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How To Earn Respect Fast - Senior Engineer Onboarding Story

Even if you're onboarding, you can earn respect amongst your team. In fact, you should feel empowered to earn this respect despite being new, especially if you're a senior software engineer.

Here are the core points from the video:

  • Help junior engineers - This is one of the most effective ways to earn respect on a team as a more experienced engineer. The junior engineers may be more fluent in the code than you are, but if you're a senior+ engineer, there is a reason you have this level: You have certain fundamentals and instincts that are applicable everywhere that junior engineers don't really have.
  • Show your depth - You won't win with velocity and output when you're new. However, you can win with depth and quality as that's largely a function of your effort and time. If you're a more experienced engineer, think about how you can go deeper into something than everyone else on the team.
  • Alex's senior engineer onboarding story - Here's how a senior Android engineer quickly made a splash after joining Alex's team back at Instagram.
    • They saw a junior engineer struggling with a very complex text layout bug with the Instagram Android app.
    • They volunteered to help with this bug, even though they didn't have to.
    • After many failed debugging attempts, they slowly extracted the relevant code line by line into an entirely separate Android app to identify the breaking line. This was a brilliant tactic that nobody else on the team even remotely considered.
    • This combination of goodwill and extreme software engineering depth earned them a mountain of respect pretty much immediately.

This clip is from our masterclass on how to succeed at a new team or company as a software engineer. Click here to watch the full thing.

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