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Thank Coworker Publicly?

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Mid-Level Data Engineer at Taro Community15 days ago

I just finished my first week at my first Big Tech company. I onboarded with another engineer who I'm working closely with on a series of projects. That engineer was really helpful to me this week in getting my environment set up. He knows the tools and frameworks we'll be using a lot better than I do so I'm really grateful he's around to help me. I've thanked him a lot on Slack privately and on our video calls. I'd like to publicly thank him on the company directory. My concern is that if I do that, our manager might see me as the weaker engineer of the two (which I am right now).

Should I let that stop me from publicly thanking him?

Thanks in advance!

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Discussion

(6 comments)
  • 1
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    Thoughtful Tarodactyl
    Taro Community
    15 days ago

    Great question and I really empathize with this feeling. I wish we didn't have to deal with a zero sum game in tech 😞

    • 2
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      Software Engineer at a Series A Startup
      14 days ago

      Tech is a positive sum game, here we are just dealing with the nature of working on tech in a corporate environment, which can sometimes be zero-sum.

  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    15 days ago

    Should I let that stop me from publicly thanking him?

    No, definitely not. In general, bias towards adding positive energy into the room. The only scenario where I wouldn't do it is if you know you are competing specifically against that engineer and nobody else.

    Yes, every Big Tech company does stack rank, but stack rank is generally at an org-level (director/senior director), not an individual team level. You know how in The Hunger Games people form alliances? Pretty much do that. Form your little coalition, and everyone within that coalition should help one another to uplift the entire group out of stack rank range.

    Surviving at Big Tech is a marathon, not a sprint. You probably want that engineer to help you more in the future, so you should thank him. Use that motivation to "even the score": Grow as fast as you can so you can start helping him and getting public thanks from him! Maybe it'll get to a point where he thanks you more than you thank him - Make that your North Star. That's how I have lived my entire career, and it's paid off huge dividends.

    • 1
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      Mid-Level Data Engineer [OP]
      Taro Community
      13 days ago

      Thanks Alex!


      The only scenario where I wouldn't do it is if you know you are competing specifically against that engineer and nobody else.

      How would I know if this is the case? In my case, we were both hired at the same time on contract. I have no reason to believe only 1 of us can/will be renewed, but it's certainly possible.

    • 1
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      Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
      12 days ago

      You can't really unless you ask your manager, which I don't recommend (in general, asking someone if they have placed you in The Hunger Games isn't the best idea LOL).

      Given that you'll never really know, I think it's best to not worry about it and focus on doing a great job instead. You know, the Taro things 😉

  • 0
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    Mid-Level Data Engineer [OP]
    Taro Community
    12 days ago

    Turns out I can't use the company directory to thank my coworker publicly since we're both contractors. So I'm limited to Email and Slack. Should I go ahead and thank him on our team's Slack Channel? It's not as great as having a dedicated channel where people can thank each other (like a ThanksBot), but maybe it's better to still do than not.