Patreon Engineering Levels

  1. This document outlines common expectations and examples of an engineer’s skills and responsibilities at each level. It is intended for individual reference and for discussion between engineers and their managers. Please use this as a guide, not a checklist — not every item will apply to every engineer.
  2. Levels are cumulative. Each subsequent level encompasses those preceding it.
  3. All engineers at all levels are expected to embody Patreon’s Core Behaviors.
  4. This document presents a matrix of possibilities for career growth, not merely a one-way ladder. Careers may include lateral movement, and there is no expectation that every engineer seek nor attain every level. There is room for growth, development, recognition, and a rich engineering career at different levels.
    • While movement will vary by individual — particularly as seniority increases — we do expect that most IC1s should progress to IC2 within 2 years, IC2 to IC3 within 3 years.
  5. An engineer may have a mix of skill levels across the different categories (e.g. IC4 in communication, IC3 in technical skills). Patreon aims to ensure that each engineer is recognized at the most accurate level for their unique skill set and contributions.
Up to level:
  • Domain
    An area around which there is shared & specialized knowledge & long-term code stewardship. Engineers have a primary domain and are encouraged and supported in becoming expert in and working in other domains. Current examples of domains in Patreon include: python (backend), javascript (web frontend), ops, security, payments, ios, android. Domains identify engineering goals to pursue in order to enable the engineers in that domain to execute quickly and confidently.
  • Initiative
    Large goals that the company wants to achieve. Initiatives create projects.
  • Project
    Projects are created to tackle an objective. Project teams are formed with people from the domains needed to succeed on the project.