When I joined Thumbtack four years ago, the team was 25 engineers, and was completely flat. No managers, job levels or titles – everyone was a “Software Engineer”. This worked well for a small startup, but we always knew it had to evolve. Over the next three years, as we scaled to nearly 150 engineers, one of our perennial debates centered around when to introduce a job ladder with levels.
There were strong reasons on both sides of the debate. We heard from some engineers that they wanted a structured career ladder, which would bring transparency and a clear roadmap to their growth.