Gorilla Logic is well-known in Latin America for having one of the toughest engineering recruitment processes. Now, take that vetting process and triple its rigor: Welcome to Gorilla Logic’s Principal Engineer program.
“We wanted to differentiate this level – usually when an engineer is promoted earlier in their career, the process consists of technical and soft skills assessments,” says Bryan Cruz, Senior Delivery Manager at Gorilla Logic. “But for the Principal Engineer role, we wanted to create a completely new promotion process to differentiate the value of this position.”
Rather than receiving a promotion as part of the employee review process, an engineer who wants to be recognized as a Principal must instead proactively approach their manager and request an evaluation that will determine their eligibility. Once they’ve been approved to apply, it’s time to build their case based on an extensive list of required soft skills, hard skills, and leadership competencies. The engineer will then present their case to a committee of executive leaders.
Here’s what it takes to become a Principal Engineer at Gorilla Logic…
What does it take to become a Principal Engineer?
To ensure we’re only promoting the best of the best to the Principal level, we have created a comprehensive profile of all the hard and soft skills an engineer must possess in order to be considered for the promotion. By assessing their past accomplishments, level of skill mastery and leadership, and contributions to the Gorilla Logic community, we can determine whether or not an engineer has what it takes to be crowned Principal.
A Principal must be a highly accomplished engineer who has contributed outstanding technical work to Gorilla Logic projects. We look for someone who has been a creator, facilitator, or leader of an initiative that had a significant impact on a client, team, or Gorilla Logic. Ideally, this person will have been a Technical Lead or high-profile contributor of a project or initiative that was exceptionally delivered for either Gorilla Logic or a client.
To become a Principal, an engineer must display mastery of multiple leadership skills. They should have a strong knowledge of business drivers and understand how strategies and tactics play out in the market to guide actions.
They should be innovating; introducing new ways of looking at problems and creating strategic solutions that are new, better, or unique. They should also have a history of building effective teams with diverse sets of styles, perspectives, and experiences, and be known for fostering open dialogue and collaboration among that team.
Ultimately, they should be a leader within the company who creates organization-wide energy and optimism for the future and has a personal commitment to the company vision.
At Gorilla Logic, we recognize that the whole is greater than the individual. That’s why a key component of becoming a Principal Engineer is ensuring that they are not just skilled at their own job, but that they work hard to share their knowledge and skills to help the Gorilla Logic community grow and improve, too.
Our committee looks for examples of the engineer’s contributions to the Gorilla Logic community during the last six months: Have they led a Lunch-and-Learn or webinar? Have they produced any training materials or blog posts? Have they participated in Tech Talks or engineering workshops? Did they sign up to be a “Buddy” in our Buddy Program welcoming and guiding new hires during their onboarding process?
If the engineer has shown they are a proactive contributor to the team and/or company – in addition to their role’s hard and soft skills – they are on the right track to be promoted to Principal Engineer.
Let’s take a look at our current Principal Engineers and why they were selected for this exclusive promotion:
For over six years, Raquel has been ensuring that Gorilla Logic clients meet their goals – and doing so with an ever-present warm smile and joyful spirit. She has worked in mobile iOS since its early start, and has since developed a wealth of knowledge that she continually shares with the Gorilla Logic community. Internally, she has participated in mentorship initiatives like the Buddy Program, where she guides new engineers through their onboarding process; she’s led Lunch & Learns to share her technical knowledge; and last but not least, has taken time to mentor greener engineers on her team.
When it comes to client work, she has tackled countless challenging situations without losing her positive approach to problem-solving. When working on a project for an enterprise healthcare company, she partnered with the client’s internal developers to contribute to the architectural design of features. She also collaborated with the UX/UI team on the definition of the design review process of the mobile applications and the incorporation of accessibility features. At the same time, she played a key role on the Gorilla Logic team, clarifying project requirements, proposing technical solutions, performing code reviews, and partnering with the QA engineers on testing and demos of the features completed on each sprint to the client. Her fearless leadership was key to the team’s ultimate success.
“Raquel, we are so lucky to have you! I hope everyone has an opportunity to get to know you – you are the definition of Gorillaness!” –Bryan Cruz, Senior Delivery Manager
Since he joined Gorilla Logic three years ago, Julian has quickly become a key point of contact for all company and client stakeholders, and never hesitates to use his influence to build and strengthen relationships with clients. In fact, he has played a major role in helping his assigned clients grow from using a small number of Gorilla Logic engineers to using multiple consolidated teams after realizing the value that full teams bring to the table.
“We strove to exceed our clients’ expectations as individual contributors, and showcase the talent and potential of ‘Gorillas,’ as we like to call ourselves. Once we achieved that, we focused on leveraging it as the foundation to build trust on clients’ key stakeholders, like the Release Train Engineer, architects, and even the CTO,” explains Julian. “Once we earned a bit of trust and passed the client’s “evaluation,”, we aimed at consistently delivering and showing our go-getter attitude and work towards our clients’ goals as our own. We gave them visibility into strong examples of projects where Gorillas, as a Band, consistently deliver far more value than the sum of our engineers.”
“We aim for team-level goals as roadmap achievements, OKRs, milestones, CI/CD ownership, and easy integration with other teams, units and organizations,” Julian continues. “I believe in the core ladder vision of Gorilla Logic teamwork, wherein the individual improves the team, which improves the unit, which improves the organization, and finally, the company as a whole.”
Julian’s craving for perfection and exceptional ability to adapt to multiple roles, unfamiliar technologies, and changing scenarios allowed him to win a client’s MVP Award two years in a row.
In addition to his outstanding contributions to client projects, Julian’s support of the Gorilla Logic community has been consistent and versatile. He has coordinated initiatives for engineers to get new certifications, like the coveted AWS DevOps Engineer certificate; produced Gorilla Logic onboarding materials and training resources on his own time; and organized huddles for soft skill development, negotiation, and technology adoption. He has also contributed to multiple company events including Tech Talks, workshops, and a series of AWS blog posts that are still being published.
“Julian’s support has been crucial to consolidate our sense of community, as well as help attract both new talent and potential clients. Congratulations, Julian! It has been an honor to have you join our company.” –Bryan Cruz