David Kaplan
Apr 30 · 1 min read

Sorry for the delayed response here, I missed this in my email.

  1. Guild systems are meant to work within the confines of an Agile process. The time to voice concerns and get buy in is usually during the sprint retrospective. The other places that I want to see guild members very active are during backlog grooming (to get their stories groomed) and sprint planning (to get them prioritized).
  2. In the structural model I described in this article, yes they are hired solely for guild management, which included career development of the guild employees. Your company needs to be of a certain size to warrant this structure (probably about 80+ engineers). In smaller companies I have had Sr Engineering Managers pull double duty and manage both a feature team and a guild.
  3. This is an example of a JD at my current company, Policygenius: Site Reliability Engineer. Most of the vetting comes in the actual interview process though. A guild member needs to be a good communicator and must like pairing and mentorship. At more senior levels I want to see a track record of mentorship and thoughtful discussion about what good mentorship looks like.
    David Kaplan

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    Writer, software developer and all around thinker of wacky thoughts. Head of Software Engineering at Policygenius.