "member of technical staff" since it's kind of uncommon. And to Camille Fournier for writing that book. I think it's a high title, commonly associated with research. As a principal engineer, recruitment is one of your responsibilities. Now, 2 years later, I have been a principal engineer for a year. To the contrary, I very much appreciate the complexity of engineering management work but I felt that I wanted to strengthen my technical expertise and solidify my career as an individual contributor before considering going fully into people management. This is why promoting any engineer to PE without clear skills in more than just ‘the code’ would be a disservice to the team and a bad signal for the rest of the organization as to what things management actually values when it comes to the non manager career track. For example, an engineering manager typically has up to 7 or 8 direct reports. Managers carry a responsibility towards recruiting and representing the company well. What is a Traditional Hierarchical Structure. In the US a principal engineer isn't necessarily an owner, its a legal term denoting an executive level engineer (typically a PE) who has accepted personal liability outside the industrial exemption for certain aspects of the company's work, in aero & automotive its typically safety and environmental regulation. These are the entry level professionals and majority of times enter the engineering company as an intern or trainee. Do I become a people manager or do I stay in a technical IC role and focus on solving technical problems? A director of engineering can be in charge of multiple levels of management … This matrix of the programmer skillset was developed by Sijin Joseph, a technology leader with over 15 years of experience in designing and building software products. Making people do anything is harder and influencing people to do what we want is harder still. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. This is what principal engineering is about. #2. It is not that I disliked managers or that I think it is easy work. Engineering companies are those companies that deal in commerce involving around wide engineering sector. There is no such thing as ‘purely technical problems’. However, principal engineer should not be seen as a natural progression to senior engineering levels. This is where titles like ‘principal’ or ‘staff’ engineer become part of the defined career ladder. Entire decision making is under their supervision and they act as head of the company or the respective department they are in. Principal engineers are recognized as engineering authorities. Behaviours I display, either at the office or at tech events, are now a display of the behaviours my company rewards. The position in the pyramid of an engineer job is decided on the basis of experience, work duties, decision making power and authority. Many thanks to Tanya Reilly and Sean Kilgore for both being great examples and for their excellent feedback on this. The various job profiles at this highest level of the hierarchy in engineering company include: Engineering Analyst; Programmer; Database Administrator; Application Engineer; I&C Engineering Analyst; Help Desk Technician; Network Engineer It is an IC position that is on a different playing field as it involves competencies that no longer apply to only technical prowess. However, principal engineer should not be seen as a natural progression to senior engineering levels. When working at the senior engineer level, the focus is more on “getting tickets/projects done with little to no direction” and “being proactive in fixing tech debt or helping solve problems/bugs”. I do know that if I ever made the move to managing people that my time as a principal engineer has taught me plenty that I may have missed out on when focusing only on senior engineer competencies. Once I became a principal engineer, it quickly became clear to me that my job involved a lot more than closing tickets and writing code to achieve things. Posted: (2 days ago) Within an engineering company, there are many job positions and divisions, forming a hierarchical structure. Software Development Engineer (two internal levels, 59 and 60) SDE II (61 and 62) Senior SDE (63 and 64) Principal SDE (65 and 66) At Google, there are senior titles like Staff Software Engineer and Sr. Staff Software Engineer. The order followed here is chronological one under which the senior level profiles are placed at the top while junior ones are placed at bottom. A truly valuable PE makes their whole team better by advocating for best practices, gently reminding people of why the processes we have exist, and helping the less experienced engineers find ways to ‘level up’. When it comes to where you actually rank and what you get paid that part is all that matters. Senior Engineering Manager; Principal Engineering Manager (rare) Director of Engineering; Senior Director of Engineering; VP of Engineering; Senior VP of Engineering; CTO; The titles depend on the amount of responsibility that the manager is capable of taking. My behavior is a signal to anyone who may consider working in my organization of whether we align in values or not. Maybe it will. The Pros & Cons Of 7 Popular Organizational Structures. It is an IC position that is on a different playing field as it involves competencies that no longer apply to only technical prowess.