Dropbox Engineering Career Framework

IC3 Technical Program Manager

I build well-designed sub-components of programs resulting in delivery of team or cross-team goals

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 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


  • 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 tech 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


  • 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

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

🌈 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 am expected to independently drive multi-phase programs, often requiring cross-team communication and coordination. I build well-designed sub-components of programs within the framework of multi-phase program’s goals and requirements. I own some of a program’s quarterly goals and am responsible for delivering these goals on time with a high standard of quality. In addition to being a highly productive individual, I am expected to provide substantial mentorship to less experienced colleagues, and often lead the Program direction.

Process Design

  • My experience and judgment allows me to build maintainable programs (e.g. clear incentive structures, good documentation, effective communication standards).
  • I am able to apply the right project and program solutions based on need (e.g. Risk Frameworks, Decision Frameworks, etc.)

Managing Programs

  • I own coordination and execution of the Product Development roadmap for multi-phased programs.
  • I deliver results by driving execution of programs spanning multiple organizations from design to rollout
  • I am able to effectively define the Scope, Goals, and Key Milestones for my project or program.
  • I establish the plan for managing and reviewing my project and programs. (e.g. Status updates, Milestones, Retrospectives, etc.)
  • I develop communication strategies for my programs and projects. Depending on the type of program, and who the ultimate audience or users will be, I will identify and plan for communications streams internally and externally at the right altitude and cadence.
  • I create comprehensive plans outlining my entire program or project. It lists the goals and components of the program, all the projects contained within it, the resources responsible for each piece, calendars, deliverables, deadlines and more. This is living, breathing document, that I update on a regular basis.
  • I pro-actively track issues, risks, and project dependencies to ensure that I can elevate to my team for timely mitigation and resolution.
  • I take responsibility for any failures on my project and take action to prevent them in the future
  • I proactively look and advocate for opportunities to address KTLO work, creation of new processes and programs to significantly drive down technical debt.

Technical Acumen

  • I have a well-rounded set of technical skills and domain expertise in the architecture of my area that enables me to tackle engineering programs.
  • I understand the technical capabilities and limitations of many of my team’s dependencies and can effectively reason about and communicate the consequences to engineers, TPM and other cross-functional partners