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How can I find more opportunities to grow when I'm getting very little real feedback?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Series D Startupa year ago

I feel like engineers on my team are all just doing their own thing. I work on the front-end, and when I go into front-end meetings, it seems like nobody has an opinion on how we can improve.

I like working with the people here: Everyone is nice and the overall work/life balance and vibe are relaxed as a result, but nobody is pushing me to get better and I'm not even sure what better looks like. It seems like my manager is fairly removed from the code at this point, so they don't have concrete feedback for me.

I get some meaningful feedback in code review, but not a lot. A lot of the comments are more surface level.

Given all this, what can I do to grow more?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago
    • This is a common scenario among earlier-in-career engineers at startups, and it's admittedly rough. I think a core insight here is understanding that there's "footholds" you can go onto and start improving that exist on their own and aren't dependent on others (i.e. other people giving you feedback that you can improve in XYZ way).
    • Here's one of those more absolute "footholds": Bugs. Has your code ever broken in any way? I bet it has. Now turn this into a challenge for yourself: From now on, I will write code with absolutely 0 bugs.
    • When you start taking on the aforementioned extreme quality mindset, you will find yourself being more thoughtful with your code and naturally improving its quality. Yes, a lot of code quality is subjective, but a lot of it is objective as well. Code that doesn't break is inherently better than code that does break. This is why I gave myself a "0 crashes challenge" when I was the Android TL at Course Hero and had no more senior Android engineers to mentor me.
    • You can also be more proactive like this in code review. Instead of just waiting for insightful comments when people review your code, you can go review the code of others, especially more senior engineers, and ask them questions on why they structured their code in that way. From there, you'll get more insights into how senior engineers craft code, and you can mimic that.
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