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An Autistic Journey To Google Staff Engineer [L6] From Software Analyst - By Lee McKeeman

Lee McKeeman is an autistic software engineer with quite an incredible journey: Across a whopping ~20 years of experience, Lee has worked at Amazon (where he was an engineering manager and bar raiser), Meta, and now Google.

Lee's career story is super long (watch the video to get the full picture), so instead, we're sharing some of the great learnings from Lee here:

  • School doesn't actually teach you software - University is generally rooted in theory and overly abstract exercises, leaving you with a very basic raw coding foundation. While that certainly has value, it's not enough to make you capable of doing actual software engineering, especially in a team environment.
  • Debugging is a critical skill - Lee started off as a software analyst, which was a role that was much more focused on diving deep and fixing issues as opposed to churning out new features. The experience Lee got here was extremely valuable and continued paying dividends across his career, even after he transitioned to SWE.
  • Help others and keep an open mind - Everyone works in different ways and will be comfortable/uncomfortable in situations that don't match that of others. This includes the neurodivergent population like autistic people, those with ADHD, and more. Be a true teammate by being understanding and accepting of these differences. Assume good intent, and if you aren't sure how you can best support a teammate, just ask them!

To learn more from Lee, you should 100% connect with him on LinkedIn where he writes some of the best posts (and comments) on the entire platform: Lee's LinkedIn

Here's some of the incredible wisdom Lee has shared on Taro: