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How does people axis work with a hiring freeze and being new?

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Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta6 months ago

As we all know, Big Tech hiring is drastically slowing down, which includes Meta. However, this means people axis sources like interviewing and being a bootcamp mentor become harder to get.

I'm also fairly new to the company, so it's harder for me to do things like mentor and onboard others for people axis credit.

All that being said, how does people axis work for me and how can I get a good rating there?

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  • Lee McKeeman
    Staff SWE at Google, ex-Meta, ex-Amazon
    6 months ago

    People is not just hiring and onboarding. You are 1-2 levels above a lot of people on your team and adjacent teams. You have the ability to mentor, do knowledge sharing sessions, setting up book clubs, show and tells, aiding with promotion preparation, etc. New hires or potential hires are not the only people who can benefit from your involvement.

    Also, it seems like asking your manager would be really helpful. List the things you love doing (individual mentorship, building better processes, etc) and see what the team needs most.

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  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    5 months ago

    As Lee mentioned, you are more senior than a good portion of the company (E3s/E4s should make up ~45% of the overall Meta SWE base). One of the most impactful ways to grow on people axis is to mentor others, especially if you can generate large deltas in their promotion speeds (especially important at Meta due to up-or-out). For in-depth advice on how to do this, check out my session on how I mentored Meta E3s to E5 in ~2.5 years.

    Another big component of people axis is how well you build relationships and are able to align people, particularly behind large project decisions. Practically speaking, a huge component of this is in your presence in meetings (1 on 1s, team meetings, tech review). If you can get other senior+ ICs, especially XFN, to give you feedback that you added value to their work and were strong at building consensus, you also get a lot of people credit. For advice on how to do that, I recommend my series on Effective Communication and this Q&A on leading without authority from a Meta E6.

    On a side note, interviewing and bootcamp mentoring aren't fantastic for yield IMHO for E5, especially if your goal is to grow to E6. Of course, do them if you're passionate about them, but in order to get huge people impact there, you need to be making changes to the overall bootcamp process or coordinating large interview events, not just being a bootcamp mentor or interviewer.

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  • I'm in the same boat, and when I discussed it with my manager, he was quite happy about the fact I ran a couple of workshops to teach the rest of the team certain skills I saw they were missing.

    Helping others in your team if I understand it correctly should also help with ratings. If you have other teams that depend on you (e.g: your internal customers), making sure they grow with you could help too.

    1 Like
  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    5 months ago

    +1 to the above comment - That's a pretty accessible way to have multiplicative impact, which is what I would expect from a strong E5. It's also local impact (helping your own team directly), which is rewarded far more than impact that's more general (like bootcamp and interviewing as those are company-wide efforts).

    An idea to "juice up" the workshop effort is to turn it into a workstream. Create a document with gaps you see among the team and come up with let's say 6 workshops (2 per month for a quarter) that systematically attacks those knowledge gaps to fill them. After the quarter, run a survey on the team on how useful the workshops were (if results are good, that goes straight into your PSC self-review, woohoo!). With covid, workshops are a nice communal event too to bring the team together.