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How can I minimize thrash when I present technical designs for my projects?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [L4] at Google2 years ago

How do I get better at technical design review and presentations? I go into these tech review meetings and get a ton of questions from senior engineers that aren’t directly related to the project and the raw volume of questions derails the whole thing. It always feels like something is missing. What should the preparation phase of a project look like?

Adding on to this, I do go into these meetings with a technical design document. Ideally people will comment on that well before the meeting, so we can get more of the discussion done async. However, people often don’t have time so they don't do this, making the tech review meeting the first time they see the tech planning materials, hence all the questions.

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • Make sure that your technical design doc is done well before the tech review meeting. At least 1 week before, ideally 2+ weeks. This gives people ample time to go through the document async beforehand.
    • cc people on the doc aggressively. If you haven't heard back from them in multiple days, especially if they're a core stakeholder, just cc them again. Escalate as the deadline (i.e. the tech review meeting) approaches by pinging them directly.
    • Look for patterns in who is derailing your technical designs. If you notice certain people are doing it, proactively work with them the most aggressively to get their feedback earlier as opposed to later. Even better if you can find themes in their feedback.
    • Proactively call out more vulnerable areas in your technical designs to lower the friction for stakeholders to leave meaningful feedback.
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