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Why an engineering career framework is key for growth

From hustle-mode...

When I joined WeTransfer five years ago, we were seven engineers in a tiny office. Fast-forward to today and we have 60 engineers across multiple teams, products and locations. Somewhere between these two states, the engineering organization was in need of a solid career framework.

In the early stages of a business, one often is in *hustle mode* – doing whatever needs to be done to get the latest product release out, or fight whatever fire needs fighting that day. This is a period of company soul-searching, extreme adaptation and simply getting shit done. It’s also a time for generalists to thrive, and when laying out a career plan would be fooling oneself.

As a company grows and its mission solidifies, teams expand and people are asked to specialize. When this happens it’s incredibly valuable to have a tool that allows managers to identify where someone is in their career, and how they see themselves progressing. Career Framework

A career framework like this is important for mentoring and retaining existing staff, enabling candid conversations about areas of growth. It also ensures managers across the company are coaching their teams towards a common understanding of what seniority means. Finally such a framework is equally valuable in recruitment: having a shared vocabulary that describes seniority allows teams to clearly articulate their staffing needs, and to adapt their interviewing process to fit.

At WeTransfer we just finished rolling out our first Engineering Career Framework. Although it’s still very new, having a shared vocabulary is already proving valuable. The process of creating a career framework was complex but very rewarding. Having examples from other companies helped us a great deal so, in the spirit of sharing, we decided to make it publicly available.

You can find it right here: The WeTransfer Product Engineering Career Framework

If you have feedback or questions about the framework, please reach out using our dedicated Github page. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more about our process, our struggles and everything we’ve learned along the way.

Interested in joining us at WeTransfer?

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