The Secret Source Professional Ladder

2nd September 2022

Photo by Daniel Thiele and Unsplash 

At Secret Source professional development is a key part of how we work. Every developer has a personal career development plan and regularly meets with their line manager to oversee their training and development.

The backbone of our career development is our professional ladder which is used to determine developer levels, help decide what is required to move up the ladder and ultimately define salaries.

Our ladder is divided into 5 skills – these are the behaviours that we value at Secret Source:

  • Communication
  • Learning
  • Leading
  • Ownership
  • Technical skills

With 7 levels from 8 to 14 with each level broadly corresponding to the more common definitions of intern,  junior, mid and senior:

  • 8 Intern
  • 9-10 Junior
  • 11-12 Mid
  • 13-14 Senior

The ladder defines what success looks like in each section at each level. For example a level 11 developer in communication:

  • is comfortable offering constructive feedback to all levels, even clients and
  • expresses feelings regarding a project during retros or other organised meetings (one to ones)

To reach a level 11 in communication, a developer will need to not only be able to perform the skills indicated but also show a track record of doing it regularly.

For a short introduction on how we use our professional ladder our CTO has produced this 10 minute guide.

As part of our mission to share our knowledge to the wider development community, in June 2022 we made our professional ladder public on Github, where you can fork it and use it as you wish.