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The RSE hiring and career progression pipelines: Top tips to navigate them efficiently

The RSE hiring and career progression pipelines: Top tips to navigate them efficiently

Tania Allard

July 17, 2023
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  1. THE RSE HIRING AND CAREER
    PROGRESSION PIPELINES:


    TOP TIPS TO NAVIGATE THEM EFFICIENTLY


    TANIA ALLARD


    RSE SOUTH LONDON - JULY 2023

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  2. THE RSE HIRING AND CAREER
    PROGRESSION PIPELINES:


    TOP TIPS TO NAVIGATE THEM EFFICIENTLY


    TANIA ALLARD


    RSE SOUTH LONDON - JULY 2023

    View full-size slide

  3. TANIA ALLARD
    • Director Quansight Labs


    • PSF board of directors


    • DISC (Diversity in Scientific
    Computing) chair


    • FOSS, Open Research, Research
    Software, MLOps, and accessibility

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  4. https:/
    /xkcd.com/
    The mission of Quansight Labs is to sustain and
    grow community-driven open source projects and
    ecosystems, with a focus on the core of the PyData
    stack and on tools and digital infrastructure for
    data science, ML/AI, and scientific computing.
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  5. • Not for profit


    • Build and sustain open source
    communities and projects


    • Grants and other funding
    mechanisms
    • Consultancy-based operations


    • Clients across research, industry,
    government
    SIMILAR: EMBEDDED RSE SIMILAR: SUPPORT RSE
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  6. WHO IS THIS TALK FOR?
    • Hiring managers


    • Team leaders


    • Interviewers
    PEOPLE INVOLVED IN RSX* HIRING
    • Individual contributors


    • Team or technical leaders


    • Across all career levels and
    disciplines
    RSX* AND FUTURE RSX
    *RSX - anyone developing software which plays a significant role in research or research-related activities
    (RSE, RSDesigner, RSProject Manager…)
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  7. • Titles, levels, job descriptions… oh my what a mess


    • Hiring RSXs


    • Career planning and progression for RSXs
    WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
    *RSX - anyone developing software which plays a significant role in research or research-related activities
    (RSE, RSDesigner, RSProject Manager…)
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  8. TITLES, LEVELS,
    JOB
    DESCRIPTIONS
    WHAT A MESS
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  9. AS ANY CAUTIONARY TALE..
    It all started with a simple but brilliant
    request:


    We need new career ladders and job
    descriptions
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  10. AS ANY CAUTIONARY TALE..
    AND A FOOL
    It all started with a simple but brilliant
    request:


    We need new career ladders and job
    descriptions
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

    View full-size slide

  11. WHO IS IN OUR TEAM?
    DEVELOPERS / SOFTWARE ENGINEERS
    PROJECT MANAGERS
    DESIGNERS
    DEVELOPER RELATIONS / EXPERIENCE ENGINEERS
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  12. WHEN I SAY DEVELOPERS/RSES TEAM
    THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEAN
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  13. THIS IS MORE LIKE IT….
    DEVOPS
    PACKAGING & COMPILERS
    OPEN INFRASTRUCTURE
    GENERALISTS
    NUMERICAL AND OPTIMISATION
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  14. SO WE NEED CAREER
    LADDERS AND JOB
    DESCRIPTIONS YOU
    SAY?
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  15. BUILDING A CAREER LADDER*
    01 - CREATE A LIST OF COMPETENCIES
    02 - SET LEVELS
    03 - MAP LEVELS TO COMPETENCIES
    04 - ROLL OUT AND EVALUATE
    05 - ETERNAL HAPPINESS
    Most advice the world will give you*
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  16. COMPETENCIES
    LEADERSHIP COLLABORATION COMMUNICATION & FEEDBACK
    STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT & IMPACT CRAFT & QUALITY
    DELIVERY
    AUTONOMY & OWNERSHIP
    KNOWLEDGE SHARING
    RSE I RSE II Sr. RSE I Sr. RSE II Staff RSE Principal RSE
    LEVELS
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  17. BUILDING A CAREER LADDER THAT PROMOTES GROWTH
    01 - CREATE A LIST OF COMPETENCIES
    01 BIS - DEFINE AND PROMOTE GROWTH
    03 - MAP LEVELS TO COMPETENCIES
    03 BIS - WRITE JOB DESCRIPTIONS
    05 - ITERATE
    Focused on the practice of Engineering at Quansight
    0 - ALIGN WITH COMPANY VALUES
    02 - SET LEVELS
    04 - ROLL OUT AND EVALUATE
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  18. THE MOMENT YOU REALISE…
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  19. SCOPE
    OWNERSHIP
    Task Feature Domain Organisation
    Execution
    Process
    Solution


    discovery
    Problem


    Discovery
    Project /


    team
    PROGRESSION MINDSET
    RSE I
    RSE II
    Sr. RSE I
    Sr. RSE II
    Staff RSE
    Principal RSE
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  20. HIRING
    FOR SCALE AND EXPANSION
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  21. HIRING NOTES FROM THE FOOL HERSELF:
    1. Hiring is hard and you will make mistakes (FACT)


    2. Use your career ladders


    3. Make sure everyone knows your career ladders
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  22. HIRE FOR THE OPPOSITE OF THIS
    • Know your team


    • Identify:


    • Gaps (competencies)


    • Gaps (ownership)


    • Capacity needs (expand vs scale, new
    skills vs more of )


    USE YOUR CAREER LADDERS
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  23. IF ANYTHING…. WHEN HIRING
    COMMUNICATION & FEEDBACK DELIVERY
    Make sure you get indication of these two at least:


    • Can they communicate with a set of diverse people?


    • Can they get things done?


    And then whatever technical skills you need…
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  24. PROGRESSION
    WITHOUT FOMO
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  25. GROWING & KEEPING YOURSELF IN DEMAND (MYTH)
    WHAT YOU KNOW
    FOMO TOPIC
    WHAT
    YOU DO NOT
    KNOW
    SHINY
    NEW THING
    YOU DO NOT
    KNOW
    WHAT
    YOU DO NOT
    KNOW
    WHAT YOU DO
    NOT NEED TO
    KNOW

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  26. GROWING & KEEPING YOURSELF IN DEMAND (REALITY)
    YOUR NICHE (WHAT YOU KNOW)
    WHAT
    YOU DON’T
    KNOW
    WHAT YOU KIND
    OF KNOW
    WHAT YOU’D
    LIKE TO KNOW
    MORE OF
    WHAT
    YOU KIND OF
    NEED TO
    KNOW
    ENOUGH
    TO MAKE
    YOU
    USEFUL
    DIRECTION OF
    GROWTH
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  27. SCOPE
    OWNERSHIP
    Task Feature Domain Organisation
    Execution
    Process
    Solution


    discovery
    Problem


    Discovery
    Project /


    team
    RSE I
    RSE II
    Sr. RSE I
    Sr. RSE II
    Staff RSE
    Principal RSE
    ONE OR BOTH DIMENSIONS


    OF GROWTH
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  28. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
    It keeps you focused on what matters:


    • Avoid snacking: low effort, low impact


    • Avoid preening: low impact, high visibility


    • Stop chasing ghosts and instead spend time on what
    only you can do
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  29. • Get to know your team


    • Signal what matters to your team & organisation


    • Hire for scale and expansion


    • Use your career ladders
    IF ANYTHING TAKE THIS: MANAGERS & TEAM
    LEADS
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  30. • Use your career ladders as a compass not as a GPS (i.e. help you set the direction of your
    growth)


    • Avoid snacking too much 🍪


    • Learn smart:


    • Know your niche (what only you can do)


    • Know your team/domain


    • Broaden your scope or ownership (one at a time)


    • Focus what matters (technical work, glue work, collaboration)


    • Finish things!
    IF ANYTHING TAKE THIS: RSX
    Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career

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  31. Tania Allard - trallard.dev | bit.ly/rsx-career


    www. quansight-labs.org
    THANK YOU

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