Quang HOANG
Feb 15, 2018 · 4 min read

At Plato we care deeply about making the Engineering community stronger. We’ve had thousands of calls done on our platform and many of them are around a common theme: engineering career paths. We’re organizing our next event just about that on the 20th of February in San Francisco.

For both individual contributors and VP’s alike, this theme causes much stress. How do I keep my engineers happy and motivated? How do I decide what direction I want to take my career in? How do I decide who to promote?

All of these questions come from the same root challenge — providing paths that suit different people. And constructing them fairly and inclusively. Whether you’re an engineering manager wondering what next step you should take in your career, or an executive looking to improve the engineering career ladder in your company, you’ll have fun and learn a lot.

We’ll have 5 great speakers, highly relevant, interested and passionate about this topic.

Raylene Yung, Head of Payments at Stripe, joined Stripe 3 years after having spent 6 years at Facebook. She joined when Stripe had ~70 Engineers (they are now ~300). She put a lot of thoughts these last few years thinking about

Stripe has very few titles, and we don’t share promotions publicly; after a few years your LinkedIn might not look as tricked-out as your peers at other companies.


Randall Koutnik, Sr UI Engineer at Netflix. Randall gave a highly appraised talk last year at the Lead Tech conference in London on the same topic.

Our current methods for measuring a developer’s career progression are broken. At best, we count the number of days someone’s been paid to write code and massage that into a title. As a result, there’s no consensus as to what a given title means, leading to frustration for everyone.


Tomas Barreto, VP of Product and Engineering at Checkr and has been VP Engineering at Box. He grew all the way from Engineer to VP Engineering.

The real challenge when you’re building a career path for Engineering and in general is to make sure that it’s not something that is used once every 6 months for promotion, but it’s definitely something that you can use on the day-to-day to drive decision and performance of your engineers.


Sushma Nallapeta, Sr Director of Engineering at Zoosk, is an incredible mentor at Plato, She played an important role in simplifying the layers of management and clarifying the dual career path at Zoosk.

Sometimes people get caught up in the idea of having a title. It’s important to attempt to understand why they want what they want. If your company allows for it, see if you can make it happen.


Brian Zotter, Engineering Lead at Medium (ex VP Engineering at Salesforce) Brian is a new mentor at Plato. Medium recently published its Growth Framework, which defines professional development of Medium’s engineering team. Brian will share what it’s like from the inside.

The lack of transparency was frustrating for some, and led others to express reasonable doubts about the process. This was at odds with one of our company values, Build Trust. To remedy this, in late August we rolled out our Growth Framework.

Our last event was a a lot of drinks, engineers, French Food, Networking, learning and fun:

Inside Plato

Plato helps engineering leaders develop soft skills + build better teams through a powerful network of Mentors from the world's best companies.

Quang HOANG

Written by

CEO @PlatoHQ (YC, Slack and SaaStr funded)|| You’re a great Engineer; become a great Engineering Leader — Find your perfect mentor: www.platohq.com

Inside Plato

Plato helps engineering leaders develop soft skills + build better teams through a powerful network of Mentors from the world's best companies.

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