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How do I prove to my manager I deserve a promotion to E4? Or above a meets all rating?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [E3] at Metaa year ago

After this past half (I joined mid-August), my manager is saying I'm working at a meets all (MA) level. Granted, I only joined in the middle of the half, but when I ask him how can I take the next level to be promoted or have an EE or above rating, I get very vague answers with not much detailed support (he's also a new manager and this will be his first PSC).

This past half, we had an expectations doc where it listed each project and the impact it should have. I hit all those expectations, but with his vague advice, I'm not able to create actionable steps for myself for this half to get the promo or higher ratings.

From Taro, I'm learning code quality, velocity, and impact are the most important at my level - which from my feedback, I'm doing well in. What are some ways to take it to the next level? Finish my projects earlier and take on more projects in the half? Feeling a little bit lost so any advice is greatly appreciated!

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(4 comments)
  • 5

    I think someone from Meta can offer more precise advise, but maybe you'll find these helpful since this generally maps to other big tech companies as well:

    1. At Google, The main difference between Level 3 and Level 4 is independence. Meeting expectation at L3 means you are doing everything you are told to do. At Level 4, you would be expected to figure out more of what you need to do on your own, especially from an implementation perspective. E.g. You are trying to implement logic A, get it to work but change doesn't really fit the intent of the surrounding code - L3 would probably submit it for review soon after, but a good L4 will take some time to maybe do a refactor first then send the code logic change.
    2. If you manager is new and isn't able to clearly explain to you what performing at the next level would look like, it may be best to find a more senior team member who's able to show you what that would look like. What is the code velocity of the average level 4 engineer on your team look like? How about the best level 4 engineer? Coming close to their levels and learning from them how to do it would likely go a long way.
      1. Caveat here: you also don't want to focus on Code Velocity too much (it's more of trailing indicator for how effective you are at implementation) - it's more important to figure out how the top performers on your team are able to move so fast, rather than trying to brute force this.

    Good luck!

  • 5
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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    @Senior SWE at Google is spot on.

    One tactic to get more concrete feedback from your manager is to make an attempt at what an EE rating would look like.

    So in your next 1:1 (or perhaps you have a separate dedicated 1:1 to add more weight to the discussion), you can bring some ideas.

    Based on what we talked about, here's how I'm thinking about what it would mean to hit MA, EE, and GE for each project. I'd love your feedback if I'm thinking about this in the right way.

    Make each rating bucket very clear and, ideally, quantifiable (something like "Finish project X 3 weeks ahead of schedule and 4 other developers using the tool by end of half"). Be open to feedback, suggesting this as a starting point rather than a contract you want your manager to agree to.

    This is the principle of "people like correcting things more than they like helping" :) I'm not saying your manager is bad, but this is a way to lower the activation energy to get feedback.

  • 2
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    Entry-Level Software Engineer [E3] [OP]
    Meta
    a year ago

    @Rahul Pandey As an E3 engineer, what quantifiable metrics would be best to make those buckets? As business impact at our level does not matter too much, is "finishing project 3 weeks early" probably a better metric for me to hit than "get 20 more engineers to use my new tool"?

    A more broader question would be: what stands out as an E3 engineer to get a EE/GE?

  • 0
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    10 months ago

    5 months late here, but I'll cover for Rahul here 😂

    As an E3 engineer, what quantifiable metrics would be best to make those buckets?

    Having metrics for an E3's Meta PSC breakdown is overkill and the People and Direction axes are really hard to measure anyways. On top of code related metrics, E3 packet is more subjective outside of Engineering Excellence axis - The company just wants to make sure you're a solid collaborator.

    As business impact at our level does not matter too much, is "finishing project 3 weeks early" probably a better metric for me to hit than "get 20 more engineers to use my new tool"?

    The first is more standard for an E3 packet, but both are great! I think the latter is better actually (but in a weird way):

    • "Finishing project 3 weeks early" - This is more standard for an E3 to E4 packet as that promotion is around super fine-tuning your coding ability, having great velocity while also maintaining quality.
    • "Get 20 more engineers to use my new tool" - This is an example of expanding scope and more reflective of an E4 to E5 packet.

    In an ideal world, you just want to do both. There's no point being awesome at expanding scope if you deliver everything late. Nail down the E3 -> E4 stuff first before doing E4 -> E5.

    A more broader question would be: what stands out as an E3 engineer to get a EE/GE?

    It's 80%+ being a rockstar coder, delivering high-quality code quality with a high degree of independence. I cover this more here:

    If you want to totally crush the E3 -> E4 promotion, you simply need to master the techniques in this video: [Masterclass] How To Write Better Code Faster As A Software Engineer

Meta Platforms, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns 3 of top 4 social networks in the world: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. More than 3.5 billion people use at least one of the company's core products every month.
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