Dropbox Engineering Career Framework

IC3 Reliability Engineer

I independently identify and deliver solutions that ensure the resilience and reliability across a broad product capability or technical system

Scope Area of ownership and level of autonomy / ambiguity

  • I own and deliver projects in service of quarterly goals on the team
  • I independently identify the right solutions to solve ambiguous, open-ended problems

Collaborative Reach Organizational reach and extent of influence

  • I work primarily with my direct team and cross-functional partners while driving cross-team collaboration for my project

Impact Levers Technical levers typically exercised to achieve business impact

  • Project Leadership - I define and deliver well-scoped milestones for a project. I may be a technical lead for projects on my team
  • Product Expertise - I actively keep customer needs in mind and leverage input from product stakeholders as available to determine the right technical solutions to deliver customer value quickly
  • Mentorship - I actively level up less-experienced members of my team by helping them with their craft, providing guidance, and setting a good example

🏆 Results


  • I deliver some of my team’s goals on time and with a high standard of quality
  • I understand my customers, the business’s goals and my team’s goals. I ensure my work will have the greatest customer impact
  • I can identify when my results aren’t moving the needle for our business/team goals or serving the needs of customers in a meaningful way and work with manager to redirect my focus
  • I get work to a simple place by focusing on the heart of the problem and prioritizing the right things


  • I proactively identify new opportunities and advocate for and implement improvements to the current state of projects
  • I take responsibility for my decisions and any failures on my project and take action to prevent them in the future. I embrace and share the learnings from those failures
  • When I encounter barriers, I unblock myself and my team by proactively assessing and eliminating the root cause

Decision Making

  • I make informed decisions by consulting the right stakeholders and balancing details with the big picture. I execute against the spirit, and not just the letter, of the requirements
  • I understand the implications of my decisions and adjust my approach based on the impact and risk in the short and long-term
  • I make timely decisions but don’t cut corners that would compromise my customer’s trust

🌟 Direction


  • I embrace change and adapt quickly to it
  • I’m able to navigate ambiguity and remain resilient through ups and downs by staying calm under pressure and taking care of my overall well-being


  • I ask questions and contribute to new ideas/approaches
  • I experiment with new approaches and share what I learned


  • I work collaboratively with my manager to set realistic and ambitious short- and long-term goals to deliver customer value quickly and break these goals down into smaller projects for my team or myself
  • I execute the development roadmap for multi-phase projects, possibly as a project lead

🌳 Talent

Personal Growth

  • I proactively ask for feedback from those I work with 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

Talent Development

  • I model integrity and a high standard of excellence for my work. I leverage this to influence and establish best practices
  • I support the growth of my teammates by taking into account their skills, backgrounds and working styles
  • I solicit and offer honest and constructive 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 by conducting more advanced domain-specific and leveling interviews
  • I am able to represent my team’s initiatives and goals to candidates in a compelling way

🌈 Culture


  • I build relationships across teams and help get to positive outcomes
  • I proactively communicate and coordinate my team’s requirements with other groups and teams in engineering
  • I am capable of working with cross-functional stakeholders to identify technical blindspots and clarify ambiguity in their ideas.
  • I avoid blame and solve the right problems, disagreeing and committing when necessary

Organizational Health

  • I contribute to a positive sense of community on the team (e.g. engage in team lunches, team offsites, and other 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 good virtual first practices that help my team collaborate effectively
  • I help shape the Dropbox engineering culture through my involvement with activities outside of my team (e.g. presenting tech talks, participating in Eng RFCs, creating interview questions, planning hackweek)


  • I tailor my message to my audience, presenting it clearly and concisely at the right altitude
  • I proactively share information so the right people are informed and aligned
  • I foster effective communication across the team and promote inclusive meeting culture

🦉 Craft

I have mastered the fundamentals of systems fluency and ensure my team sustainably operates systems with high reliability. I have a well-rounded set of software and systems design skills that allow me and my team to build sustainable, resilient, and efficient systems. I am able to decompose business problems into solutions that may require designs with multiple interacting system components. I understand the technologies and systems used in my area and how they fit together. I am a true partner to stakeholders, executing against the spirit, not just the letter, of requirements.

Systems Fluency

  • I understand OS or networks, or hardware well and can quickly debug complex issues and identify the major system bottlenecks.
  • I fully understand the layers of the system and appropriate tooling for each one and know when to engage a higher level expert when my own knowledge isn’t adequate in one.
  • I am able to identify opportunities to improve system’s reliability such as utilization, scalability, efficiency and drive the implementation.
  • I mastered the craft of automation for mitigating toil and expert in troubleshooting complex system issues impacting reliability.
  • I know how complex distributed systems fail and look for ways to protect the software and system.
  • I can navigate through full stack application and build proficiency on the right tools to dig deep into the system issues.

Systems Design

  • I am able to decompose reliability problems or business scenarios into solutions composed of multiple software or systems components interacting with each other.
  • I proactively identify issues with technical dependencies of my project that are owned by other teams and surface them.
  • I can improve the system design and architecture by identifying major areas of risk (failure domains) and prioritize fixes via good judgement on what to let slide versus those that bring the maximum benefits to the company.
  • I understand what is toil on a team and work to design systems that require less manual intervention where appropriate.
  • I drive to improve the reliability, operability, and efficiency of at least one impactful system at Dropbox with the team that owns it.

Code Fluency

  • I write code that captures the essential nature of the solution and is appropriately flexible, reusable, efficient, and adaptable to changing requirements.
  • I ensure high code quality in code reviews.
  • I have a strong awareness of the ecosystem of tools and libraries supporting my primary programming language and development environment and a strong grasp of the idioms and patterns of my language. I may be intimately familiar with the open source community surrounding it.