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Should I accept Meta Reality-Labs DevInfra Role ?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsofta month ago

Hi,

I have recently received an E5 offer from RL team as part of the dev-infra org working on developer tooling infra such as debugger, code editor. I have received this offer after a long 2 month wait in TeamMatching. Given the long wait time in team-matching, the recommendation in general is to accept the first offer regardless of your preference and then do an internal hop later.

I have a safe and secure job at Msft L62 right now(about to be promoted in the next quarter), working in developer tooling as well.

Team structure: The team is comprised of 4 sub teams with each sub-team focusing on a vertical and containing 6-8 members. My manager has 25 reportees under him and we have a tech-lead who is overseeing the whole product.

  1. Any advice/gotchas in general about work-culture, leadership for the org?

  2. Being an infra role, I wanted to know if there would be enough scope for me to succeed in this role ?

  3. I see there is less diversity in my immediate team, except me all the other team mates, tech-lead, skip manager are Asian, my manager is Indian. P.S I am not against any race, but wanted to get some perspective if I would be isolated and if I could an impact and survive there.

  4. I see that some of my peers are L6 at Amazon and I wonder if it would be difficult to compete with them and have decent job security. P.S: I am on H1B visa

Thanks!!

YOE:9

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Discussion

(4 comments)
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    Staff Eng @ Google, Ex-Meta SWE, Ex-Amazon SDM/SDE
    a month ago

    I can’t answer all of these, but my gut is that while there’s likely to be a seismic culture shift moving from MS to Meta, there’s a strong chance you can adapt and L5 is a big step up over L62 and a decent step up from L63 (for comp, at least).

    I couldn’t adapt fast enough. I joined unallocated and it took me like 4 months to find a team match and then couldn’t be what they wanted.

    1. I don’t know reality labs. In general you will need to move fast. During onboarding try hard to advocate for tasks at the current level you are working through (they want you to ramp through L3 and L4 before doing L5 things). I struggled with there being nothing really scoped and straightforward, so it was perceived I was struggling with simple tasks when there were no simple tasks.

    2. There’s a ton of scope in infra. Impact can be multiplicative. 2k devs saving 1m per day is 33 dev hours daily. That’s almost an extra week of productivity every day.

    3. This isn’t something you can know in advance. Your manager may be ethnocentrist or racist, there’s no way to know. Chances are that if bias led to this it isn’t outright racism, but could still impact you. I wouldn’t start out worried about this. You could be treated inequitably anywhere, don’t assume you will be in this circumstance.

    4. You mean they came to Meta from Amazon, and at Amazon they were L6, but you think they might be L5 at Meta? It’s possible, but with the misaligned leveling, unless they had just gotten an L6 promo, they probably came in at L6/Staff at Meta. Even so, I think this is a little… I don’t know, I guess I understand a potential negative take when your right to work could be at risk, but “I’m glad there’s more senior people to learn from” feels better than “I have to crush my peers to survive”. I don’t actually know how competitive and stack-ranky it is, but I wouldn’t go in looking for a weaker team so you’ll be able to outcompete them.

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      Mid-Level Software Engineer [OP]
      Microsoft
      a month ago

      Thanks a lot for your advice Lee!!

      For the 4th one, yes I was told some of my new peers were L6 at Amazon in their past job. You are right, I am not too sure of whether they are E5/E6. Since Meta does stack-ranking based evaluation, I was probably looking at things from a negative lens and assuming the worst. I agree, having a positive attitude will be beneficial for more impact and productivity.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    First off, congrats on the offer! Microsoft is a great company (stellar at WLB IMHO), but I think Meta is better for overall career growth and learning (your WLB will definitely take a hit though).

    Any advice/gotchas in general about work-culture, leadership for the org?

    25 reports to a manager is insane, but there's not much you can do about that. For understanding Meta culture, check this out (and follow its links): "Is sprint planning and agile not a thing at Meta?"

    It's very easy to drown at Meta, especially now. Follow the Taro advice of biasing towards action, building relationships, and embracing looking "dumb". The relationships portion is critical for E5.

    Being an infra role, I wanted to know if there would be enough scope for me to succeed in this role?

    I actually think infra teams tend to have more scope, but it obviously varies on a lot of factors (like the seniority of the team): "Between platform (serving developers) and product teams (serving end customers), what should be one's preference based on level?"

    ...but wanted to get some perspective if I would be isolated and if I could an impact and survive there.

    Tech as a whole has very terrible diversity unfortunately. Very Asian teams can have very grindy/competitive culture, especially if they're not 2nd+ generation (i.e. grew up in the US). Again, there's not much you can do about it: Assume good intent and treat people with kindness and respect.

    I see that some of my peers are L6 at Amazon and I wonder if it would be difficult to compete with them and have decent job security. P.S: I am on H1B visa

    People at Amazon tend to do well at Meta as both have pretty competitive cultures. Amazon L6 will generally map to E5/E6. I wouldn't worry too much about this though as viewing the world as a competitive, zero-sum game is very dangerous and ultimately unproductive: "How do you deal with zero-sum situations where one's success comes at the expense of another?"

    • 1
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      Mid-Level Software Engineer [OP]
      Microsoft
      a month ago

      Thanks for your reply Alex! I feel a bit better after reading your response, especially knowing that there are list of things that can be done to become and be perceived as a strong engineer. I will check the mentioned links, and be better prepared for this new change.

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