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How does up-or-out work and what's the transition generally like for E3 -> E4 -> E5?

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

I recently joined Meta, and I'm aware of "up-or-out". However, I would like to more deeply understand how it works and have a better mental map of the entire thing in general.

How long do Meta SWEs overall take to go from E3 to E4 and then E4 to E5?

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  • 6
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • 24 months or 2 years for E3 -> E4
    • 33 months (effectively 3 years) for E4 -> E5
    • E3s will get promoted to E4 between 2 and 3 halves
    • E4s will get promoted to E5 between 3 and 4 halves
    • However, the above data is murky as this only counts SWEs that made it. A lot of SWEs can't handle up-or-out, especially for E4 -> E5 promo, and will leave the company as the deadline approaches.
    • As you're kind of close to the deadline, you will be in yellow zone. Once you're right at the deadline (i.e. the last half), you will be in red zone. These zones will crank up the rating expectations so getting MA will become harder. In red zone, you need to be performing at the next level just to get MA, effectively forcing a promo or you being cut.
    • Work closely with your manager to make sure you are progressing well on this path, and be mindful of team switches as the deadline approaches.
    • Here's what a "standard" rating path would look like (by halves):
      • E3: MA -> MA+ -> EE into E4 promo
      • E4: MA -> MA+ -> EE -> EE+ into E5 promo
    • Of course, this will vary heavily from person to person. I've seen engineers get promoted in E3 -> E4 in 1 half and then E4 -> E5 in 2, and some engineers take up all of the time. At the end of the day, figure out the pace you want to go at and work with your manager to create a plan that works for you while also satisfying the timeline (obviously).
  • 6
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    Senior Manager at Zoox; Meta, Snap, Google
    2 years ago

    I would say it depends on the team (especially at Meta). E.g. when I was working in their AR department, managers were asked why don't they promote E3 engineers doing a great job during their 1st half at Meta. So I would say it's impossible to come with specific times.

    Meta is focused on business impact and once E3 is capable to independently drive it on their feature level, deliver on time (according to their own estimates) and with a high code quality, they are usually promoted to E4.

    Once E4 engineer is driving team-level impact (and not just delivers their features well and on time), they should be ready to be promoted to E5.

    And the same goes with E5 engineer who starts to drive Org-level impact.

    It definitely takes more time to be promoted to higher levels, but this is mostly depends on the engineer itself (as well as their team's project complexity+impact). And also it's due to the fact that driving a larger impact usually requires building more relationships, driving more challenging projects and getting buy-in from many people/teams.

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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