My perspective on Software Engineering1 is that it can be understood as a kind of game. When you make great software that everyone loves and uses, you win. At Pachyderm, we’re updating and extending our engineering job ladder right now. The result of that project had to meet the practical of needs of a lot of different groups, but, now furnished with the reflection that the project required, I wanted to use the freedom of my personal blog to lay out my newly augmented understanding of engineering levels.
Early in my career, I always found performance reviews and their attendant constructive feedback incredibly, existentially stressful. Constructive feedback feels a lot like criticism, and criticism feels a lot like rejection. When you’re new and are insecure about your place in and value to an organization, even a whiff of rejection can be overwhelming. The only cure I know about for that sort of general insecurity is time and experience (stick with it, buddy!