Sharing our Engineering Career Framework with the world

// By Anirudh Todi • Jul 12, 2021

Looking for our latest Engineering Career Framework? We made some updates in 2023. Learn more about the newest version.

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At Dropbox, we strive to be a great place for all engineers to grow and be recognized for that growth. Our Engineering Career Framework helps keep us accountable there and is viewable by anyone within the company. Today, we are also making it viewable by anyone outside the company. Our goal in doing so is to be transparent externally on how we think about leveling and career progression on the Engineering team at Dropbox. It also enables others to adapt and apply it to their own organizations.

In early 2020, we completed a major revision to the framework. Our focus was to be more explicit about the “what” (i.e. business impact made) and create better representation for all the different crafts within engineering that make Dropbox successful. After a year of running this current version through several promotion cycles, we are satisfied that it is moving our culture in the right direction.

Dropbox’s Engineering Career Framework describes what’s expected for our engineers at each of our career levels. Along with helping managers set expectations and hold teams accountable for their work, this resource empowers engineers to achieve greater impact in their role and grow in their careers.

That said, the framework is not meant to be a promotion checklist; rather, it’s designed to help our engineers know what their impact could look like at the next level. This framework is also not an exhaustive list of examples and behaviors; each responsibility includes three to four key behaviors that serve as a guide for how to think about one’s work. Consequently, it’s worth noting that the framework should not be seen as a replacement for regular, active conversations between engineers and their managers about short and long-term career growth and development.

Teams across our Engineering and People orgs worked together thoughtfully and closely to build this latest version of the Engineering Career Framework. As Dropbox grows and changes, expect it to be a living document that reflects Dropbox’s evolution as an Engineering team.

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