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I see a lot of ridiculous titles, too. I think he addresses that in the "myth of a flat org" section. To continue his "all databases have schemas…even the ones that say they do not" metaphor: over-normalization is bad, too. It's hard prevent muddying titles with things like vanity, but a well-named title gives shorthand in large orgs or when new people come on.

Of course knowing everyone individually is best, but that doesn't scale.

Most of the places I've worked are small to medium. Titles don't matter all that much. One place tried to develop a technical ladder to coincide with their management ladder. I don't think it worked out too well, but they did establish "leads" that were more likely to hop around and mentor. It didn't really change their responsibilities. It just formalized and endorsed what they were currently doing. It really helped to narrow down for people who to go to and allowed those leads to spend time on those kinds of issues.

*her for the record

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