Vokal Engineering Career Progression Steps

These steps are currently undergoing modernization

Role Technical Skills Efficiency & Productivity Communication & Leadership Business Impact
Level 1 Engineer General knowledge of core CS concepts. Develops their productivity skills by learning source control, editors, the build system, and other tools as well as best practices for testing Exhibits Vokal's core values, focuses on understanding and living these values Developing a working knowledge of how project teams, the Engineering team, and the business operate
Focus on growing as an engineer, by learning existing tools, resources and processes Capable of completing well-defined stories/tasks Effective in communicating current status to project teams Works to effectively track and bill both client and internal time properly
Leverages existing tools and process to reduce code waste and rework Accepts feedback graciously and learns from everything they do
Role Technical Skills Efficiency & Productivity Communication & Leadership Business Impact
Level 2 Engineer (2+ years professional experience) Writes correct and clean code with guidance. Consistently follows stated best practices. Rarely makes the same mistake twice. Makes steady progress on stories; knows when to ask for help in order to get themselves unblocked Gives timely, helpful feedback to peers and managers Works to identify, suggest, and improve internal tooling, modules, components, projects, etc.
Participates in frequent code reviews providing helpful feedback Able to own small-to-medium features from technical design through completion and QA signoff Communicates assumptions and gets clarification on tasks up front to minimize the need for rework Collaborates closely with other engineering discipline teams within a project to ensure alignment and expectations across technology
Begins to focus on attaining expertise in one or more areas (eg, Javascript/Swift/HTTP/etc, automated testing, performance best practices, debugging techniques, etc). Capable of assisting in prioritization of stories. Avoids getting caught up in unimportant details and endless "bikeshedding." Solicits feedback from others and is eager to find ways to improve Directly associates unit tests with user stories and success criteria to show that project and feature requirements are met
Learns quickly and makes steady progress without the need for constant significant feedback from more senior engineers. Tests their changes rigorously and hits a high code coverage percentage before sending anything over to QA Understands how their work fits in to the larger project and identifies problems with requirements
Role Technical Skills Efficiency & Productivity Communication & Leadership Business Impact
Level 3 Engineer (5+ years professional experience) Comfortable making open source contributions. Reliably moves through stories with a constant stride Clearly and consistently communicates with project members about current status and identifies possible roadblocks Coordinates with discipline leads in other departments to identify areas of improvement as it relates to product development
Frequent contributor to internal coding standards and authors Labs when necessary Begins handling larger feature design work, as well as early estimation Can take the lead on technical requirements gathering Able to work with Solution Architecture team to outline solutions to technical problems by making appropriate assumptions during the sales process
Shows a clear path towards mastery of a particular area of expertise (eg, Javascript/Swift/HTTP/etc, automated testing, graphics programming, etc) Exhibits leadership in some areas of the project development process Approaches and solves challenges with passion and enthusiasm Able to teach and educate others within the same discipline on core technologies to Vokal product development
Takes lead in code reviews and provides in-depth feedback Shows initiative setting primary and sometimes secondary goals for themselves Capable of serving as a Technical Lead for smaller projects Produces code that is able to be reused or added to internal Vokal projects for future efficiencies
Role Technical Skills Efficiency & Productivity Communication & Leadership Business Impact
Level 1 Senior Engineer (4+ years professional experience) Understands and makes well-reasoned design decisions and trade-offs in their area. Able to work largely without guidance. Persistent in the face of roadblocks. Dispatches them efficiently, pulling in others as necessary. Requires minimal direction/oversight. Communicates technical decisions through design docs, tech talks, and the Vokal Engineering site Actively participates in recruitment in some manner (outreach, early stage interviews, community participation, etc)
Doesn't flail while debugging. Takes the initiative to fix issues before being assigned them. Seeks empirical evidence through proof of concepts, tests and external research. Mentors more junior engineers via code review and pairing. Contributes frequently to Lunch and Learns or Vokal Bytes Capable of articulating technology topics to clients to get buy-in, ease concerns, and/or limit scope
Demonstrates knowledge of industry trends, our infrastructure and our build systems, including Drone/Travis, and git. Delivers complex products to QA that they believe are well-baked and bug-free Communicates effectively across functions; is able to work well with Product, Design, Data & Insights, etc, as necessary Aware of technology trends, and can produce proof of concept examples to establish Vokal's expertise
Owns final say during code reviews Comfortable splitting attention between primary goals and supplementary ones without stress or distraction Proactively identifies problems with requirements (lack of clarity, inconsistencies, technical limitations) for their own work and adjacent work, and communicates these issues early to help course-correct
Role Technical Skills Efficiency & Productivity Communication & Leadership Business Impact
Level 2 Senior Engineer (6+ years professional experience) Go-to expert in at least one area of the teams capabilities (i.e. Android graphics pipeline, Go performance profiling, etc) Capable of assisting Product in creating well-defined milestones to avoid a monolithic deliverable. Makes others better through code reviews, thorough documentation, technical guidance, and mentoring or serving as a Tech Lead on a project. Has a high-level understanding of the Vokal pipeline, and can recommend new avenues in which to approach existing/prospective clients
Provides technical advice and weighs in on technical decisions that impact other teams or the company at large. Researches and proposes new technologies. Regularly provides honest and realistic estimates, and delivers on those estimates Identifies and proposes strategies around technical problems affecting their team, communicates standards and gets buy-in on solutions Provides input and suggestions on new tehcnology to leverage which will help to improve engineering team efficiency and throughput
Strives for, and continually hits, the upper bounds of acceptable automated test coverage Understands the tradeoffs between technical, analytical, business and product needs and leads to solutions that take all of these needs into account Works closely with engineering leadership to identify, plan for, and execute on internal initiatives
Routinely works on and sets primary goals, as well as supplementary ones, fluently Frequently acts as a Technical Lead on projects of all sizes. Can speak at a high level to all aspects of the Engineering team with fluency and confidence.