Works well with technical leads, incorporating feedback as needed. For example, some companies call “Senior Software Engineer” somebody with 5 … Understands the scope and relationships of large features and production stack for their area. For many companies, titles are merely perfunctory words that describe a role; but the title you choose for a role is often the first thing that a candidate sees. Shows initiative and is motivated to learn. Takes responsibility for their team and product. Stripe* and CloudFlare* have similar approaches. This structure will help ensure that your hiring assessments and your expectations of future employees are aligned. Companies wishing to establish more formal levels typically use leveling rubrics from companies like, There are both benefits and risks to having more structure around levels. Ultimately, levels reflect the employee’s value to the company based on the impact they’re expected to deliver. It could be Software Engineer, Senior Staff Software Engineer, Full-Stack Engineer, Director of Engineering, or something less common, quirky, or even humorous. The most effective titles are specific, descriptive, and concise. The Front End Developer came in at #4 in software job titles. Understands multiple points of view and drives a process to conclusions in a timely and respectful manner. In fact, especially early in their career, most employees at a company might think about “getting a promotion” but not really understand what that means in terms of a company’s roles, titles, and levels. Understands vision, drives it forward. I’ve noticed a lot of confusion in the industry about various software roles and titles, even among founders, hiring managers, and team builders. Balances strategic and tactical goals, distributes work across team. Participates in code reviews and can sign-off on large features. A role (or position) is the part an employee plays within a team and company, including the set of formal and informal expectations that define the employee’s responsibilities. It will also help you decide what role (and corresponding level, title, and compensation) a new hire should receive. You’ll find more information on how roles are created and how to define an open role at your company in the complete Guide to Technical Recruiting and Hiring. A great lead engineer, who knows how to allocate resources among projects and understands how company priorities map to their tasks. ): Here’s the definition of a Software Engineer from ~Wikipedia: A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that make computers or anything containing software work. Mentors team members. A common pattern at tech companies is to provide a dual-ladder approach, in which there is a technical ladder for individual contributors and a separate management ladder. Analyze user needs to implement Web site content, graphics, performance, and capacity.” ~BLS, “…a programmer who specializes in, or is specifically engaged in, the development of World Wide Web applications using a client–server model.” source: ~Wikipedia. But typically, smaller companies start with a simple approach, like dividing roles into really broad categories like Developer or Software Engineer, and maybe Frontend and Backend, depending on the role. Writes and executes test plans. Companies can also draw on job levels for such classification tasks as determining compensation, codifying role-appropriate expectations for employees, or supporting internal lateral movement. Given long term strategic goals, can lay out a path across many versions. Strong awareness of the state of the product and team at all times. But titles are actually pretty confusing. Some companies take a philosophical stance against job titles. It could be Software Engineer, Senior Staff Software Engineer, Full-Stack Engineer, Director of Engineering, or something less common, quirky, or even humorous. Leveling is a discussion, not a homework exercise. Here are 2 extra definitions of the Web Developer title: “Design, create, and modify Web sites. In general, a title is just words on a business card (if you still have one of those). Skills matter too, of course. “How to implement an engineering ladder at your organization,” by Lisa van Gelder. Both levels and titles help to situate the role within the context of the company and make the role more translatable to those outside the company. I compiled a list (below) of the top 50 software job titles based on the # of times the title is searched on in Google. For many companies, titles are merely perfunctory words that describe a role; but the title you choose for a role is often the first thing that a candidate sees. It usually depends on the number of years of experience and the technical skill set. Companies often create career ladders or career lattices that illustrate the job levels at the company, explain what is expected of employees at each level, and clarify the different growth paths an employee can take. For the purposes of hiring, it’s important to have some sort of structure, with the appropriate level of complexity based on your company’s stage. The impact a person has within a company arises from the outcomes of their role—the tangible value to the company, such as revenue, technology, product, or customers, that is uniquely attributable to that person’s work. So let’s define our terms up front. At the highest levels are employees who may have broad and deep enough impact to significantly change the trajectory of your team or company. Understands the scope of medium features. And, remember, I’m sharing only the software titles that are likely best to recruit a candidate. Shapes coding methodologies and best practices. (Can create some blanks). What are the specific roles and responsibilities for a “tech lead”? What’s your job? Takes responsibility for their team/project. Job titles provide a brief description of the position, and can vary in that descriptiveness, ranging from the general—Software Engineer or Web Developer—to the specific—Senior Staff ML Engineer. This post from Recruiting Intelligence on writing effective job titles covers a few key guidelines, including specificity and clarity about the role (details like seniority, backend vs. frontend engineer); avoiding abbreviations or acronyms and quirky descriptions (Sr. Happiness Mgr); and skipping superlative or idiomatic descriptions (because terms like “rockstar” or “guru” may deter qualified applicants from applying). Series C funding appears to be a common inflection point for this, which also often coincides with when the startup begins considering creating an HR role. Levels often have variations in nomenclature and associated scope and responsibilities, but nonetheless tend to align to fairly standard designations set by compensation survey companies like Radford, Connery, and RHR. Says Dai, “Being a full stack developer means taking a holistic view — comparing the pros and cons of both back-end and front-end before determining where the logic should sit.”, For a true full-stack developer this means not just being able to know the front-end and back-end technologies and how to apply them correctly. A small, but growing, number of practitioners have software engineering degrees. Participates in code reviews and can sign off on small features. Wide range of experience, and is looked to as a thought leader and technical guru. Keeps team morale high. Should You Be a Back-End, Front-End or Full-Stack Developer? Most of the rest of the top 20 software job titles are ones with the name of the platform in them: Programmer (#19), Computer Programmer (#23) and Coder (#45) are still commonly searched software job titles. In general, a title is just words on a business card (if you still have one of those). Software candidates don’t type them in on most Google searches (e.g. Uses and understands tools needed to debug and diagnose issues in a test and/or simple production environment. Most inbound candidates will find a job listing via some form of online search. (Can fill in the blanks), Given an introduction to the context in which a task fits, can design and complete a small to medium sized task independently. I prefer this model because it maps well to how tasks are broken down and assigned, and there’s a clear difference between each level. With that in mind, it helps to consider some search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that will help your job show up and stand out. No matter what, as you think about titles for roles you intend to fill, consider the candidate perspective. Responsible for team retention and hiring. Guides more junior engineers to correct solutions while encouraging collaboration. And to candidates, titles can reflect a. candidate It’s rare to be able to negotiate on your level, title, and compensation.