DE Promotion Review Meeting
By Josh Simons on Dec 13, 2006
Sun held its biannual Distinguished Engineer promotion review meeting this week. All of the DEs and and Fellows convened in Menlo Park for a 1.5 day meeting to review candidate cases and to recommend promotions to Distinguished Engineer. We reviewed more cases in this session than in any other I've attended.
For those not familiar, the process works like this. First, a candidate's Vice President or Director decides to nominate an employee for consideration. A case is prepared without the knowledge of the candidate, following established guidelines that have been published on the DE website. Case materials are distributed to the DEs and Fellows in advance of the in-person review meeting. At the review meeting, each candidate's Director or Vice President spends about twenty minutes presenting the candidate and then spends about the same amount of time fielding questions from the attendees. Once the questioning is completed and the speaker has left the room, an internal discussion ensues, followed by a formal vote.
As a participant, I form an initial opinion based on the reading of each case prior to the meeting. That opinion can be affected (positively or negatively) by the case presentation and then again (positively or negatively) by the detailed private discussion prior to the vote.
At this session, I entered the meeting with a tentative determination that I would vote Yes on 30% of the cases being considered. After presentations, that percentage had risen to 60%. After discussions, I ultimately voted Yes on 75% of the cases. The presos and the discussions matter a lot in this process, as you can see.
Promotion announcements should begin rolling out soon.