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Does it make sense to learn about other pillars within the company?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [L3] at Googlea year ago

At a huge company at Google, there's resources on everything imaginable, including other trades like product management and sales (which I'm interested in). Does it make sense at this stage in my career to spend a lot of time looking into those and learning?



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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago

    You can do it, but don't spend too much time on it.

    Unless you don't like software engineering and want to pivot out of the field entirely, I highly recommend staying focused at this stage in your career and building that initial foundation. What that means for a junior engineer is that you should get extremely good at coding. This means that you should be able to build out any medium-sized project with high good velocity and good quality while requiring minimal hand-holding.

    If I were to put a number on it, I would spend 5-10% exploring these outside areas. A common failure mode I see among earlier-in-career engineers is distracting themselves too much researching these other pillars, which includes many E3s I saw at Meta.

    In terms of how/when to invest more exploring these other areas:

    1. Get to L4 first - Ideally, have some progress towards growing to L5 as well. Having that strong engineering foundation opens a lot of doors since you'll have that respect.
    2. Find opportunities to "hybridize" on your team - Companies like Google give engineers a lot of autonomy. I know that Google is more engineering-focused compared to Meta when it comes to their engineering culture, but I imagine there's still opportunity to dabble in other roles to add value to your team. I have generally found that hybridizing as a PM makes the most sense for engineers.

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