Discussion on: Have you ever worked with an engineer who never leveled up?

alainvanhout profile image
Alain Van Hout

From the different comments, it's clear that 'levelling up' means different things to different people. As I see it, it could be interpreted as any of the following

  1. Evolving into any kind of leadership role
  2. Learning new skills that have nothing to do with your day-to-day work
  3. Learning new skills that directly relate to your day-to-day work
  4. Becoming more proficient in your day-to-day work (i.e. working more efficiently and/or creating higher-quality work)

For the first, while some/many people may aspire to that, others don't feel they have the right character for it, feel it includes too many things they don't like (e.g. lots of meetings), feel it will reduce the time they can spend on things they really enjoy (e.g. coding), or may simply feel content in what they do now. All of those are entirely valid personal reasons for not doing this kind of 'leveling up'.

The second is what a great many people see as 'leveling up', i.e. expanding your skill set beyond what they know now. Often, it's a part of maturing beyond a 'junior' competency level. That said, people can also specialise in particular skills, without having the inclination to increase their amount of skills. Chastising people for that is like criticising a carpenter that makes fine furniture, because they don't regularly learn other types of woodwork, or given the scope IT skills, criticising them for not taking up pluming or masonry.

The third is a fairly sensible request, within reason: it makes sense for an employer to require of their employees that they educate themselves in the skills that are needed to do their job properly. That may include a junior learning 'on the job' or a senior getting acquainted with a new technology that the company wants to start using. There's however a world of difference between that company then making the arrangement for that employee to start learning via paid-for courses as part of their job versus that company requiring that that employee do the learning in their own spare time. The first is obviously reasonable, while the second is only seen as reasonable in some lines of work, while it's seen as ridiculous in others.

Finally, the forth one comes down to this: that a person is able to learn from their mistakes, and to take the advice of colleagues into account to progressively get better at what they do. Think code review: you don't expect having to give the same type of comments over and over again. This kind of leveling up is qualitatively different than the other three, and my view at least, the only kind that you absolutely can't do without.

So basically, it depends. Except when it doesn't.

robotys profile image

This is beautifully worded than my comment with same points.


zaimramlan profile image
Zaim Ramlan

This is very thoughtful and accurate. Really appreciate the coherence!

thomasdelgado profile image
Thomas Delgado

Dude, just want to let you know that I've created an account here just to congratulate you for your comment.

I don't remember the last time I've seen something something so accurate taking so many different point of views.

Can't agree more with you.