Climbing Off The Ladder, Before We Fall Off

Climbing Off The Ladder, Before We Fall Off

Friday, 11:55am - 12:45pm

Our industry has undergone many changes over the years. From small groups waiting for time on mainframes to large teams working with waterfall projects to the small Agile teams of today, we have continuously striven to perfect the craft of software development. However, one aspect of our lives remains unchanged. The career ladder is still, in many places, the only way to advance our careers, gain respect and experience new challenges. This one size fits all approach often ends with attrition, unhappiness and people being promoted out of positions they enjoyed. While the linear path is correct for some, the system fails for many engineers and hurts retention of our teams.


In this discussion I will outline the challenges presented by having only the linear growth option, the organization of Spotify and some examples of how we are trying to provide non-linear options in addition to more traditional models to improve happiness and retention within the team. My goal is not to define a perfect solution, rather I would like to start the discussion that will lead to positive change within our ecosystem.

Chris.Angove's picture
Chris Angove is a Chapter Lead at Spotify in New York City, where he works with a team of backend engineers on the services powering the music streaming service. Since graduating from the University of Michigan he has spent over a decade working with various teams to make high quality software from network simulation tools, education software and now in the music streaming sphere. He has spent the last 6 years focusing on building DevOps teams to build stable, scalable and performant services and platforms for client applications. He joined Spotify in August 2013 where he has been working to grow the team of backend and quality engineering teams as well as focusing on continuous integration and continuous delivery and it’s impact on quality. Lately he has turned his attentions to effective ways of managing large teams and providing non-traditional modes of career development.