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How to have an impact when taking over 80% finished big project?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [IC2] at Yelp10 months ago

Engineer A on my team was working on big refactoring project. I joined same project around 65-70% completion. Now he’s leaving for a vacation and I’ll be leading project and finishing it. By time he’ll leave it will mostly be completed 90-95%. My questions are:

  1. Since project is almost done, I know I won’t have much scope but still how do I show my best in whatever is remaining?
  2. What are things to look into and clarify with that engineer during handoff or before he leave?
  3. Any other tips for making best out of this opportunity?
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    Principal Director at Capgemini
    10 months ago

    To make an impact, it you don’t need to own all of it. In fact, almost anything of significance is a group effort and at more senior levels, nearly nothing will be solely attributed to only you. Being able to pick something up midway and deliver results in a short span of time gives several signals of seniority such as rapid onboarding / absorbing context quickly while making it easy for others to build upon what you did.

    There’s a probably a reason other than vacation backfilling for why you were chosen for this. By closing out the project well, I see this as an opportunity to accumulate a lot of social capital with whoever assigned it to you as well as the remainder of the project team. Don’t forgot to give kudos / credit where it’s due for Engineer A’s contributions as well and not brush it off.