Engineering Managers, This Is How You Can Judge the Diversity of Your Team

We share critical insights on the Will Test to help organizations understand diversity and its impact on work.



2 years ago | 1 min read

Joel Spolsky published a blog post in 2000 titled The Joel Test specifically for engineering managers. It is a series of quick and easy ‘yes or no’ questions that measure the quality of software engineering teams.

Despite being 20 years old, The Joel Test is still relevant today to judge an engineering team’s technical mastery. However, William Hill, senior software engineer at New Relic, noticed the test’s lack of consideration towards a team’s social culture and values.

Therefore, William developed a new list of questions that engineering managers can use to evaluate the culture and inclusivity of the modern-day engineering teams. 

And of course, he aptly named it The Will Test.

The Will Test

The Will Test includes nine questions focusing on judging a company or team’s social culture and inclusivity. 

  1. Does the company have engineering managers or leaders from the minority community?
  2. Does the company provide access to resources for maintaining your mental health?
  3. Is there an established Code of Conduct?
  4. Is the organizational hierarchy clearly defined? 
  5. Is there a clearly defined path to promotion?
  6. Does the company invest in career growth? 
  7. Does the company make use of diverse recruiting channels?
  8. Is there a dedicated DE&I team?
  9. Is there a formal internal membership program?
  • Does the company have engineering managers or leaders from the minority community? In 2017 a study by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting showed an underrepresentation of women and people of color in executive positions. According to the report, within 177 of the largest San Francisco Bay Area tech firms, the percentage of Black men and women in management was just 1.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Minority engineering leaders give other minorities the strength to believe they can succeed, too. Without minorities in positions of power, the organization’s effort to encourage diversity and inclusivity doesn’t fulfill its objective. 

Read the complete article here.


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