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How can I fill in for concrete product strategy when the direction coming from my very senior PM is more high-level?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [E4] at Meta2 years ago

Comparing Meta to other companies, splitting between a PM and an engineer is very awkward. PMs end up doing a lot of strategy work, but when it comes to what tactics you pick, it seems like engineers have to pick there.

My PM is very senior at PM6 and their guidance is extremely high-level to the point where the concrete projects we need to work on aren't entirely clear. How do I fill in these details, so I know what to work on?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • It doesn't matter if the PM is extremely senior: They are responsible for product direction. At that level, it's expected for the IC to fill in the gaps, even if that means taking on "lower level" work. Push them for details, and I assume they'll be pursuing a PM4/PM5 hire in the meantime.
    • Like with a lot of issues, if you aren't able to get what you need to execute on the team's core projects/goals, work with your manager so the team as a whole can work with the PM to flesh out the product requirements to a good degree.
    • You can lighten the load by using your own product intuition/opinion to propose feature options and have the PM choose between those options vs. coming up with the entire thing themselves. This lessens the load for them while allowing you to put on your PM hat, which is generally rewarded at Meta (there is literally a PM/engineer hybrid archetype). From what I've seen historically, this kind of behaviors helps when growing from E4 -> E5.
Meta Platforms, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns 3 of top 4 social networks in the world: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. More than 3.5 billion people use at least one of the company's core products every month.
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