I am leading a team of SW engineers. Recently, in our enterprise, it was decided to not use Sr./Jr. titles because they had been abused. The argumentation is that some people were given these titles and others not in conflict with the actual seniority/experience. In my opinion, this was a problem in the implementation rather than the titles themselves, and it could happen to any other title. However, the decision was made, and no one is willing to open the topic again. Although I know titles are worthless outside the organization, I still believe they give our employees a sense of recognition and achievement. Now, I am left with limited options. I need to craft career path for our engineers to show they are progressing and gaining more responsibilities and experience.
All what comes to my mind is: Lead Engineer, Principal Engineer, Chief Engineer. However, all these can be very senior, and do not see them filling the gap between SW Engineer and Lead Engineer, as an example. I also thought of numbering (Engineer I, Engineer II, ...etc.). This was declined outright for good reasons (we do not want to treat our employees like robots ... etc.)