CE Career Development Framework

Our career development framework is here to help you understand the expectations of your role, and to provide a common language for you and your manager to discuss and plan your career growth. It is also an important part of our larger goal of ensuring everyone is equitably recognized for the impact they have at work, and to reduce bias in promotions and hiring.

What are the expectations of my role?

The CE team is a single globally distributed team. There are currently six levels for customers engineers at Sourcegraph. A level is composed of three categories (or core competencies), each with a summary statement and several example behaviors. These core competencies are:

  • Leadership
  • Business
  • Technology

We think of these three core competencies that every CE must demonstrate in order to serve our customers and our business: leadership, business, and technology. Within each pillared competency are defined core behaviors that CEs perform. In most cases, a level builds on the expectations from the preceding levels, eg someone at level 2 must also meet the level 1 expectations. In addition to what is listed in our ladders (stored in Lattice), we expect every customer engineer, at all levels, to exhibit our values. Also, rather than precede each bullet point with “consistently”, we leave it as implicit. These are the expectations for ICs after they have completed their onboarding.


The leadership pillar embodies both the external and internal interpersonal relationships we build and nurture, the way in which we lead customers to value, and how we drive more value and better ways of doing business.

Within the leadership pillar there exists three core responsibility areas:

  • Customer Interactions: The ability to uncover, understand, and influence our customers needs; the application of interpersonal skills required to appropriately manage and nurture relationships; navigating business and / or political considerations.
  • Achieve the Technical Win: The activities that CEs perform to lead prospective customers to achieving the Technical Win during the sales cycle.
  • Technical Customer Success: The activities that you perform, and the mentorship and influence you use, to ensure your customers’ technical health and technical success as measured by business outcomes.


The business pillar embodies the way in which we come to know and understand our customers’ business and their needs. It also includes how our business serves these needs.

Within the business pillar there exists two core responsibility areas:

  • Contextual Understanding: The ability to learn various internal and external roles & responsibilities and nurture them uniquely.
  • Operational Excellence: The ability to perform job responsibilities and abide by all team and company processes and procedures.


The technology pillar embodies the skills necessary to solve customer problems.

Within the technology pillar there exists two core responsibility areas:

  • Sourcegraph Product: The ability to learn about our product capabilities and limitations; apply that knowledge to help customers; extend the boundaries of our capabilities; serve as a voice of the customer back to internal teams.
  • Domain Subject Matter Expertise: Understanding our prospective customer personas, competitors, and the developer ecosystem as a whole.

When do I get promoted?

When you have demonstrated consistently achieving at least 4 consecutive quarters (1 year min) of high performance at your current level, and one quarter performing at the next level, in all three of the core competencies. It takes time to demonstrate the “consistently” implicit in the expectations, and we don’t want to promote anyone to a level in which they will struggle.

Promotions from one level to another are considered in our bi-annual talent review. In-band compensation increases (while staying at the same level) can happen at any time when your manager makes the case to do so, and is also reviewed annually. These in-band compensation increases are in recognition of exceeding expectations in your current level without having yet met the expectations of the next level.

Learn more about the CE talent review process here.

CEs Transitioning to CE Management

We want to support the career progession of CEs on the Customer Engineering team based on their individual career goals and aspirations. For those that desire to move from an individual contributor (IC) role to a management role, the CE Manager Interview Process for Internal CE Candidates outlines how teammates would go about assessing their readiness for and applying for new CE Manager roles that open up. The goal of this process is provide clear visibility into what expectations should be for career advancement into management within the CE team.

Learn more about CEs transitioning to CE management here.