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Tech Lead

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Found 45 lessons for software engineers with this tag.

How to become a top developer in outsourcing company?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Even though starting to work for a big company like Meta, Amazon, Google, etc. I believe is a hard to achieve (I haven't work for) somehow it looks pretty straightforward. Learn for interview, get the job, level up. Yes, I am sure it's hard and not many will do it but still you know what should be done (yes, may don't know how). But let me tell you a different story:

I work in a not that famous country in the EU and non of the top tech companies is there. Actually 90+% of the companies are outsourcing companies. As a SE with 10 years of experience in the outsourcing world I can tell you how it works: you work on a legacy code which is so old and so bad (hundreds of people have tried write code there) you can't see good practice at all, no code reviews (sometimes there is bad it is very rare), no unit tests, performance review is only about client's feedback and so on, you got the point. It's about the money only and nobody cares if you are good or not if the client is happy. In very rare cases I have started something from scratch but all of my colleagues were so bad progmmers like myself that we messed up all. It's a deadlock. After 10 years I realized I am a bad programmer and I've seen so many bad practices that I have no passion to do anything anymore. Now to the questions:

  1. Is it possible to apply best standards in an outsourcing company like those in FAANG and if yes, how?
  2. How can I fill all the gaps I have at the moment? Can I fill all the gaps with side projects only? How can I fill them when nobody will teach me anything new. Nowone will review my code and like @Alex said, they are the main source to learn :) How would I know is the code good or not? Could it be better?

The ultimate goal of my career (and maybe in life) is to fill the gap not only in my skills but to create a company (product based or outsourcing) where everyone who join to have a chance to become a great programmer. But before helping others, I need to help myslelf. This is how I found Taro.

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3 Likes
7 Comments
4 days ago

How can I push back diplomatically against an overwhelming amount of tasks?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

As a Senior software engineer working at a mid-size tech company, I’m still learning how to properly push back when others Sr SWE & managers or Directors from Web or Mobile team tried to get me to do tasks that do not match my own priority.  As much as I like to be nice and support others, I agree that I can only do so much.  I brought this up with my direct manager and my Director (L7 Senior Manager & L8 Director), and they told me to loop them in when I face overwhelming pressures from other engineers/ cross-functional teams. My direct manager also told me they wants me to be able to focus on big project initiative, and they see that I am on track to be the Tech Lead given my current trending.

While I do appreciate that my boss gives me words of assurance and direction and offered to step in to fend off those pressures during my one-on-one call, I recognize that I would have to be the person who is good on establish priorities and be able to push back on people. I cannot really rely on my boss to do the push-back to fend off the pressure given that with the recent layoff, we are short on staff.

In light of the recent lay off, my boss confirmed that he's busier than before the layoff, and will be less available given the reorganization within the engineering leadership.  My boss is not going to available and won’t be able to step in when facing high pressure from the other managers. Since my company uses Slack as main source of communication, I usually just cc and tag my manager on slack thread so that raises visibility and awareness.

Wanted to get some thoughts and suggestions on "How can I push back diplomatically against an overwhelming amount of tasks"?

144 Views
3 Likes
3 Comments
5 days ago

Ok to have low code output for IC5?

Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta

This quarter, my skip requested/ gave me an opportunity to lead an org wide efficiency initiative as we are at risk of hitting quotas for some internal services (he mentioned potential IC6 scope) and it’s quite urgent to act on it. My role is to start and lead a large team of engineers on this initiative which involves tons of direction to ensure our org isn’t over quota. I would look my role as a hybrid of TL+ TPM with following responsibilities: analyzing data to find opportunities, creating roadmaps for the program, supporting engineers for execution to reduce usage, project management, understanding and enforcing processes, building knowledge on internal services, coaching engineers, setting Eng excellence culture within the org. All that to say, given limited time and a need for someone to lead, I will be focusing on direction and delegate all of the execution work to the squad.

  1. How risky is it to have low code output as an IC5? Given the year is just starting, does it make sense to explicitly discuss this with my manager and skip that my code output will be close to zero in Q1?

I did read some accounts (anon post on WP) where EM and skip aligning on low code out out but the IC5 still got MM at the end because they had only 10 diffs for a half. I don’t want to be in that position.

  1. Should I deprioritize some direction work and allocate some time for coding on my timeline through P2 projects? This will increase diff count but that just seems not a great usage of my time. TIA!
135 Views
7 Likes
2 Comments
18 days ago

What should I do in a situation where my manager is well-meaning but incompetent?

Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Google profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Google

Apologies in advance for a long question. Not sure how to ask this question without providing deeper context.


I’ve been working with my current manager for the last 1.5 years. While they have recently helped me get promoted to Senior, it’s been a constant struggle. I dread our 1:1 almost every single week because it always run overtime and we are often still not on the same page. 

I see two major issues that haven’t notably improved in the times I’ve reported to them.

(1) My manager isn’t able to coach me, or any of the SWEs on the team. My manager doesn’t seem confident when we have career discussions - I recently asked them what they thought was the difference between good TL and a great one, and they struggled to coherently answer this. Instead, they said they would know better after the next performance calibration.  Additionally, none of my teammate has gotten proper coaching either.  For example, a teammate struggled to submit code due to their poor code quality and thus had low CL velocity, so my Manager simply told them to submit more CLs, which only made them more stressed without a legitimate way to improve. 

(2) My manager lacks technical understanding of our projects and constantly pushes for speed. My manager was externally hired, and to this day, they don’t really understand the complexity of the work our team does. I understand EMs don’t need to contribute code directly, but my manager almost always underestimate how complicated the projects our team takes on are. As engineers, we frequently have to defend our timelines, which is not only frustrating but also pressures some teammates to favor suboptimal design or hastily done CLs that just causes even more churn. 

The weird part is, my manager often seem unaware of their own actions, and when I talk to them about these issues, they are always receptive to feedback and seem willing to improve. However, I simply haven’t seen enough improvement in the last 1.5 years. 

I could leave, since this is having an impact on my emotional well-being. But I do have good standing w/ my own team and the overall org, and I want to use this situation to learn as much as I could. I know that I myself have a lot to learn as a tech lead (Thanks for , it’s really helpful), and I know I can probably get a bit ahead of our projects and start estimating/de-risking earlier, so my Manager doesn’t get overly aggressive with timelines. I know I can also take this chance to more closely mentor my teammates and help them succeed, since they aren’t really getting it from our manager. 

I want to stay, but is it the wrong decision because I have little career support from my manager? If I do stay, what should I focus on so I can really help my team and at the same time learn something valuable for my career?

1.1K Views
17 Likes
3 Comments
25 days ago

How collaborative, creative, and engineering driven do you get to be in an L5 role in FAANG+?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

At my startup I was asked to deliver feature after feature + bug fixes by PMs as fast as possible without much time for proper refactoring work or engineering initiatives. Also it was pretty individualistic where you get assigned a task and only work with other engineers during a tech spec review meeting, code review, and syncing with a backend engineer (as an Android dev).

From Alex’s video on getting promoted to tech lead, I saw how you can 1) drive projects as an L5 engineer (vs a PM putting that together with designers) 2) Not have to know how to implement everything yourself for a project, but work with many others and facilitate the team. This sounds 100x more engineering driven and collaborative than at my start up with few developers. Is this common to many people’s experience of the norm in FAANG?

What I liked about Alex's story is also how he had the time and space to do things like document the differences between iOS and Android, as well as go all the way through to making a data analytics plan for monitoring it himself. Seems like a lot of freedom and ownership which I didn't feel I always had the time for personally. Being able to not have to spend 80% of your time coding but rather doing deep work thinking, planing, designing holistically sounds extremely satisfying and rewarding as an engineer. Maybe this also comes with experience at startups as well?

87 Views
2 Likes
2 Comments
a month ago

How to manage politics from more senior engineering folks?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Hi all

I recently joined an organization as a senior where I was made tech lead within 3 months of joining. This was somewhat related to recognition of my work among product and my peers.

I advocated for good engineering practices such as automated integration testing and established projects for cross org collaborations to help deliver whats important for the organization.

All of this was quickly realized as a super critical projects by the organization. I created tech specs and prototypes for these projects.

However recently the organization hired a principal engineer.

since he was new I volunteered to help him onboard and asked for his advice on the new super business critical project that was next in our todo team pipeline. He is an ambitious guy so he wants to create his mark in the organization.

But for some reason the way he is approaching it doesn't seem right to me.

He plans to create a new team taking over the business critical project while splitting the newly formed team I lead on the same project that I helped him ramp up on.

I opposed to this asking for rationale for a new team.

there seem to be now two impressions of my work:-

  1. held by my peers, folks I lead and product manager of good business delivery and product timelines. I am respected among both.

  2. the principal Engineer tries to devalue my work in front of senior engg. Leadership saying things like I am overcommitting and under delivering if I do this project with the existing members of my team in public and in front of senior engg leadership.

The automated integration testing project which no one was doing before and we were starting from a basic version to iterate on. This is now communicated to engg management as every team is trying to do their own testing.

My engg management for some reason is siding with him since he has 15-20 years of experience and i have 5. He also is principal and i am 2-3 levels below him.

for some reason I am being micromanaged with no fault of mine.

From engg management perspective I have been just told to lead the project that I am currently leading and just help the team formed by principal engg to start the project.

I have communicated my expectations of being able to continue leading the project. Product is in support of that but engg managment isnt.

I have also tried giving feedback to the principal engineer that his actions are disruptive to the team and becauase of what he is doing he is slowing us down and blocking us from doing critical projects.

My worry is despite doing the hard work the project I have the most context on and I worked on for a while is being given to someone else and second i will not be given credit for the hard work I am doing.

Should I just change teams. I dont want to leave my existing team because I do think they need me but I feel I would rather create more impact where I dont have to swim against the tide. I may also be suffering from sunken cost fallacy here where I knew I led the development of a new critical project

Tia for your help.

152 Views
1 Like
2 Comments
a month ago

Mid Level to Senior Promotion - What should I keep in mind?

Senior Software Engineer at Grab profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at Grab

I am trying to get promoted to Lead Software Engineer, which relates to an E5 level at Meta, if I am not wrong. I have seen several engineers in my organisation coast at the current level I am.

I wanted to understand if there are some key things I should be doing in order to perform at a Tech Lead level, so that I am promoted to one as well. This would be a bit long question, but please bear with me.

Following are some of the things highlighted in a few discussions:

  1. Should have demonstrated complex backend system designs - How do I create this opportunity to build a complex system for myself? Often, the projects we are a part of don't require complex solutions.
  2. Have a very strong code quality
  3. Mentor other engineers - I started having 1:1s with Junior engineers on how to grow. Have not been doing this with Senior Engineers, but I try to jump in calls with them whenever they need some help. Often, the credit goes hidden, and sometimes it does bother me, but not sure if there is some way around it. What are your thoughts?
  4. Handling production outages and incidents - Trying to be on top of it. Recently, have been putting out short term fixes, but alongside working on some libraries to fix it in an extensible way and have a larger impact with other teams as well. Sometimes, having visibility for my work in other teams seems to be difficult, but trying my way around this. If there is something you can recommend, that would be great.
  5. Should I mention in my skip levels that this is something I am targeting for myself? - Right now, my focus is to try to uplift the code quality, work on larger designs (a question mentioned wrt this), trying to uplift the team (I have created a channel where I share stuff that can help the team upskill, brief nuggets of information on how to write good code etc. Doing this almost twice a week for around 2 months now), trying to mentor engineers within the team.

Another aspect is that my team would be getting changed soon due to organisational requirements. Given that, How do I make sure I am on the right trajectory to getting promoted ? (One thing on top of my mind is that I would be asking for junior engineers whom I can work with and try uplifting, alongside asking for opportunities/projects that would have large visibility and impact.)

Do you have any other advice for me?

721 Views
12 Likes
Editor's Choice
8 Comments
2 months ago
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