Engineering career path at Alan

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash

This article is outdated please refer to the new version of our grid.

We have spoken a lot about our radical transparency. Our salary grid is open, and available to everyone. We send it to all of our applicants at the beginning of the hiring process. All for transparency’s sake.

Today, we have decided to go one step further and open our engineer career path. Our goal is for every engineer to be able to self-evaluate before joining us. So anyone can get an idea on where they should be at Alan, and what we would expect from them.

Engineering career path

Our career path is composed of four pillars: Scope, Technical, Execution, Engineering team impact.

The sustained impact is one line smmary of the expected impact at this level. The influence is on which part of the company the engineer as an impact on. And the minimum requirements are guidelines to know what is minimum expectations from the engineer at this level.

We also decided to map our career path to the levels of our salary grid, so for each level we wrote soft requirements for each of those five pillars.

You can find the full details in this public PDF:

Some explanation

We consider our level descriptions as guidelines, rather than an actual checklist. The descriptions are just a useful starting point in determining the level of an engineer’s performance. There are aspects that cannot be captured in a short description like this one, which is why every leveling decision is unique and is handled on a case by case basis.

Engineers should avoid artificial attempts to accelerate promotion by checking off the items listed. Instead, they should develop their engineering skills as best they can and make their best contribution to Alan’s goals in an honest way.

The higher the level, the more specialized the engineer can be, and they might not need to check all boxes if they can show great impact.

Levels are cumulative. Each subsequent level encompasses those preceding it.

We don’t have “managers”, at least in the common sense of “managers”. So there is no difference between someone who wants to focus on pure engineering, and someone who would like to help the organisation.

In a nutshell

Here is our summary for each level:

  • Level C0: You are just starting your professional career
  • Level C1: You are productive but still learning
  • Level D: You are a solid, trusted, senior contributor
  • Level E: You make your team significantly better
  • Level F: You make Engineering and Alan better
  • Level G: You are changing the industry

For each level, here is what we expect in terms of the impact and the complexity of the work:

  • Level C: well-defined tasks within an existing engineering system
  • Level D: ambiguous tasks within an existing engineering system, within a single team
  • Level E: high-level ambiguous problems impacting the work of few engineers, affecting multiple teams
  • Level F: high-level ambiguous problems impacting the work of many engineers involving several interacting engineering systems
  • Level G: high-level ambiguous problems with impact beyond the company

We’re not huge fans of titles at Alan, but you could map those levels to more classical terminology.

Engineering levels currently go from C0 to F, with E being equivalent to Senior Software Engineer at Google or Facebook.

We are working on expending our levels to include more junior profiles, with a B1 level. This is still work in progress, so stay tuned!

Our software engineers, today

The repartitions of levels in our team

This makes for a relatively senior team. We try to keep this balance of juniors and seniors in order to keep a good velocity, and offer a good growing environments for more junior profiles.

Next steps

We will continue to work on this career path, as we believe it’s one of the keys to both a successful engineer and company. If you have any feedback on it, feel free to reach out to us on