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What should I look for in a new team in terms of growth?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [L4] at Googlea year ago

Something I want to get more efficient at is promotion trajectory, and team selection is a big part of that. If I were to switch teams, how can I find one that's important for the business and has a good amount of L5 scope? My goal is to move up to L5 soon and have scope to start making progress to L6 as well afterwards.

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago

    Something I want to push back on a little is the idea that business impact -> promotion: You don't need a team with good business impact to get promoted, especially for L5/L6 scope (it might matter more for L7+).

    At the end of the day, engineers are there to build stuff and solve technical problems. It doesn't make sense to punish a software engineer for not having amazing product intuition and being able to predict the market. I cover this more in this Q&A here where I talk about how Portal had horrible business impact but ample room for engineer growth (and hence many L5 and L6 promotions) due to an abundance of super gnarly technical problems.

    In terms of what to look for, you want a mix of:

    1. A good supportive team and manager
    2. A healthy supply of meaty technical problems to solve within the team's domain
    3. A balance of engineers more senior than you (for you to be mentored) and more junior than you (for you to mentor them)

    Here's our resources diving deeper into those 3 points and how you can get that signal: