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How to move on, grow skills and operate at L4 Level

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [L3] at Google2 months ago

My first team didn't work out for me. I was there for less than a year and got the poorest rating, was set up for a PIP. Somehow I made a transfer at the last moment and survived. Certainly, it was the most difficult phase of my life & I am quite grateful to my new team. Now, I'm already in the new team for less than a year and got an average rating last time. The rating was partially influenced by previous manager as I spent almost half of my time there.

Currently working on multiple projects at the same time and grabbing almost whatever task is offered and somewhat gained trust I believe. But the quality of those tasks are not too much complex rather modular & takes more time. I can keep on doing this way but not sure what is the right thing to do. The team is relatively new. Recently started a promo discussion humbly and not pushing it. Manager's review is I'm operating at L3.6 now.

Now,

  • What might be the mental model to forget the past?
  • Sticking around for almost two years now, what might be the correct time & way to reach Next Level?
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    Eng @ Taro
    2 months ago

    What might be the mental model to forget the past?

    It can be difficult to wipe out memories from the past, especially if they are traumatic. It may be more useful to try to reflect on the experience to think about what went wrong and whether any of issues were under your control. You can reframe the experience as something to be grateful for if it led to successful behavioral change (if there were things that were under your control).

    Sticking around for almost two years now, what might be the correct time & way to reach Next Level?

    Currently working on multiple projects at the same time and grabbing almost whatever task is offered and somewhat gained trust I believe. But the quality of those tasks are not too much complex rather modular & takes more time. I can keep on doing this way but not sure what is the right thing to do.

    The next level is about being more independent and proactive as a software engineer. Most software engineers who are just starting out play a more reactive game where they are assigned tasks, frequently get stuck while doing their tasks, and have to ask people how to get past the tasks. At the beginning, it can be harder to grasp the full depth of an issue can be, so your code can end up causing negative side effects because you don't understand the full context.

    For the next level, you should be able to scope out more complex tasks end-to-end with very little hand-holding.

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    Manager's review is I'm operating at L3.6 now.

    Wow, that is quite specific 🤔

    Working on tasks and completing them with high quality is a great first step as an entry-level engineer, and a pre-requisite for further growth. My advice:

    • Instead of taking tasks that are offered, be proactive about grabbing tasks that you can deliver on (good candidates are tasks in the backlog which wouldn't have been claimed otherwise).
    • After you've done that for a few weeks, shift your work to be focused on a problem domain instead of a task. Your goal is to become the go-to person for a specific problem area in the team. Keep this small to begin with, e.g. how to configure and setup alerts for the team? Or dive deeper into a library/module than anyone else so you become the expert on that part of the codebase.

    That should be enough to get to L4.

    See also our course: Nail Your Promotion As A Software Engineer

Google is an American multinational technology company that focuses on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, and much more. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies.
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