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Booking.com Career Development Videos, Forum, and Q&A

Grow Your Tech Career at Booking.com

Booking.com is a Dutch online travel agency for lodging reservations & other travel products, and a subsidiary of Booking Holdings. It is headquartered in Amsterdam and one of the largest online travel agencies in the world. Founded in 1996, the website has over 28 million listings.

Performance Review


See relevant discussions involving Booking.com engineers on Taro.

Software engineers are evaluated on 2 broad axes:

What (Technical/Results)

This is your project impact and output. Provide data about what technical work you've done, the impact on key metrics, and what other contributions you've made.

How (Behaviors)

This is about the behaviors you exhibit while achieving the impact. What processes, tools, or initiatives did you improve or introduce to make the team more productive? As you become more senior, your level of influence should increase, and therefore your behavior should change with it.

One interesting part of Booking culture is the labels for employees at various levels. Each level is given a label A through M, and these map to specific terminology.

A, B, C (apprentice or pre-college)Traveler
D, E, F (entry/mid-level)Explorer
G, H (principal)Globetrotter
I, J (senior leadership)Navigator
K, L, M (executive level)Trailblazer


Self Review

There's a default template from the company, which you can customize for your use case. The template covers what you're doing well and what you could do better. In particular, there are two specifically-worded questions:

  • "What do I do well now and should continue doing?"
  • "What could I have done differently to have a greater impact?"
Peer Feedback

Peer feedback is a critical input for your manager to calibrate you properly.

The manager collects peer feedback (generally at least 3 others) as part of the evaluation process. The manager does not officially provide feedback to reports, but their feedback is included in the performance review shared with the employee.

All feedback is public to the person receiving it. Both the content of the feedback and the identity of the author is revealed to the employee.

Watch this video to determine the optimal set of peers for your packet: Assembling The Feedback "Avengers" For Your Promotion Case

Recently, Booking.com introduced a "talent review" every 6 months, conducted by managers for each of their reports. Candidates discuss future goals and growth (Including, potentially, the path to promotion).


Getting the top (1) or bottom (5) rating at Booking is exceedingly difficult. Booking is very "middle heavy", with the vast majority of engineers getting the default Meets All rating.

Managers will generate a packet for each report which is then used to discuss the engineer's accomplishments relative to other engineers at the same level. This is the process through which a rating is defined.


Booking compensation is broken into salary adjustments, cash bonuses, and equity grants.

Salary adjustment

Salary adjustments are fairly small unless you get promoted. You can expect salary increments to keep up with inflation.

Cash bonus

Your cash bonus is a percentage of your base salary. The percentage depends on your level:

LevelBase bonus %
Software Engineer 110%
Software Engineer 215%
Senior Software Engineer 115%
Senior Software Engineer 220%
Principal Software Engineer 1?? (please let us know!)
Principal Software Engineer 2?? (please let us know!)
Equity refresh

New grads are not eligible for equity in the company. Stock grants are awarded starting with SE2.

Compared to US companies (FAANG), equity grants at Booking are significantly smaller. Senior engineers and below should expect less than $20K USD in equity per year.

Performance Improvement Plan

Unlike other Big Tech companies (see Meta or LinkedIn), Booking does not require a certain level or duration of performance in order to get promoted.

Starting with SE2 (mid-level engineer), you can stay at the same level without the danger of a PIP for any amount of time with a "Meets All" rating.

The key to avoiding PIP is to stay in sync with your manager - Learn how to do that with this video.