Seniority: the role of flying hours and the personal upgrade in a technology team's evolution

Flying hours and the “personal upgrade”

practices: work smart
learning loop
  1. It is very important to look if people have the desired experience considering “flying hours”, in other words, the number of hours the person has worked in that position before.
  2. It is very important to look if over time the person can demonstrate that she got better at doing whatever she does — AKA — do she do her “personal upgrade”.

Structuring the team

Y career example
  • senior devs — would be developer V and above
  • intermediate level devs — would be developer IV
  • beginners devs — would be developer IV and below
  • Engineering Manager I — responsible for one squad — remember that an average squad in my model in general has from 4 to 6 people. Hence, this manager would have from four to six direct reports.
  • Engineering Manager II — responsible in general for 2 squads.
  • Senior Engineering Manager — it is already a leader of leaders — in general has under his responsibility a group of managers and — eventually — some ICs — normally more senior ones.
  • Engineering Director — it is a seasoned leader of leaders and typically is responsible for a bigger engineering team division.

Team Strategy

  1. Team’s topology.
  2. Squads and its components(people and roles).
  3. Squads that you want to create — based on the strategy — and who you have to hire and train.
  4. List of leaders responsible for the squads.



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Bernardo Carneiro

Bernardo Carneiro

I love building teams and technology. If you want to read my articles in portuguese please go to: