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How do I find a good team that sets me up for the mid-level -> senior level promotion?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [SDE 2] at Amazon2 years ago

I'm currently a mid-level engineer, and I've already made a good amount of progress towards senior. However, I'm looking to change teams as I don't like the work too much on my current team, and I want to minimize the progress "loss" as much as possible in my new team by finding one that sets me up well for the mid-level -> senior promotion.

What’s a good team composition for this? Do you just want a good mix of all levels? What other factors besides team composition should I look for when it comes to evaluating a team on this axis?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • You are correct in that you want a healthy mix of levels if you're targeting L4 (mid-level) -> L5 (senior) promo.
    • Teams that are too senior (e.g. everyone is L5+) are bad as all the good scope is taken and you have nobody to mentor.
    • Teams that are too junior (>80% are L4 and below) don't have anybody to mentor you and are just bound to implode in general as every good team needs a strong bench of L5+ engineers to survive.
    • As an L4 engineer, you specifically need L5 engineers to mentor you, and L3/L4 engineers that you can mentor to show that you can work through others.
    • The other thing to consider is the amount of scope a team has. In particular, you want to avoid a team where its product is too mature and optimized. On these teams, you're going to run 10 experiments a half to increase metrics, and it's likely all of them will fail as the product is already hyper-optimized. An example of an overly mature team like this would be the main feed in the Facebook app.

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