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Need help on how to navigate PIP

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

I've not had great reviews from manager in the past few months. I think it all started with me taking PTO for 3 weeks in december and something I handed over to team before leaving not working as expected. Before that maybe I had a made an impression that I was not proactive enough and it all escalated with this issue in PTO. They had to source a member from another team to get it done.

After I was back from my PTO I did work really hard to get back at the work left and finish diligently, but it again happened that after this work was merged, some other api's failed in Integration environment. And I fixed it soon and got it working. But by this time my manager had decided to put me in PIP I guess.

Now about the PIP, its 60 days long and the way my manager talked about it seemed like she wants me to take it very seriously and improve and she and other seniors can support me during that. My skip manager who is a director, however seems like a not so nice person, I also have a have monthly connect with him next week. He can easily influence the decision even if I do well and my manager wants me. How do I talk to him is one question? And how do I navigate this whole PIP is another.

Since the market is also very bad right now, I'm planning to work hard and complete every objective there is on the PIP document. What do you think about this? I am on stem opt visa and might have 3-5 months to find another gig that's all.

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Discussion

(3 comments)
  • 3
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    I highly recommend going through the course I developed about PIPs here: https://www.jointaro.com/course/the-ultimate-performance-improvement-plan-pip-guide/, in particular the lesson about whether you should work through a PIP.

    The quick summary: you should evaluate from (1) reading the PIP document, (2) your manager's attitude, and (3) your coworkers if you have a chance of surviving the PIP.

    • Unfortunately, the answer is often no, and the PIP is a way to push you out.
      • In this case, you should view the PIP period as time to do interview prep and network.
    • If the PIP is doable (I'd say this happens < 20% of the time), then you should put your best effort and view it as a learning opportunity.
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    It looks to me like the core point of your PIP is the bugginess of your code. This makes sense as a staple of a solidly performing junior engineer (and any engineer really) is that I trust them to push high-quality code independently and don't have to worry. The good news is that this can be fixed.

    First, I recommend following the steps here to show that you have the right mentality when working with mistakes - You need to earn back trust: "How to turn a string of silly mistakes into a mature positive outcome?"

    After that, I highly recommend going through my code quality course: [Course] Level Up Your Code Quality As A Software Engineer

    If you truly master all the concepts in that course, I guarantee you that you will absolutely crush the expectations of the PIP and earn back the respect of your peers (assuming the PIP is in good faith, which is a trickier issue). All of the tactics in the course will make you write higher-quality code that breaks less.

    The PIP being 60 days is good news - A classic sign of a PIP that's designed to make you fail is that it's only 30 days long. Now you should test if your manager was telling the truth about providing support. My course covers proactive measures like creating plans for your commits and soliciting feedback. After your code goes into review, it should be reviewed quickly and thoroughly. If your teammates aren't doing that, this is a sign the team doesn't actually want you to survive the PIP.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    In terms of what to say to your director about the PIP, I really don't know. They obviously know that you're on a PIP (they almost certainly approved it), so the general skip 1 on 1 tactics of asking about higher-level org vision don't really apply here. The PIP is the elephant in the room.

    My recommendation is to own up to the PIP and show that you're going to take the feedback in stride and get better as an engineer. You can even use Taro to show that - Not only are you pushing hard within work, you are going through external resources outside of work crafted by top engineers as well to further augment your skills.

    At the end of the day though, actions speak louder than words. Speak with your actions by following the advice from the code quality course and implementing the tactics ASAP. It should be an immediate difference in the quality of your code, and teammates should see it (and hopefully the good word will spread to your director).