Quarterly Skills Review Process

Vokal engineering teams do quarterly self-assessments, separate from yearly performance reviews. The process is outlined herein.


  1. The director of the discipline creates a list of skills to which everyone in the discipline should aspire. For engineers, these are mostly technical skills, but may also include more social skills like writing and community engagement.
  2. There is an open review process (similar to a code review) of the list of skills, open to everyone in the discipline, in which the list is finalized. Everyone needs to generally agree what skills are important.
  3. For skills that appear across multiple disciplines, consider elevating them to the Shared Core Skills list, below.

Each Quarter

  1. The list of skills is transferred to a Google form where everything is scored on a 4 point scale. The rating is determined based on the question "For each skill, how would you feel if asked to complete fast-paced work or to mentor another team member?" with the low score being "Not Confident" and the high score being "Totally Confident." This step is easier after the first quarter because the Google Form can just be copied and updated where needed.
  2. Everyone in the discipline is sent a link to complete the survey, including the director.
  3. Google Forms will give the director an aggregate score for each question. This report is shared with the team, so everyone can see how they assess themselves relative the team.
  4. The director will schedule a 30 minute one-on-one review with each person, and ask them to bring with them a list of 2-3 areas they want to work on for the next quarter.
  5. Review takes place guided by the director. Areas to cover may include:
    1. How did your growth in the last quarter compare to your goals?
    2. What are your goals for the next quarter? (the director needs to write these down for review in the next quarter)
    3. How do you feel about your scores relative to the rest of the team?
    4. Is there anything the director or Vokal could be doing better to help you reach your goals? This is the director’s chance to find opportunities to improve as a manager or find areas Vokal needs to improve.
  6. After reviews, revisit the skill list and adjust as appropriate. Like everything else here in the Vokal-Engineering repo, it is subject to change and open to pull requests as we continuously improve how we work.

Not Recommended

Shared Core Skills

All engineers are expected to be self-directed in skill acquisition on these subjects, in addition to their discipline-specific core skills.