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Even as a staff engineer, I own just a tiny piece of the system. How can I find additional scope to grow?

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Staff engineer [Lead MTS] at Salesforce2 years ago

For example, this week I was told to work on adding a field to some legacy entity which is not recommended (i.e. you need to have a solid business justification). The whole process is very lengthy, requiring many layers of approval just for this single field change. How can I find the scope appropriate to my level?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • The vast majority of EMs don’t have the time to feed you a regular stream of meaty projects with enough scope to grow you that also increases in difficulty gradually to avoid overwhelming you: This simply takes too much time. This isn’t something you should expect from your manager as it’s not very likely to happen.
    • If you want to get more opportunities from your manager, strive to build a better relationship with them, so they’re more incentivized to carve out those opportunities for you. We have an entire section on how to do that in Taro!
    • Your tech lead is another avenue to get additional scope.
    • What so many engineers don’t realize: You can create your own scope. This is a critical skill at more senior levels. Once you have a strong grasp of your team’s overall goals, you can take a holistic view of the overall landscape to identify opportunities.
    • A common way to create additional scope: Find big bugs. A crucial part of my growth path to senior at Instagram Ads was identifying an ads rendering bug costing us millions of dollars per year. No EM or product manager told me to do this: I identified the opportunity (i.e. created the scope) on my own, and it moved the needle as the core goal of an ads org is revenue.
Salesforce, Inc. is an American cloud-based software company. It provides customer relationship management (CRM) software and applications focused on sales, customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and more.
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