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Ask The Instructor: [Course] Nail Your Promotion As A Software Engineer

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Alex Chiou (Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero)a month ago

Promotion is one of the most difficult and nuanced topics, so there's no way any course can absolutely cover 100% of all possible scenarios. If you have any questions about the course, please ask them here! I'm happy to talk about:

  • What gaps you may have to get to the next level
  • How to create additional scope in your team
  • Whether a prospective team you're considering looks good for promotion
  • Why you're getting stuck at your current level
  • Maintaining that dialog with your manager about promotion


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    Supportive Tarodactyl
    Taro Community
    a month ago

    Thanks for the amazing course! The project credit section was especially enlightening for me.

    What's your advice on aligning a team that doesn't see eye-to-eye with yours? For example, I was working with 2 platform teams that over-promised and under-delivered. They delivered poorly documented and very buggy implementations that my team had to build on top of, resulting in significant delays. They refused to test their code before marking it as done, so their mobile & BE implementations were often incompatible even within their own teams.

    My project's overall DRI (E6 BE) ended up switching teams halfway through the project, so the project became a total mess. Our other BE engineer resigned a month before the E6 switched teams, so we had no BE engineers on this project at one point. I was the project's mobile DRI (E5), but also jumped in to do BE to try to save the project before we were able to eventually onboard another BE engineer. We finally delivered the 3-month project 3 months behind schedule, but I was so burnt out by the death march over the last 6 months that I asked to be taken off the project as soon as we had hit our 1st milestone.

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      Alex Chiou [OP]
      Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
      a month ago

      Ugh, this sounds so messy. In this case, you definitely need to escalate, especially as you aren't E6 (or better yet, E7). In other words, you need to rope in your manager (and probably your skip too) and have them apply pressure. Make sure to compile as much proof as possible though to show them that you aren't just complaining for no reason. Showing empathy for the other side (even if you don't have any) is important as well (e.g. "I know this XFN team is stretched, but...").

      If the manager is not helpful (especially if they're giving you a response like "Well, it's up to you to figure this out"), then it's probably time to switch teams 😥