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As I work toward being a senior engineer, how do I find projects that I can drive that are also impactful?

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Mid-level engineer [SE3] at Adobe2 years ago

In order to get to senior engineer, I need projects that show creativity and innovation. But I'm not able to get my manager to give me those projects. How do I find projects I can drive that are also impactful?



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    Rahul Pandey [OP]
    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 years ago

    A common misconception I've seen: you don’t need to invent a completely new project or find something brand new to be the owner for a good project. Usually the senior/staff eng on the team have tons of work in their backlog. Setup a meeting with them and ask what they’re concerned about and what they need help with.

    Don’t rely too much on your manager. They’re going to be pretty far removed from the day-to-day coding and product development. Here’s a process that usually works well:

    1. Use a conversation with your manager as a jumping off point
    2. Go talk to the various people (TLs, PMs) and get their feedback and incorporate their feedback and questions into a doc.
    3. Come back to your manager with a 1-2 page doc with the idea fleshed out, along with your own opinions about potential impact of the project

    Now you can have a more concrete discussion about the pros/cons of the project, if it aligns with your career goals, and if you’re well positioned to drive it.