Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Job Titles

I am the director of technology in a small financial consulting firm that has a single software product. We have a technology team of 6 people.

I’ve got an employee that deserves a promotion, and a new title. He’s currently called a “Software Engineer”, and was initially hired to program. But now, he does much more than that. In fact, while I’m busy “directing technology” throughout the organization (consulting engagements and the like), this guy is taking care of the development of our flagship product.

- Managing schedules
- Managing 4 other developers
- Designing
- Writing specs (in full English paragraphs with pretty diagrams!)
- Programming
- Representing the team in meetings presentations, etc.

He’s an *excellent* programmer that happens to also be good at running the development of our product. Things get built on time, with few bugs!

Do you have any suggestions on a fitting title for this employee? I don’t want to give him a boring managerial sounding title; I’ve though of “Senior Software Engineer”, but it doesn’t exactly cover his role…or does it…?

Director
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"Project Leader"

Still technical and programming but also architecting, designing, organizing and leading the members of the team.

Gen'xer
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Defender of the Faith.

RP
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Development Team Leader or Manager, Project Manager, Software Architect; my boss called me "Chief Developer".

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

You might want to try "Project Lead/Senior Programmer" and offer to give the employee management training. Helping to pay for part of a employee's initiative to learn about management (such as night schools) will pave the way to more formal management titles.

overweightnerd
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Don't give him any kind of title at all, therein lies the most kudos.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Yet another way to look at it, if the engineer is any good, a title is not going to hold him back. A good company would have recognize any skills this personnel has and promoted him to the right responsibility. Your team is only 6 people, so there's little room for promotion, I suppose all you can do is award senior positions through wages or compensation until the time comes when your company is large enough to use his experience and people skills.

overweightnerd
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

How about "partner", and offer him an ownership stake in the firm.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Does that new title come with a raise?

ShowMeTheMoney
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Yes, it does come with a raise.

Overweightnerd is correct in stating that due to the size of our part of the organization (6 out of 40), there is little room for promotion. We do award/reward senior possitions through  appropirate wages.

Nevertheless, I'd like to give him a nice new shinny title to go along with the $$$.

Director
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Principal Engineer or Principal Software Engineer

Tickled me pink when it happened to me.

Mongo
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Bad Ass MoFo

michael (michaelsica.com)
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"After that, you can change your name from Kickin' Wing to Kickin' ass!  I would!"
--Joe Dirt

sir_flexalot
Tuesday, July 06, 2004


Chief Engineer

Team Leader

The One

KC
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Project Manager?

hello
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Why don't you ask him what he thinks would be appropriate?  Get him involved.  Maybe he has a particular title in mind.

L. Ellison
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

mad scientist


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Technical Manager or Development Manager would work nicely.

Neil Hewitt
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Exulted Grand Poobah is as good as any.

Titles mean nothing unless they have some form of the word "manager" attached to them. The real-world recognizes only managers or non-managers. Whatever else you call someone is for internal organizational ego stroking only.

old_timer
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Beware of title inflation. I recently heard that CIBC, a large Canadian bank with perhaps 45,000 employees, has over 2,000 VPs.

.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Minor monotheistic Deity ?

WhatTimeIsItEccles
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Project Leader, or Project Lead Engineer, if he has an engineering degree.

Edward
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I always asked for the title of janitor.  I never liked the idea of being considered a manager of anything. 

Jon Lindbo
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Come up with a few that are okay with you, and ask him which he prefers.  If he doesn't care, pick whichever you like.  From what you describe of his duties, Project Lead, Sr. Developer, Principal Engineer would be alright, with Project Lead at the top of my list.

Should be working
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

How about "The Man" ?

Chris
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Team lead?

Jimmy Jo-jo
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The only title I really ever cared about was "being paid more than last year"

Otherwise, I generally make up my own.

On that note - you could ask him what title he wants.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"Otherwise, I generally make up my own."

Titles are generally just masturbatory in the same organization, but they do matter when selling yourself to other employers - they want to hear that you had a great title, and they will verify that you really did.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, July 06, 2004


Disciple of Trash Development

Jack of all
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Reasons for a new job title: new job title

a.) company with strict bureaucracy / hierarchy: whatever the employee manual says is the next title after Software Engineer

b.) need to bill clients higher hourly rate: whatever title commands the highest hourly rate. "Senior Key-Account SAP Consultant" or something.

c.) don't want to spring for a proper raise: "boy, you're 'Assitant to the Managing Fry Cook' now, the promotion doesn't come with more money, but more responsibilities. If you keep up the good work, you can be 'Assitant Managing Fry Cook' someday"

d.) want to make employee feel good about himself: consider patting him on the head and taking him to the park and tossing around the frisbee for him. Let him choose his own title. Give him a sausage.

e.) have a good chuckle at  "goofy" job titles: "Senior Penguin Evangelist"

  -tim (who got new company cards once that specified his title as "Software")

a2800276
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Looks like this guy is  "Technical Lead" and "Product Architect" all rolled into one. Any of these would go !

Vindy P
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Why don't you ask _him_ what title he would prefer?

Mr Jack
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The best part of having a wacky job title is watching HR people's heads explode when you move on.

"So, you were a...Grand Poobah of Fnord?"

"Yup."

"Uh..."  (WTF does that translate to in our huge and boring megacorp?)

Aaron F Stanton
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Vice-president of Software Lubrication

badblue.com/blog
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

from bui van hai
you can help me,find job it  .
how to i can make money 10$ a mounth online
i live in viet nam
i can make web and programe 
you can find for me ?
thank!

bui van hai
Sunday, August 01, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home