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What's the best way to think about a team switch?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [E3] at Meta2 years ago

Some additional questions:

  1. What do you look for in the team?
  2. Do you tell your manager?


  • 29
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    Meta, Robinhood, Baidu
    2 years ago
    1. Motivation. Given the same level of talent and assume everything else equal, the more motivated person wins over the long term against the least motivated person. The former could get more work done with the same mental strength in the same amount of time. The latter has a lower mental strength to productivity conversion rate because of the lack of motivation. So what kind of work gives you energy (e.g. you want to wake up and start working as early as you are physically capable, you keep thinking about the problem even when you take a shower)? If you can't identify what motivates you that's totally normal in your early career. This kind of self-awareness is something you should grow over time.

    2. My default is no but it depends on how much trust I have in my manager. Ask yourself this question "does this person have my best interest in their mind even when it hurts their interest?".

  • 20
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    Eng VP at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, ex-Meta, ex-Yahoo
    2 years ago

    First I would figure out why you would like to switch teams and what you are missing from your current role/team to lead you down this path. A couple common reasons are: work isn't as interesting as you were expecting, career growth stalling, unsupportive manager, etc.

    Once you have an idea of your reason(s), you can start looking for teams that mitigate those issues and fit your needs best.

    I'll modify your second question a bit by saying "when do you tell your manager?" At the end of the day, you'll have to tell them at one point or another. You need to figure out for yourself if it's worth bringing it up early or not.

    Couple reasons to bring it up early:

    • Your manager might help resolve some of your issues and you might not even have to switch teams
    • Your manager might already have plans for you, but just hasn't been able to bring it up. This would clear that up and make room to have that discussion.

    You can't really go wrong by not bring it up as long as you are ok with not knowing if the above reasons would've been a better opportunity or not. Staying with your current team has advantages as well, you don't have to build a report with the team, your manager already knows you and probably has a pretty good sense of what you are lacking to grow in your career.

    Hope this helps!

  • 19
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 years ago

    What To Look For In A Team

    First, I recommend going through the following 2 Q&A here:

    1. "How can I find a team with interesting work which is also healthy overall?"
    2. "How do I know when it's time to leave a team/company?"

    Something else to consider as you're an E3 is your progress towards promotion and the up-or-out timeline. If you've made a good amount of progress towards promo (9+ months) and you're neutral to positive on your current team, you should consider just finishing that up before switching. For E3s/E4s, there will be a substantial productivity loss when joining a new team, which can easily slow down your promotion or make it harder as you now need to play catch-up.

    The beautiful thing about Meta in particular is the staggering wealth of knowledge you have access to when switching teams. This is what you can do when considering a team:

    1. Talk to the manager (standard)
    2. Talk to engineers on the team
    3. Do bootcamp tasks - For a longer version of this, some teams will have a "hack-a-month" project
    4. Sit in on their meetings
    5. Read their history (diffs, Workplace post launches, planning docs)
    6. Ask for Pulse results - I was able to do this, but I'm unsure if this is doable anymore

    Telling Your Manager

    • As Cat mentioned, default is "no", but this changes when you like your manager and trust them.
    • Like Girish said, telling them on the earlier side can actually help you.
    • In the end, the call is yours to make, but given Meta's exceptional culture around team-switching, I would lean towards telling them early if you genuinely like your manager. When I told my manager I wanted to switch teams back when I was at Portal, they actually helped me switch by recommending me teams to join.
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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