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Alex ChiouTech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero

The Step-By-Step Plan

Here's the step-by-step plan if you want it for your notes:

Find A Good Team

  • Engineering manager has a track record getting engineers promoted
  • Teammates 1 level above you to learn from
  • Teammates more junior than you to lead
  • Team isn’t overloaded with engineers at your level
  • Team isn’t overloaded with engineers at next level

To learn about finding a quality engineering manager: [Masterclass] What Software Engineers Should Look For In Their Engineering Manager

Establish Yourself As A High Performer

  • Build a strong, honest relationship with your engineering manager
  • Identify core peers and add value to them to make them like you
  • Develop a consistent track record shipping with velocity and quality
  • Look for opportunities to expand scope of assigned projects
  • Be creative and brainstorm new project ideas

To learn how to build trust quickly: [Course] Effective Communication For Engineers

Clarify Expectations And Gaps

  • Write a promotion plan with as much clarity as possible
  • Have that honest, deliberate conversation with your manager
  • Observe engineers at the next level to understand the delta
  • Break down your weaknesses across engineering axes
  • Don’t get jealous of more senior peers

Execute And Grow

  • Make sure to check in on and maintain your expectations plan
  • Publicly document and share your wins
  • Go through your gaps 1 by 1 and patch them up
  • Be hungry for feedback and learn from mistakes
  • Amp it up in the final quarter before review

To learn how to get constructive feedback: This Is How You Get Feedback - Making The Process Smooth

Go Through Performance Review

  • Thoroughly go through your promotion plan and make sure it’s all addressed
  • Compile artifacts from your brag journal, launch posts, and other sources
  • Link as much evidence as you possibly can
  • Request targeted feedback from core peers
  • Share self-review with manager beforehand