← Product and Engineering

Senior Software Engineer

Your leadership and impact directly contribute to the success of your team, and those around you

At this stage of your career, leadership comes in many forms. You may be a hands-on domain expert leading by example in your work, working with an architectural focus, or being a tech lead for a team. Whatever you do, you do it in a way where your impact is felt substantially by the people around you.  It’s no longer just about your own output, it’s about having impact on a wider scale.

This is a step up in responsibility and expectations, it’s not easy to reach this point, and you should celebrate!

While your day-to-day focus is mostly at team level, you can work across teams too (e.g. when more complex collaboration and coordination is needed, or as a trusted person to jump in for something urgent).

You’re a respected member of the Engineering team and work to make things even better, particularly representing the business area or technologies you work closely with.

At this point you’re well equipped to make decisions and recommendations, and get buy-in. You work to change situations instead of expecting others to.

Human

  • Communication:

    Communicates with organisation, helps others in team to communicate
    • Mentoring communicators: You have set up process around more effective communication for your immediate team, and managed its implementation. You proactively offer good feedback to peers on their communication methods
    • Delivering bad news: You have communicated a change of plan or slip in timelines to a broad group within your organisation and managed expectations effectively until resolution.
    • Looking for feedback: You have consistently proactively informed and asked for feedback from important stakeholders in your organisation early in your work
    • Keeping people informed: You have communicated on behalf of your team to the broader organisation on an important or divisive project, and handled any questions in a timely manner
  • Humility:

    A champion of peers and team members.
    • Building trusted relationships: You have regularly encouraged peers to present and promote shared efforts.
    • Credit and blame: You actively look to ensure everyone praise is shared fairly when given to you. If someone else is blamed for your mistake, you own up.
    • Sharing opportunities: You have shown evidence of repeatedly giving and supporting others in interesting work, seeing the team's need as greater than your own.
  • Initiative:

    Refuses to believe that anything is unachievable. Infectious desire to activate and progress. Like a rocket: just light the fuse.

    • You've adapted your skillset and knowledge to lead a large or complex project to a successful outcome.
    • pro-activity in seeking help: You have recognised a lack of expertise in yourself and your organisation, and pro-actively found that expertise in areas not given to you. This has led to a successful outcome on more than one occasion.
    • Can-do attitude: You're constantly creating new opportunities for yourself and those around you. Your team is celebrated for innovation as a result of your contributions.
  • Pragmatism:

    Is able to break down the assumptions of themselves and peers, and find common solutions.
    • Helping others with pragmatism: You have spotted assumptions in peers and helped them to break down those assumptions without conflict
    • Time management: You're a master of your calendar. You take no issue with not being involved in a project or meeting if it means saving you time.
    • Objectivity in your own work: You are positive in the face of dramatic changes of plans. Curveballs are dealt with sensibly without frustration.
  • Self Awareness:

    Is active in building goals and milestones around personal growth, focused on strength and weakness. Supports others in finding their strengths and working on them.
    • Setting sensible goals: You recognise that you'll never be good at everything, and actively reject learning areas that don't align with your interests
    • You involve your wider team in your goals, openly asking for feedback and consciously thinking of ways to encourage more honest critique.
    • Conscious role definition: You can point to a structured future job description for yourself, and have aligned as many of your working hours as possible in the direction of that goal.

Craft

  • Security:

    Consistently approaches all engineering work with a security lens.
    • Collaboration: You work with the security teams to help refine technical strategy.
    • Proactivity: You actively look for security vulnerabilities both in the code and when providing peer reviews.
    • User data: You have faultless handling of user data, and set an example for others within the team.
    • Knowledge: You have an excellent understanding of security principles and you work to better facilitate the team's understanding.
  • Technical Understanding and Prioritisation:

    Is a technical and prioritisation leader within the team, including taking some ownership of other team members' technical growth and development.
    • Task prioritisation: You ensure tasks are prioritised correctly, and that dependencies are noted and well understood by the team, including at the epic level. You foster a culture of priority setting and highlight the importance of alignment with organizational strategy
    • Work breakdown: You review projects critically, ensuring they are appropriately delineated and understood by the team
    • Technical collaboration: You actively facilitate technical discussions between team members and have a deep familiarity with technical topics under discussion
    • Understanding code: You understand your team's domain at a high level, including the breadth of services, how they interact, and data flows between systems. You understand adjacent domains as they affect your team
  • Writing Code:

    Is able to consistently write production-ready code across large, complex projects
    • Mentoring: You have mentored several junior engineers around code quality
    • Language: You're committing quality code in any language your team needs OR you're best in class at one language
    • Documentation: Your code is consistently self-documenting where possible. You've regularly maintained, improved and extended existing documentation unprompted.
    • Quality: You're regularly trusted to lead complex and business-critical coding projects, including guiding others.

Leadership

  • Culture and Togetherness:

    Is conscious of signalling, and tries to act as they would expect other team members to act. Works to develop good positive relationships. Participates in team activities.
    • Fostering community: You've participated actively in events and community with your peers.
    • Developing personal relationships: You've built good personal relationships with peers, superiors and team.
    • Encouraging diverse opinions: You actively contribute to diversity and inclusion discussions. You support and champion efforts towards a fairer safer workplace.
    • Setting an example: You've consciously acted as you would expect others more junior than you to act, including working hours, timeliness, using learning and development budgets.
  • Developing Others:

    Able to recognise the strengths of peers, and looks for ways to support those strengths through project work. Has invested some time in materials or process to support team growth. Peers see them as an informal coach.
    • Outcomes: Your supportive and encouraging behaviour has led to increased morale and growth amongst informal mentees or peers.
    • Investing in process: You've gone through a personal process of skills assessment, which you've used to define your future direction.
    • Supporting team growth: You've actively supported and championed a peer in their personal growth, celebrating a promotion, successful project or praise from others.
    • Identifying strengths: You've recognised a natural strength in more than one peer which you've helped them to nurture.
  • Giving Feedback:

    Knows the difference between opinion and objective critique, and manages their everyday feedback process to ensure it's actionable and fair. Able to unpick team issues and give good direction without offending.
    • Useful praise: You're in a position of influence over a group of designers, and use praise actively as a way to balance team dynamics and promote diverse thought. Your praise is actionable, reinforcing specific good habits and not resorting to vagaries.
    • Constructive criticism: You have regularly identified opportunities for constructive critique within your team, and given it in a timely and actionable manner, resulting in noticeable improvements in performance.
    • Feedback on work: Your feedback on your team's work is honest, actionable and timely. You ask what level they need feedback on and ensure you stick to that level. You don't give feedback when you don't have enough context to be useful, and expect to be wrong a significant amount of the time.
    • Understanding best practices: You're confident in using best practices when giving feedback to your team. You can give reasoning behind your personal feedback methods and style.
  • Stakeholder Management:

    Known for being efficient and reliable, and doing what they say they will do. Proactively managed expectations even when it results in frustration or personal reputation risk.
    • Protecting the team: You've consistently created space for others in your team to do their best work by managing client or stakeholder relationships.
    • Engendering Trust: You've run several small to medium sized projects in a leadership capacity, working closely with clients and stakeholders with positive reviews.
    • Foresight: You've anticipated issues or requirements in advance of multiple projects and worked to raise those with key people outside your team. This has resulted in noticeable efficiency gains.
    • Managing Goals and Expectations: You've led multiple smaller projects with external clients or internal stakeholders outside your organisation end to end, with a successful outcome.