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Expected pace of progression.

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community25 days ago

Based on resume course, you have some rough benchmarks for expected career progression paces. For example you said a mid level engineer at 8 yoe is too slow.

Would it be possible to give some industry averages that highlight if you’re moving slower than average or faster than average?

Like green is faster than average yellow is average and red is slower?

These can be super rough and while you did bring this up the purpose is to get a health check if we’re staying at our level too long. Idea is it’s good to know if we’re getting too comfortable.

For more context I know some companies tend to reject candidates if they have not gotten promoted on time so these numbers will help us manage our careers effectively to ensure this doesn’t happen

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Discussion

(2 comments)
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    24 days ago

    There is no such thing as too fast or too slow - Everyone should go at their own pace and be content with that 😊. A lot of it is also out of your control, so it doesn't make sense to get hung up on being "too slow" in particular.

    In that 8 YOE mid-level engineer example, I specifically mentioned that many Amazonians will run into that, but that's definitely not a poor reflection on them as the Amazon SDE 2 -> SDE 3 promotion is notoriously difficult. Many Amazon SDE 2s would do just fine at senior at most other companies anyways.

    The real "metric" to understand if you're stagnating and need to do something new is to reflect on your personal behavioral changes as I talk about in-depth here: https://www.jointaro.com/course/nail-your-promotion-as-a-software-engineer/be-patient/

    If you look back on the version of you from 6, 12, or even 18+ months ago and the you of today is exactly the same as the you from the distant past (i.e. you would behave the same in response to any situation instead of doing something more refined/advanced), that's a sign you need to push yourself harder and maybe find a change of scenery (i.e. new team or company).

    A lot of this will be gut feeling: I generally recommend trusting your gut. Sometimes your brain is just being dumb and gets in its own way.

    Lastly, getting feedback from others is another great way to understand if you're truly growing, particularly in performance review! Try stacking up all your peer feedback against each other and see how it evolves through time.

    Here's a good related thread: "How do I know what I'm great at?"

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    24 days ago

    First, a meta-point: you can (and should) obfuscate what level you currently are if you think that may be held against you. For example, if you have 8 YoE and are mid-level, I would just describe your current job as a generic "Software Engineer," and most companies will default you into the Senior Eng loop.

    The problem is made difficult by the lack of standardization across companies and levels. As Alex mentioned, SDE2 at Amazon (mid-level) is a very wide band.

    The closest "standard" we have is the leveling system from Google and Meta, which is roughly:

    • Entry-level L3: < 3 YoE
    • Mid-level L4: <6 YoE
    • Senior L5: almost everyone else
    • Staff L6: demonstrated expertise or prior Staff-level experience
    • Senior Staff L7: very hard to enter a job at this level

    See more about this on the company pages: