How much support should junior folks at Big Tech companies get?

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Data Scientist at Apple10 months ago

Freedom and autonomy are often mentioned as great perks of working in tech, but I feel like there can be too much freedom, especially for earlier-in-career ICs. As someone who's relatively new to my field, I feel like having more supervision could be good. Is that true?

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  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    10 months ago
    • I'm not a data scientist, but the answer to the overall question is quite a lot. This applies to anybody working at any company, not just Big Tech. However, having no support at Big Tech is worse IMHO as the tech stack is so custom. Startup code will resemble tutorial code you find online more closely, so you can self-learn your way out of a lot of startup problems. I used StackOverflow all the time while at Course Hero. Not so much at Meta.
    • Unfortunately, a lot of more junior folks, probably even the majority of them, don't get the support they need to reach their full potential. This is because:
      • Most managers are bad
      • Mentoring is very hard
      • A lot of managers are too senior to really understand life through the shoes of a junior person
    • When it comes to junior ICs, I just expect them to be able to accomplish tasks independently. However, there's so many behaviors junior ICs fail to learn without proper support:
      • How to properly ask for help
      • Figuring out how to prioritize their work
      • Taking the time to understand more "meta" systems within the company like performance review
    • Luckily, Taro is trying to solve this problem! We share information with people in tech they didn't even realize they should know.
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