As someone with a background as a Senior Software Engineer at Meta, I’m curious about the team matching process at FAANG and similar companies. In my experience, team matching at Meta wasn’t heavily influenced by one’s past experience, except for specialized roles. However, I’ve heard that at companies like Google, it might be more challenging to join teams if there’s a significant gap between one’s background and the typical requirements of the role. Can anyone share insights or experiences regarding this?
I also regret missing an opportunity with Meta’s global traffic routing team, which was a great fit for my learning and growth (published cutting edge industry practices) but I was afraid of failing. As I look to re-enter the FAANG space, I’m concerned about the difficulties of joining high-growth teams when my background differs significantly from the norm. Any advice or perspectives on overcoming this challenge and seizing similar opportunities in the future would be highly valuable.
This may be an unsatisfactory answer, but I wouldn't base too much of your game plan on how the FAANG team matching process works. It's based on talent demands at a point in time alongside social factors / personal preferences of the decision-makers leading that team.
It's a crapshoot on a good day.
Instead, you'd want to design your career profile in a way that is optimized around solving problems that fit these 3 criteria.
You are or can get reasonably good at solving them (at least in the top 25% of people)
You have an intrinsic interest in solving that problem, which will give you a sustainable long-term edge in #1
There's sufficient market demand for that problem domain. Doesn't have to be the hottest problem (e.g. AI / LLMs or blockchain ecosystem). In fact, what's generally considered boring by most is great for higher pay and less competition (as long as it still checks off criteria #1&2).
If you follow this game plan, you reduce the odds that you'll be mismatched in the first place. You want to state your intent and what you bring to the table extremely clearly, so you won't get the wrong type of "buyer" (i.e., employer).
It's hard to deterministically nail the team matching process. It is based on the current company priorities at the time (which will change), who is the current hiring manager, and where your skills fit.
I'd focus more on how to evaluate if the team you join is actually the right team for your career growth. Figure out how good your manager is and how much your scope could expand.