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How to update in standup if we are spending time coding but are not blocked?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community2 years ago

I am working on a component with eta 2 weeks. This is to write just the application logic and doesn't include any infra setup or APIs. I am not blocked with any major issues. I am new to this team. My update is like I am working on xx component and continue working on it today. Can I get ideas on various ways to update?



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    Staff SWE at Google, ex-Meta, ex-Amazon
    2 years ago

    Do you have subtasks or acceptance criteria you are working through? Do you have a way to measure progress more than “done/not done”?

    I’m not going to preach TDD or anything, but an example would be that you wrote your 8 tests to cover the acceptance criteria, and you have done the work to get 3 of them passing and are working on the logic for two more today.

    again, that doesn’t have to be the metric, but decomposing into measurable chunks is important.

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago

    As Lee mentioned, it's good to break things down. 2 weeks isn't a super long time, but it's long enough that you should probably be splitting it up into sub-tasks/milestones. Here's my in-depth thoughts on how to do that.

    When it comes to standups and team updates in general, the goal is to let people know your status as accurately as possible, which will take the form of a sliding scale of confidence as opposed to the bare minimum binary of "doing or done". When you do the work of decomposition and create these intermediate milestones, you have the tools to figure out how well you're trending and share that information. For example, let's say you have split up your 2-week task into 4 equally-sized sub-tasks. 1 week has passed, and we have the following example scenarios:

    1. You have 2 sub-tasks done - This is great! You have 50% of the work done with 50% of the estimate - That is what everyone is expecting of you.
    2. You only have 1 sub-task done - With only 25% of the work done after 50% of the estimated time, you can now let the team know that you're falling behind. From here, you and the team can figure out the appropriate action (extend deadline, give you more resources, etc).
    3. You already have 3-sub-tasks done - Congratulations, you are now crushing it with 75% of the work done with 50% of the estimate! Letting your team know gives them a morale boost, and you can take on some additional work since you'll have spare cycles earlier than expected.

    I don't know your level, but if you're an established mid-level engineer or higher, I consider this behavior effectively a requirement. It's also more relevant on bigger tech companies like FAANG.