The best way to improve as a software engineer is to get feedback, especially when you're new to a team or company. However, this is much easier said than done - Simply having the mentality of being open to feedback isn't enough.
Here's the core points from the video:
- Don't just ask "Do you have any feedback for me?" - The cognitive load for the person you're seeking feedback from is simply too high: They need to mentally comb through everything you're doing and then think through every aspect of it to find feedback to give you. Instead of doing this, they'll often default to the "lazy" response of "Nope, you're doing great!". Lazy inputs result in lazy outputs, and you definitely shouldn't be lazy when asking for feedback.
- Reduce feedback requests to yes/no questions - Regularly retrospect on your own and use that to craft more pointed questions when asking for feedback. Let's say you're not happy with how clean your code is, evidenced by a lot of pushback when you submit it for review. Using this, you can ask something like, "I feel like I could do a better job polishing my code; my PRs get a lot of thrash. Do you think I can improve here?" If they say "Yes", you can then ask for tactics you can apply to get better here.
- Core areas for onboarding feedback
- Overall velocity and output
- Code quality
- How good your questions are
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.