How do I get promoted from Software Engineer 1 to 2?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [SE1] at Booking.coma year ago

They recently rolled out the Booking Career Framework, creating itemized lists on the expectations for each level, so I know what it takes to get promoted. I'm 70% - 80% that I'll get it in the next performance review cycle, but I have some concerns.

My main concern is that Booking doesn't have a lot of space to grow, evident by the fact that I spend ~50% of my time on the company's migration effort to move from Perl to Java. The effort for this started in 2014 and is around 30% done. It's not a super high company priority according to my manager, but my team spends a lot of time on it, which worries my prospects about finding scope with better business impact.

On the flip side, I had Java experience coming into Booking, so I am well-equipped for this migration work. For example, I was able to solve a deep image loading issue recently that required a strong understanding of default Perl behavior.



  • Profile picture
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago
    • The main difference between SE1 and SE2 is a high degree of technical proficiency and autonomy. This is the promotion where raw coding strength is the most important.
    • An SE2 shouldn't be required to have high business impact. They are usually getting projects from their EM/TL, and you shouldn't be punished for having a bad one that gives you bad projects.
    • I can see the refactoring work as an area with enough "juice" to show SE2 signal. If you can, quantify impact where you can. Some common benefits of refactoring: Code iteration speed, performance, overall code size.
    • And of course, lastly make sure you have a clear, open dialog with your manager to set expectations and track progress over time.
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    Staff Software Engineer @ DoorDash, ex-FB, ex-Klaviyo
    a year ago

    Alex's answer is awesome and comprehensive already.

    If i would add one more point is that, for SWE1 -> SWE2, you can heavily leverage your manager to give you clear guidance.

    • Be direct to your manager that your goal is to get promoted soon and ask how you can function at a SWE2 level.
    • In your 1:1s, frequently check in with your manager to see if you are on track.
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