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Does FAANG Favor Internal Promo to Sr EM?

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Senior Software Engineer at Upstarta month ago

I recently read an existing question "Do FAANG...ever hire M1 from outside?"
https://www.jointaro.com/question/Uv07VUnY09grCbN1eV9s/do-faang-and-other-top-tech-companies-ever-hire-m1-from-outside/

I am aware that M1 is usually filled internally. The part that shocked me is that the questioner stated they are a Sr EM with 10 years of management experience. I would expect they would interview for Tier 1 as a Sr EM with that background.

This relates to my own career strategy as well: I plan to move from Sr IC to EM at my current company, gain 2-5 years of experience, and consider interviewing out for promo if I can't achieve internal promo in that frame.

Am I thinking about this the wrong way? We know promo to senior for engineers by interviewing is often easier than internal promo, but is that a poor mental model for EM?

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(2 comments)
  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    Yes. It is quite rare to see an external M2 hire at Meta and at FAANG/FAANG-adjacent companies in general. There are no shortage of talented M1s gunning for those spots, and an external hire is even riskier as M2s have even more responsibility (managing top M1s is really hard). There is a huge difference between managing at less cutting-edge company vs. a top tier company like Meta. If you want to dive more into what that difference is, check out this video (I recommend going through the masterclass it comes from as well): The Rare Insight Top Tech Companies Have About Engineering Managers

  • 2
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a month ago

    Getting hired in at M2 (manager of managers) at FAANG usually requires:

    • Similar scope role at another FAANG or adjacent company, e.g long-time manager at Microsoft or Uber.
    • An exceptional background paired with executive sponsorship, i.e. a Director or VP at the company vouches for your ability to lead multiple teams.