Dropbox Engineering Career Framework
IC4 Quality Assurance Engineer
I fundamentally improve the quality process exercised by my group and drive very broad or highly technical projects
Area of ownership and level of autonomy / ambiguity
Collaborative Reach
Organizational reach and extent of influence
Impact Levers
Technical levers typically exercised to achieve business impact
  • I own and deliver bi-annual/annual goals for my team.
  • I am an expert at identifying the right solutions to solve ambiguous, open-ended problems that require tough prioritization.
  • I define technical solutions or efficient operational processes that level up my team. 
  • I am a strong leader for my team with my impact beginning to extend outside my team
  • I increasingly optimize beyond just my team by driving cross-team or cross-discipline initiatives
  • Technical Strategy - I play a key role in setting medium-to-long term strategy for business-impacting projects.
  • Project Leadership - I autonomously define and deliver technical roadmaps of larger projects, often involving cross-team dependencies. 
  • 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

trophy Results

Key Behaviors
  • I deliver many of my team’s goals on time and with a high standard of quality
  • My understanding of the business context and my team’s goals enable me to have the greatest customer impact and allows me to make independent technical decisions in the face of open-ended requirements
  • 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 — potentially having broader business impact across teams or products
  • 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 understand the implications of my decisions and adjust my approach based on the impact and risk (e.g. choosing a more iterative approach based on the degree of uncertainty with respect to product fit, while maintaining a view of the long term arc needed to accomplish business goals).
  • I make timely decisions but don’t cut corners that would compromise my customer’s trust  

glowing star Direction

Key Behaviors
  • I embrace change and adapt quickly to it
  • I’m able to navigate ambiguity and remain resilient through ups and downs
  • I am beginning to push boundaries to generate and implement ideas that aim to drive our products and tools forward
  • I set audacious goals, take risks, and share lessons learned
  • I define the technical roadmap for complex projects, refining it as the projects progress, and provide leadership for the people executing on the project
  • I define my team's priorities and secure buy-in in partnership with my manager
  • I generate excitement for my/the team's strategy

deciduous tree Talent

Key Behaviors
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 gain the trust of candidates and can represent Dropbox's mission, strategy, and culture throughout the interview process
  • I am able to represent my team’s technical challenges to potential candidates in a compelling way (e.g. 1:1 sell chats, blog posts, public speaking)
Talent Development
  • I model integrity and a high standard of excellence for my work. I leverage this to set and hold the bar for quality and best practices for my team (e.g. via code and design reviews)
  • I identify and support areas of growth for my teammates that take 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

rainbow Culture

Key Behaviors
  • I build relationships and drive coordination across teams & disciplines, helping get to positive outcomes
  • I avoid blame and solve the right problems, disagreeing and committing when necessary
Organizational Health
  • Working with my manager, I leverage the strengths & skills of the members of my team, and help identify talent gaps required for team success
  • I act as a partner to my manager in setting the cultural tone for the team. I support an environment where all Dropboxers are included and heard
  • I motivate others to bring their authentic selves every day and contribute to building community at Dropbox
  • 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

owl Craft

At this level, I am expected to play a key role in setting testing and quality strategy across the teams I support. I have a deep knowledge of testing specific aspects of Dropbox functionality and possess a wide view of how the Dropbox product’s surface areas fit together. I  am either very skilled and deep in solving one type of problem, or demonstrate versatility across multiple problem types. I drive and plan testing of large, complex, cross-team projects that could span multiple quarters and often involve multiple QA engineers. I drive process improvements that involve multiple teams simultaneously and may take on quality improvement projects that impact the larger organization. 
QA Collaborative Reach at L4
An L4 engineer typically takes comprehensive ownership of quality and process issues across an area or group depending on size.
Key Behaviors
Testing Fluency
  • I effectively execute on medium to large projects with minimal ramp-up even in an area where I lack domain expertise, via leveraging an understanding of testing principles and appropriately using domain knowledge resources (e.g. documentation, asking experts)
  • I identifying the likely breakages or risk areas in a feature at the spec or engineering review phase, before the feature has actually been built
  • I identify and explain the root cause of bugs in areas where I have domain expertise
  • I am likely a subject matter expert on a highly complex testing surface area that has dependencies across organizational boundaries and/or requires deep knowledge of a highly technical surface area
  • I have an understanding of test automation and drive automation strategy to provide guidance on how specific tests should be automated and common automation risks/failures 
Testing Strategy
  • I independently identify high risk projects that I should embed in and and what level of support I should give them. On low touch projects my impact is still felt and tangible enabling me to have broad impact
  • I drive and plan testing of large, complex, cross-team projects that could span multiple quarters and often involve multiple QA engineers
  • I am able to independently drive the creation of a quality bar for complex launch reviews and drive alignment around that bar at the team and area level that appropriately balances customer and business needs (set for various milestones, defining acceptable behavior at release) 
  • I am able to independently drive + get buy-in on a clear and principled set of quality metrics for a project or team
  • I have familiarity with a wide range of testing techniques and can use the appropriate ones at the appropriate times to create a comprehensive testing strategy for a project
  • I provide valuable Test Strategy review without detailed domain knowledge 
  • I can rapidly iterate on a test plan or test strategy based on results of prior testing
Quality Process Strategy
  • I can reliably identify, and effectively address, important process or testability gaps that are not obviously gaps or that the team(s) I am working with may not recognize as problems
  • I prioritize quality process work across an area or across multiple teams not within my immediate lens
  • I identify and put in place both impactful and sustainable quality processes across an area
  • I can reliably create and deploy effective solutions to complex problems that hurt quality in an area
  • I plan ahead to establish the right quality processes + strategy not just for the current project, but also aligned with the overall strategy and future direction of the team (if applicable)
Quality Assessment
  • I detect quality metric gaps within my supported teams and their dependencies and advise on strategies to address those gaps
  • I notice upfront and compellingly advocate for addressing subtle quality risks (e.g. dependencies, lack of appropriate expertise in staffing, conflicting team priorities, poor communication between teams) before they become a problem
Quality Advocacy
  • I effectively teach and explain advanced Testing Fluency and Advanced Testing Strategy principles to the cross functional members of the development team, enabling them to take on this work for low-medium risk projects with minimal support