Dropbox Engineering Career Framework

IC2 Machine Learning Engineer

I am prolific at delivering resilient and sustainable software projects from design to implementation and rollout

Scope Area of ownership and level of autonomy / ambiguity

  • I execute on defined projects to achieve team-level goals.
  • I independently define the right solutions or use existing approaches to solve defined problems.

Collaborative Reach Organizational reach and extent of influence

  • I work primarily within the scope of my team with high level guidance from my manager/TL

Impact Levers Technical levers typically exercised to achieve business impact

  • Craft - I am increasingly mastering my craft and leverage it for higher impact (e.g. software design)
  • Mentorship - I may mentor new hires, interns, or more junior engineers.

🏆 Results


  • I have a bias for actions, act with urgency and deliver high-quality work that will add the most value for our business, cross-functional stakeholders, and customers
  • I work with my manager to direct my focus so my work advances my team's goals
  • I prioritize the right things and don't overcomplicate my work. When necessary, I propose appropriate scope adjustments.
  • I effectively participate in the core processes of my team, including recommending and implementing process improvements


  • I follow through on my commitments, take responsibility for my work, and deliver on time
  • I proactively identify and advocate for opportunities to improve the current state of projects, and team processes
  • I own my decisions and mistakes, and learn from them
  • I think a step or two ahead in my work, solve the right problems before they become bigger problems, and problem-solve with my manager when I'm stuck
  • I respond with urgency to operational issues (e.g., SEVs), owning resolution within my sphere of responsibility
  • I look for opportunities to reduce KTLO and and work with the team to ease the burden for on-call
  • I am vigilant about degradations in service by tracking key metrics, and I advocate for declaring a SEV if my concerns are warranted

Decision Making

  • I Identify and gather input from the right stakeholders and consider customer needs to make informed and timely decisions
  • I understand the implications of my decisions and adjust my approach based on the impact and risk, and share that rationale with relevant stakeholders
  • I escalate to my manager when I need help with a decision about my deliverables or priorities

🌟 Direction


  • I have an open mindset to change, and am enthusiastic about new initiatives
  • I work with my manager to navigate complex and ambiguous situations
  • I am learning to stay calm under pressure and building practices to take care of my well-being


  • I ask questions and contribute to new ideas/approaches
  • I have a growth mindset and am comfortable experimenting with new approaches, learning, owning the outcomes, and sharing what I learned

🌳 Talent

Personal Growth

  • I proactively ask for feedback from my manager, team, and cross-functional stakeholders and identify ways to act upon it
  • I have self-awareness about my strengths and areas for development
  • I drive discussions with my manager about aspirational goals and seek out opportunities to learn and grow (e.g., PGP, Dropbox-offered training, leveraging perks allowance etc.)

Team Development

  • I model integrity and a high standard of excellence for my work
  • I help the more junior members of my team, host interns, or new hires taking into account their unique strengths, backgrounds, and working styles
  • I offer honest, timely and direct feedback that is delivered with empathy to help others learn and grow
  • I contribute to interviewing and assessing candidates to help us build a diverse and talented team in terms of background and location. I am calibrated and consistently perform high-signal interviews
  • I am able to represent my team’s initiatives and goals to candidates in a compelling way

🌈 Culture


  • I can effectively collaborate and adopt necessary tools (e.g., pair programming) that adapts to virtual first and get work done
  • I work with my manager to engage in productive conflict with thoughtful questioning and have the courage to state my point of view
  • I avoid blame, clarify problems to focus on solutions, and “disagree and commit” when necessary to move decisions forward
  • I promote and role model Dropbox core values

Organizational Health

  • I contribute to a positive sense of community on the team (e.g. engage in team lunches, team offsites, and other virtual or in-person group activities, help with new-hire on-boarding).
  • I listen to different perspectives and I cut biases from my words and actions
  • I practice the Dropbox Diversity Commitments on a regular basis
  • I champion Virtual First practices that help my team collaborate effectively


  • I write and speak with clarity and focus
  • I listen to understand others and ask clarifying questions
  • I proactively share relevant information on my project including difficult task-level trade-offs that impact the product to my manager and team (including product/business partners)

🦉 Craft

I focus on effectively applying standard tools to build high-quality models, and learning to deliver software projects using ML. I understand the ML development lifecycle* for my projects. I can consistently deliver high-quality code when needed.

ML Fluency

  • I work effectively with the ML tools and software packages used by my team.

  • I understand the ML algorithms and techniques used in my area, and can adapt them to my project as needed.

  • I can analyze and present datasets or results of experiments with statistical methods and/or visualization techniques my team may specify for me.

ML Design

  • I build a model from standard components in order to solve a given computational task.
  • I understand the stages of ML development lifecycle* and their interactions within my projects, and make adjustment to existing designs for any stage when necessary.
  • I understand the reasoning behind my team’s design decisions in order to implement the designs.

Code Fluency

  • I translate ideas into clear code, written to be read as well as executed
  • My code is free of glaring errors - bugs are in edge cases or design, not mainline paths - and is well documented and well tested with appropriate use of manual vs automated tests
  • I actively engage and reconcile different opinions in code reviews and can follow best practices set up by others
  • I’m able to read and navigate through a large code base and effectively debug others’ code
  • I address code tasks with both high throughput and appropriately high quality for the stage of project I am working on

Software Design

  • I’m able to understand the existing designs and technology choices within my area, and I make appropriate adjustments to existing designs when necessary
  • Code modules I write exhibit good separation of concerns

* ML development lifecycle refers to the stages/tasks in the life of an ML projects: task formulation; dataset collection, cleaning, and aggregation; feature extraction; modeling, optimization, and evaluation; off/on-line testing, deployment and monitoring; and iteration based on feedback from each stage.