I'm an E5 iOS at a Big Tech company. My team has some E6 work that I'd love to take on, but my PM prioritized some E4 work above it. Since the only other iOS engineer on my team is E6, my EM asked me to take on the E4 work while the E6 works on the E6 work. The E4 work is scoped to about a month's worth of work, but I worry that scope creep may drag things out further. I've been at this company for close to 3 years on various teams. For the majority of that time, I've been saddled with E4 work (and sometimes even E3 work) that has taken valuable time away from working towards E6. I was hired as an E5. Is there a way to avoid spending time doing lower-level work to focus on getting to the next level? For what it's worth, I got Exceeds on my latest performance review.
If there are two people that can do this work, you and an E6, and the work that needs to be done is “lower level”… it has to be done. You can try to decompose it so you can both knock it out in a week or two, you can have a “get it done” rotation by project or month or something… but the bottom line is they have seniority. You should be shadowing them on the work they are doing, contributing where you can, etc. but sort of have to accept they are better suited to take on that work now. There’s times that simply require delivery, and times you can stretch and grow. With two iOS engineers, though, unless y’all move to a shared code setup that allows other devs to contribute, you cross train, etc there probably isn’t ever going to be a time you’re not building workaday features.
It sounds like hiring an E3 or E4 isn’t an option, not sure about cross training, but basically this isn’t a team to grow on with the current composition. Maybe you can build something that allows no-code/low code feature addition to accelerate that stuff, but that seems lofty.
There's 3 approaches here:
Lastly, I hope this thread is helpful as well: "How does one effectively handle pressure especially when the stakes are high?"