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Expectations of a Toptal Developer

Toptal engineers are expected to perform with extreme professionalism at all times. Our clients expect to be working with elite engineers, and like our clients, we do not tolerate subpar work or poor communication for any reason.

Full-time Toptal engineers are expected to work at least 40 hours per week. Always make sure you understand your client’s expectations in advance.
Part-time Toptal engineers can have varied work hours and schedules, but they are expected to work at least 20 hours per week. Always make sure you understand your client’s expectations in advance.
Hourly Toptal engineers can have widely varied work hours and schedules, and there are no weekly minimums. Always make sure you understand your client’s expectations in advance.

Engineers will rapidly learn and adapt to the client’s working environment, including understanding their specific role and the client’s work style. The trial period will be as productive and efficient as possible.


Engineers will be available during the client’s preferred hours to meet and work as live, remote team members. This may require lifestyle adjustments as dictated by client needs and time zone.


Toptal engineers are live, remote additions to on-site teams, and are expected to be highly accountable and to respond to clients rapidly. Engineers will always be mindful of all client communications and will respond via the client’s preferred channel (email, Skype, etc.).


Engineers will establish and maintain a consistent workflow, and will give advance notice if unable to work on a given day or will notify clients when they step away from the computer with a brief explanation and expected return time. Reliability in work and communication must be proven every day.


Engineers will update clients regularly on work progress, issues, solutions, and outputs. Clients should never have to ask for status updates. Toptal engineers should actively identify and offer to do additional work if they get ahead. It is the engineer’s duty to contribute wherever possible and to keep the client up-to-date and informed on every aspect of their work.


Engineers must speak and write in clear and concise English that has been double checked for typos so that all clients feel comfortable collaborating with and delegating work to them.


Toptal engineers will take a passionate interest in accelerating a client’s business and product development. Engineers will close tickets, find bugs, and complete all work with maximum efficiency.


While Toptal engineers will take both speed and quality into consideration, they will never make compromises on the quality of their work for the sake of speed or anything else. Engineers are expected to act, think, and contribute like a core member of the client’s team.


Toptal engineers are expected to continually improve their skills by:

  • Taking advantage of Toptal’s educational and professional development resources.
  • Collaborating with other Toptalers to solve problems that arise on the job.
  • Building and maintaining a best practices library.
  • Completing supplementary reading materials, participating in competitions, etc.

Because we set such a high bar for our engineers, we incentivize them to exceed it.