Dropbox Engineering Career Framework

M7 Senior Engineering Director

I deliver results against either a portfolio of strategic company level business objectives (or keys component of the EPD mission) or a single strategic objective with significant complexity

Scope Area of ownership and level of autonomy / ambiguity

  • I am fully accountable for delivering results against a portfolio of strategic objectives directly supporting company or EPD level business objectives over a two to three year time horizon.
  • I am able to masterfully guide my org to impactful outcomes in the face of significant organizational, strategic and technical ambiguity, misalignment and change.

Collaborative Reach Organizational reach and extent of influence

  • I substantially impact the way engineering as a whole functions and influence partner functions through organizational, people, and process insights and initiatives in complex situations.
  • I anticipate challenges for and influence the direction of EPD as a whole even when faced with significant misalignment.

Impact Levers Organizational levers typically exercised to achieve business impact

  • I hold myself and the managers reporting to me accountable for delivering direct business, and customer impact through effectively structuring, and managing a complex engineering organization
  • In collaboration with cross-functional partners, VPs, and Directors, I define and motivate the strategic objectives against which my reports will operate
  • In addition to driving the full talent lifecycle of my org, I am a champion for high-performance culture across the company and generate excitement for delivering on business outcomes

🏆 Results


  • I drive the most important long-term priorities for the company that create the highest value for my customer
  • I know when to shut down company-wide initiatives that don't create value and how to re-structure my org's roles and goals
  • I know which levers to pull to drive meaningful results, and consider company-wide implications of my team's work
  • My teams plan for and executes on either a portfolio of strategic objectives or a single strategic objective with significant complexity


  • I have a sense of responsibility, and obligation to act on opportunities I see across the company
  • I hold those reporting to me accountable for delivering the results needed by the organization and ensure that investments are appropriately prioritized across my portfolio of objectives

Decision Making

  • I act thoughtfully, and decisively in critical situations even when making challenging or unpopular decisions

Operational Excellence

  • I ensure the right balance of operational excellence, innovation, and speed across teams against company-level goals
  • I am skillful in detecting, and addressing the situations where my personal attention is required while otherwise allowing my Directors to own their strategic objectives

🌟 Direction


  • I drive transformation for the company, help other leaders champion change, and generate excitement for change across Dropbox


  • I push boundaries, and generate ideas—even if they are risky—that drive the greatest company-wide impact
  • I create an environment that fosters innovation and helps Dropboxers take smart risks, own the outcomes, and learn from failures. I define strategic objectives that provide space to develop bold new ideas


  • I deeply understand what is happening in the business and in the market. I use this understanding to collaborate with my cross-functional partners, VP, and Directors to define a long-term vision for my org/EPD
  • I anticipate challenges for, and influence the direction of my teams or org, even when faced with significant misalignment, to execute work toward that vision

🌳 Talent

Personal Growth

  • I proactively ask for feedback from those I work with and have self-awareness about my strengths, and take actions on my development areas
  • I drive discussions with my manager about aspirational goals, and seek out opportunities to learn and grow
  • I invest time in being a better manager and leader

Hiring and Talent Development

  • I attract senior and diverse talent across a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, locations to Dropbox and have strong followership across the company
  • I am actively involved in interviewing and assessing executive leadership candidates. I look holistically at our hiring processes/standards and help drive improvements
  • I actively identify and prioritize areas of investment to improve processes, people experiences, and technologies across the company.
  • I create long-term initiatives accordingly and lead or put leaders in charge of these initiatives and oversee their planning, execution.
  • I take a holistic approach to talent engagement, and retention across my teams/org
  • I champion a high-performance culture across the company, create an environment for continuous growth and development, and identify career opportunities for Dropboxers across teams
  • I am an expert at both hiring and growing Directors, and I know what great looks like across all of the Core Responsibilities
  • In addition to executing the responsibilities of a direct manager and leader of my organization effectively, I operate against the long term talent needs of the engineering function as a whole

Organizational Design

  • I have a clear succession plan, and build a strong bench that sets my team up for success in the future for key roles on my team with a long-term view
  • I invest in developing a pipeline of future leaders for Dropbox
  • I help prioritize, and structure the engineering organization to successfully execute against a portfolio of investments
  • I give my Directors scope to drive the talent lifecycle for their groups, and know when I need to step in and go deep

🌈 Culture


  • I remove barriers to collaboration across Dropbox
  • I influence, and build relationships with leaders across the company while expertly navigating organizational dynamics

Organizational Health

  • I sponsor community-building efforts and inclusion initiatives
  • I drive engineering or org-wide efforts to ensure a consistent and strong culture while keeping in mind org-wide culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • I am capable of debugging, and addressing even the gnarliest organizational health issues
  • I practice vigilance in surfacing cultural issues that might not be explicitly raised to me. I proactively solicit feedback from my team on culture and leverage tools at hand (e.g. Pulse, Soapbox) to gain deeper insight into my team
  • When I become aware of any lapse in my team’s culture, I communicate and work with my leadership team follow through on plans to correct and prevent recurrence of the lapse
  • I practice the Dropbox Diversity Commitments on a regular basis


  • I communicate complex, challenging, or unpopular ideas with poise and conviction, and gain commitment from others
  • I engage in executive-level communications and represent Dropbox effectively in external forums

Culture Leader

  • I create an environment of psychological safety to support connection, empathy, and healthy conflict
  • I shape Dropbox's culture and personify Dropbox core values. I work to elevate existing standards while coaching my other reports on how to do the same
  • I help orgs foster relationships across Dropbox, creating connection and inclusion across different orgs at Dropbox

🦉 Craft

Business Acumen

  • I help inform Dropbox’s business, and product by staying current on our customers, and competitive market
  • I develop my own informed opinions on how Dropbox should leverage or guard against industry and market trends
  • I engage in listening sessions (All Hands, Quarterly Business Updates, etc.) to increase my learning and guide organization's priorities
  • I have a working knowledge of Dropbox’s org/team structure and how teams work together across Dropbox

Architecture Design

  • I’m capable of reviewing the overall health and engineering quality of a system or collection of features - including requiring regular health reviews, reviewing key metrics, test strategy and ensuring that the health and maintenance of my organization's systems

Technical Strategy

  • I hold my team accountable for alignment of the software and systems in my area to overall technical strategy, making tradeoffs where appropriate in consultation with principal engineers