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Dropbox Engineering Career Framework
TPM: Appendix

Glossary

We’re striving to use clear language, but there are a few words where it’s helpful to expound upon how we interpret them.

Craft Responsibility Definitions

The responsibilities defined below make up the foundation of the Technical Program Manager craft:
  • Process Design: Creation and design of processes and programs, that make up effective workflows, that help teams perform repeatable tasks more efficiently.  They provide team members an easy guide to follow if they need to step in for someone on a task. Having effective processes reduces work- or project-related stress and ensures a predictable, repeatable outcome every time. 
  • Managing Programs: The ability to drive and manage Cross -Functional or Cross-Organizational teams or a group of people with different functional expertise working toward a common goal. These teams are typically Engineering, Product, Design, Marketing, CX, Legal, Finance, etc. and are comprised of all levels of management.  There are also projects and programs that will also include external team members like: customers, consultants, and vendors.
  • Technical Acumen: Competencies in this category relates to not only software skills but also to your ability to think creatively, devise innovative systems and processes and develop policies to facilitate operations. The ability to identify how you can use systems and technology to improve ways of working. It may be implementing a new strategy for collecting customer data, or rolling out a system to collect performance data.
  • Examples include:
  • Developing new solutions with existing technology
  • Acting as a technical expert in a specific area/program

Technical Acumen: Examples

  • Computer Literacy: The ability to operate various computer systems and familiarize yourself with different software packages. This could range from the basic Microsoft Office to more complex computer software.
  • Examples include:
  • The ability to learn new systems quickly
  • Experience using a variety of relevant software packages
  • Software Engineering: Being able to code and understand programming languages.  Proficiency in gathering user requirements, defining system functionality and writing code in various languages, like Java, Ruby on Rails or .NET programming languages (e.g. C++ or JScript.NET.)
  • Data Management:  Knowledge in collecting, managing and reporting data. It involves the capacity to use data to improve processes and operations while analyzing results and presenting findings to others.
  • Examples include:
  • Experience of checking all available data to get a more complete picture
  • Using the data to propose effective solutions and identify potential risks
  • Infrastructure:  Perform or delegate regular backup operations and implement appropriate processes for data protection, disaster recovery, and failover procedures.  Responsible for capacity, storage planning, and database performance.
  • System Administration: Experience in maintenance, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems, network servers, and virtualization. Working knowledge in install and upgrade computer components and software, manage virtual servers, and integrate automation processes.  Troubleshoot hardware and software errors by running diagnostics, documenting problems and resolutions, prioritizing problems, and assessing impact of issues.
  • Examples include:
  • Lead desktop and Helpdesk support efforts, making sure all desktop applications, workstations, and related equipment problems are resolved in a timely manner with limited disruptions.
  • Security: Skills to engineer,  implement and monitor security measures for the protection of computer systems, networks and information.  Ability to identify and define system security requirements.  Design computer security architecture and develop detailed cyber security designs.
  • Examples include:
  • Develop technical solutions and new security tools to help mitigate security vulnerabilities and automate repeatable tasks
  • Ensure that the company knows as much as possible, as quickly as possible about security incidents
  • Write comprehensive reports including assessment-based findings, outcomes and propositions for further system security enhancements
  • Content Management Systems (CMS):   development of the CMS software that supports the management, creation and modification of digital content.
  • Information Technology:  Information technology can include network management, software development and database administration. IT may also provide technical support to a business or an organization's employees and train non-technical workers on the business's information systems. 
  • Examples include:
  • Design systems and assess the effectiveness of technology resources already in use or new systems that are being implemented.
  • Work with external partners, including consultants, agencies and vendors, to arrive at the most appropriate system or integration of multiple systems.
  • Equipment and Program Knowledge:  Delivering technical support to customers for devices. This not only allows you to deliver excellent customer service but to also diagnose and troubleshoot problems more quickly.