progression.fyi | A collection of open source frameworks for helping designers and engineers to grow at work

Artsy's compensation framework is based in part on Rent the Runway's ladder. They started building this at around 20 engineers.

One of the most in-depth open employee handbooks we've found, including deeply written skills across multiple roles as well as a hell of a lot more. There's so much reading and such a lovely tone of voice to this document, thanks to the work of Roland Grootenboer and the team.

The team at social scheduling app Buffer have put together one of the few purely generic frameworks, complete with write-up to cover how they've iterated through flat to more traditional company structure to get to their currently 80 staff. They also go into more detail about how they actually measure this, including levels and steps.

A great example of a well explained Individual Contributor path. What's particularly useful is the human examples of what happens when you don't have a career ladder – many of which I've experienced too.

This tool includes not only team skills assessment but a template for individual assessment, to be completed by each individual employee. It also includes some clever scoring.

An open-source document ladder for engineers and data scientists by the SF startup Envoy.

The legendary Joel Spolsky shared this ladder all the way back in 2009, to support his company Fog Creek (Joel went on to found Trello and Stack Overflow). He calculates career level as a function of "experience", "scope" and "skills".

This isn't a detailed matrix, but more of a methodology behind how HBC think about career progression. It makes a compelling argument for having a principled structure and sticking to it. A great read from Adrian's experience both at HBC and at Gilt. When looking to build your path, it's always worth leaning on frameworks that have been battle tested and iterated. The v1 never works first time!

Inspired again by Rent the Runway's work, Intent Media created their ladder to answer the questions of (a) what expectations everyone had of each other’s work; (b) what opportunities people had to grow within the company; and (c) what areas of their work they could focus on in order to best move into those new opportunities. There's a great description at the start of the PDF giving more context as to the company size which necessitated this.

Frameworks for product management and design from Dublin-based product legends intercom. Product Management: Described as helping PMs to "Identify the most valuable problems to solve, enable your team to ship and iterate high-quality solutions quickly, and validate market impact". Breaks skills into five areas – 1) Insight Driven, 2) Strategy, 3) Execution, 4) Driving Outcomes and 5) Leadership Behaviors. The product and content design framework is one of several open source resources on the beautiful intercom.design site, the format matches the PM ladder in part, though picking 'Products and Teams', 'Execution', 'Behaviours' and 'Results' as topics.

Inviqa's ladder is nicely built into its own branded site and includes levels from 2 (engineer 1) to 6 (Principal Engineer) across 5 different areas of skill. There's also a decent amount of supporting documentation to get an idea of their process.

A document-style framework with explanatory blog post for engineers, aiming to be fair, understood, transparent and competitive. They’ve broken career development down into Skills, Scope, and Experience.

Kickstarter's framework was revealed shortly after Rent the Runway and again takes heavy inspiration from that work. It presents as one simple document, with roles and expectations for both engineers and data scientists written as prose.

A simple framework for both designers and researchers from the UK fashion startup.

Meetup just released their engineering ladders, alongside a great writeup of how they came to be. What's interesting here is the definition of a 'product engineering lead' - a role not associated with seniority (it isn't a title). Once again we see two paths, 'maker' and 'manager'. Levels go from 2 to 8 (with management roles from 5+). These align with wider company seniority levels - the holy grail of growth frameworks.

A framework fairly heavy on the front end development side. Split into four seniority levels for 'Generalist designers'.

Songkick's engineering framework is a really nicely designed PDF with seven different areas of competency: Leadership, Mentorship, Technical skills, Communication, Emotional intelligence, Delivery and Business knowledge. Some good reading presented in a clear and legible way. Because each level is on a single page, each employee could have it stuck to his or her space as a reminder.

Not a framework per se, but an in depth look at the process and learnings from creating a career path at Spotify.

Another framework for engineers and managers from Square. Again the rubric itself is fairly light on detail, but the accompanying blog post outlines nicely what the company expects and how it administers the framework.