Support engineering career framework

Our career level framework is meant to help you understand the expectations of your role and provide a common vocabulary for you and your manager to discuss and plan your career development on the CS team (in addition to where you might want to take your career in the future as outlined in our career roadmap practice). Having shared and visible expectations (as well as a common vocabulary) gives us an accountability framework to reduce bias in promotions/hiring and ensures that we are equitably recognizing everyone for their impact.

What are the expectations of my role?

There are currently seven levels for support at Sourcegraph. A level is composed of three categories, each with a summary statement and several example behaviors. These categories are:

  • Impact
    • Your work directly contributes to achieving the company’s strategic goals and long term success.
  • Scope
    • You have high productivity and output. You deliver on your direct responsibilities while also looking for opportunities for improvement - individually, as a team, our product, and company.
  • Execution
    • You seek out opportunities, rather than waiting for them to come to you.
    • You put our customers and prospects first, orienting yourself to their success.
    • You ask for help directly, when needed.
  • Teamwork
    • You do not gate-keep, but rather aim to accelerate and unblock your colleagues.
    • You communicate thoughtfully, clearly, and proactively to keep stakeholders informed and identify risks.
    • You seek to help your teammates around you succeed; you win together. You reflect thoughtfully on your own performance and the performance of those around you, sharing helpful feedback for continued growth.

It’s important to understand that what is listed in the level descriptions are example behaviors, and not checkboxes for promotion. Doing everything listed there is neither necessary nor sufficient for a promotion. The expectation is that you demonstrate a level of impact consistently over a span of months within each of the category descriptions for your level. The magnitude of your impact is ultimately the measure of your career growth.

In most cases, a level builds on the expectations from the preceding levels: someone at level 2 must also meet the level 1 expectations. In addition to what is listed there, we expect support engineers at all levels to exhibit our Sourcegraph company values.

Rather than precede each bullet point with “consistently,” we leave it as implicit and we define this as X happening consistently over a period of at least ~6 months. It’s great to do something once, but the real measure of impact is if you are able to do that again and again over a substantial enough period of time.

The level descriptions state the minimum expectations after you have completed your onboarding. For example, if you were hired at a level 2, we would expect that you are having the impact outlined for both levels 1 and 2 once your onboarding is complete. This also means that before being promoted to level 3, for example, you would be expected to be already doing what is listed in level 3 before a promotion is possible.

We expect you to understand where you are at in the framework and always have something clearly defined that is pushing you to outgrow yourself to reach the next level. The process and timeline will vary person to person and should be captured in your career roadmap.

When do I get promoted?

Promotion discussions occur when your manager can make the case that you’ve had at least 12 months of consistent high performance at your current level, and at least 3 months performing consistently at the next level, in all three of the categories. Again, it takes time to demonstrate the “consistently” implicit in the expectations and we want to ensure that you are set up for success to perform at your current level.

Promotions from one level to another are considered in impact reviews conducted by CS leadership in collaboration with you individually. An in-band compensation increase (while staying at the same level) can happen at any time, in recognition of exceeding expectations in your current level without having yet met the expectations of the next level.

SE Regional Team Leads

Team Leads are designated senior ICs that are elevated within the team to take on additional responsibilities in support of the overall success of the team and individuals. These individuals are not full-time managers but are intentionally given less IC scope than their peers so that they can contribute to higher level initiatives within the team and organization.

As a Team Lead, you will have additional responsibilities beyond those your IC level, including:

Facilitator: Ensure adherence to established processes and facilitate team meetings. Act as a leader for the Support team in the absence of the Manager.

Coordinator: Coordinate changes or requests, ensuring they are properly facilitated and communicated between teams.

Mentor: Provide technical and soft skills mentorship to engineers. Assist with resolving complex technical issues and develop the customer service skills of the team.

Liaison: Listen to feedback and concerns from team members and customers, and bring them to the appropriate parties. Conduct regular 1:1 meetings and other ad hoc communication to stay aware of potential areas for improvement.



  • Impact:

    • Can triage and assist customers with the help of existing documentation, articles and known playbooks.
    • Contributes to team targets by handling a steady volume of tickets.
    • Works with tickets assigned to you and are able to meet SLAs 90% of the tickets assigned to them during work.
  • Scope: Acquires foundational knowledge in dev tools and software engineering practices.

  • Execution:

    • Under the guidance of your manager, you create a plan to consistently deliver on your commitments, while creating space to allow for learning and growth.
    • You exercise profound compassion, with colleagues and customers.
    • You recognize when you are blocked and ask for support.
  • Teamwork:

    • You actively ask teammates, including cross-functional (e.g. engineering), questions to seek feedback and clarity.
    • You participate and demonstrate curiosity in team meetings.
    • You follow documented team processes and seek clarification when in doubt.
    • You communicate with candor and transparency.


  • Impact:

    • Works to resolve customer issues across all of our product & features.
    • Impact extends to improving internal knowledge bases by documenting encountered issues and solutions.
    • Can have an active queue of tickets while keeping a Median Open Time of 20 hrs or less.
  • Scope:

    • Serves as part of triage rotation and can manage your ticket queue reliably while adhering to all defined team processes and workflows; adheres to Service Level Agreement (SLA) 94% of the time.
    • Demonstrates proficient use of dev tools and applies advanced software engineering practices, contributing to more complex projects.
  • Execution:

    • You ask for guidance in unfamiliar areas or for underspecified tasks and speak up if you are not at ease with what you understand you need to do.
    • You have a general understanding of how users interact with our product/infrastructure.
    • You are able to establish rapport with customers and colleagues to achieve meaningful and productive conversation.
    • Your tickets are maintained and kept up-to-date to allow for accurate team-level reporting.
  • Teamwork:

    • You actively participate and are able to initiate conversation in team and cross-functional meetings.
    • You suggest improvements to team processes and help keep the handbook up-to-date.
    • You communicate thoughtfully and intentionally, both synchronously and asynchronously.
    • You are flexible to change.
    • You resist group think and help the team maintain productive, healthy dialogues.


  • Impact:

    • Identifies areas of improvement for the team and works with others to improve them.
    • Influences customer satisfaction through advanced technical support and problem-solving.
  • Scope:

    • Independently manage and resolve all assigned tickets, maintaining a consistent adherence to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) 96% of the time.
    • Provide review and guidance for the work of other Support Engineers to enhance team performance and ensure quality outcomes.
    • Masters a wide range of dev tools and leads in the adoption of cutting-edge support engineering practices, driving innovation in our department. This can include tooling we use everyday (k8s, docker-compose, helm) and other practices or knowledge that can help us better serve our customers (Hone leadership/communication courses, etc).
  • Execution:

    • You scope and implement solutions to pre-defined problems, with guidance.
    • You detect problems (in the product or our processes) that could erode the customer experience and actively engage to resolve them.
    • You firmly grasp how users interact with our product/infrastructure and demonstrate this by consistently bringing feedback to EPD and participating in feedback sessions so the customer’s needs are heard.
    • You are skilled in establishing rapport with customers and colleagues, and consistently deliver results on time.
  • Teamwork:

    • You communicate clearly, both synchronously and asynchronously, escalating blockers quickly, clarifying requirements and sharing assumptions and context.
    • You set the example on defining/modifying team processes; participating in identifying problems, suggesting improvements, and helping with solutions.
    • You proactively add and edit handbook documentation and other knowledge sharing sites (Docs, KBs, Blog) to help others.
    • You offer timely, helpful feedback to others and trust them to decide to what extent to incorporate it.
    • You help onboard and orient new team members.
    • You participate in the hiring process where possible, conducting interviews (with training) and writing helpful feedback.


  • Impact:

    • Spearheads initiatives internal to the SE team and works with SEs and Mgmt to implement change, can point to result & outcomes from these efforts.
    • Consistently provides strategic, constructive feedback focused on both immediate and long-term team development.
  • Scope:

    • Works on complex tickets that require a high level of coordination between departments; maintains adherence to Service Level Agreements (SLAs) 98% of the time.
    • Involved in mentoring new hires and ensuring the onboarding process prepares them to fulfill their role.
    • Shapes the organization’s approach to dev tools and software engineering practices, setting standards and leading strategic initiatives for technological advancement.
    • Enhance your expertise in critical product domains and earn certifications to demonstrate your specialized proficiency.
  • Execution:

    • You independently scope and implement solutions to complex, loosely-defined problems.
    • You estimate methodically, based on iterative learning and set realistic expectations/timelines that drive effort and support healthy work habits.
    • When faced with roadblocks, you identify appropriate courses of action, engaging others or unblocking yourself as appropriate.
    • You are accountable end-to-end on everything for which you take responsibility.
    • You remain composed in: ambiguous situations, challenging situations, situations involving multiple stakeholders, etc.
    • You proactively identify areas for improvement and balance new work with the necessary day-to-day tasks needed to keep the team operating well to provide a positive customer experience.
  • Teamwork:

    • You communicate technical and non-technical issues and decisions clearly, bringing clarity to discussions, and help to drive the process forward.
    • You routinely drive improvements in team/company processes (retros, bi-weekly, etc).
    • You consider the effects of your work and words on other teams and represent the Support team well in discussions with cross-functional teammates, customers, and stakeholders.
    • You share your experience and expertise to help others grow, through mentoring and coaching where possible.
    • You proactively propose additions and changes to the team’s forward plans.


  • Impact:

    • Leads and owns cross-functional projects, long term goals, or scopes of work with only broad guidance from leadership
    • Can effectively steer conversations and decisions made across the team and departments, contributing to the vision of the company.
    • Demonstrates a strong ability to influence and drive scalable outcomes, ensuring that strategic decisions not only align with, but also significantly amplify, the company’s long-term objectives and success.
  • Scope:

    • You use your domain expertise to solve important and complex solutions for the company. Your solutions provide examples for others to follow.
    • Serves as an organizational authority in dev tools and practices, pioneering industry-leading methodologies and guiding significant technological transformations across the company.
  • Execution:

    • You independently scope and implement solutions to extremely complex and/or vague customer issues, and identify the problems to be solved.
    • You intentionally and proactively align your work around a deep understanding of how people use the products/customer experience.
    • You proactively identify areas for improvement beyond the scope of our team and contribute meaningfully to solutions while continuing to deliver on our team’s goals.
  • Teamwork:

    • You are thoughtfully (and with empathy) able to convince and challenge teammates and cross-functional stakeholders using valid expertise and respectful communication.
    • You actively seek dissenting opinions, disconfirming evidence, etc.
    • You share a long-term vision that influences the team’s go forward plans.
    • You operate in a way that demonstrates self-awareness (you often identify feedback before anyone has to give it to you) and active intentionality (you have a plan before you communicate/act).