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1 on 1 Meetings Q&A and Videos

About 1 on 1 Meetings

1 on 1 meetings are one of the most important mechanisms for any successful career in tech. As a senior engineer in particular, you will need them to build deep relationships and alignment.

Should I have worked on weekends to ramp up faster / deliver more?

Senior Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at Taro Community

Hi all,

I joined my current company (known in our industry for not-so-good WLB) 6 months ago as a Senior Software Engineer and have been doing side hustle in the evening and weekends over past 6 months beside my main job. This means I still completed the 9am to 6pm work schedule before doing my side hustle.

Now my manager is saying I have low bug fix count and my team consists of some weekends workaholics which I suspect I’m being benchmarked against. My upcoming performance review is due end of December 2023 (1 month away). The expectation for my level is ramping up in 3 months which means the last 3 months are no longer considered ramp-up period.

What should I do in this last 1 month leading to the performance review? Should I go all in on the weekends too or should I keep the pace I’m working (I’ve started working in the evening from 7PM to 10PM since receiving this feedback 2-3 weeks ago but on weekends I still hustle). Was I wrong in doing side gigs / projects while ramping up for my full time job and should have instead pushed weekends to ramp up? What could have I done better in the past 6 months and moving forward in 1 month ahead?

I know Rahul talked about doing side contract gigs and Alex talked about doing side projects while both are still at Meta (a very demanding big tech company). How did you guys handle the pressure and what are your schedules like? (Wake up @ 4AM, work on side hustle till 6-7AM, then go to sleep at night around 12AM LOL)? I'm curious about how people organize their side gigs schedule.

Thank you for your advices. I really appreciate it.

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How to Balance Responsibilities: Prioritizing Personal Work vs. 'Glue Work' in a New Team Environment.

Senior Software Engineer at Ex-Apple profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at Ex-Apple

Hello everyone,

As a senior engineer L5 in my company for 1 year, I recently found myself in a new team with a new direct manager but report to the same Director in the same Org due to the recent company restructure/company reorganization as part of layoff changes. My Director and I are the direct responsible individuals for the Backend Platform System for the last 1 year. However, I am finding that a significant portion of my time is being taken up by "glue work," such as onboarding new teammates, updating the Wiki, documenting On-call Runbook, mentoring cross-functional team members, providing code reviews for new developers, and unblocking people in their code development. While these tasks seem important, they are making it difficult for me to focus on my own projects.

In my first one-on-one, my new manager expressed a desire for me to take on new initiatives. I am eager to do so, but I need to be able to focus on my own work to make this possible. My manager understood that the frequent on-call support was a blocker for me and asked me to train and onboard a new teammate to take over the on-call support, as well as field requests from users and help others with their work. However, I have still found myself doing a lot of training and providing support even two weeks since my last meeting.

I would like to hear from others who have found a way to balance these responsibilities effectively. How can I prioritize my own work while still contributing to the team's success? I know this will be a difficult decision, and I'm not sure how to approach it. I'm worried that if I stop doing some of these tasks, it may impact my relationship with my manager and team.

If anyone has faced a similar challenge, I would appreciate hearing about how you approached it. Did you stop doing certain tasks and responsibilities, and if so, how did it affect your relationship with your team? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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How to effectively onboard and train 20+ engineers for production on-call support?

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

Hi everyone,

I work for a company that offers online web and mobile apps for US-based customers. As part of a recent re-organization, all mobile, web, and backend engineers have been combined into a single on-call rotation. Even though most of these 20+ engineers (mobile + Web engineers) have not much context about the backend system, my director wants to alleviate the frequent on-call rotation, and he proposes having a healthy size of on-call rotation that uses the "follow the sun" model approach, which involves training engineers in different time zones to have knowledge transfer about the backend system and potential issues. I'm curious to know how I can effectively onboard and train over 20 web and mobile engineers for the on-call rotation while following this model.

The Backend team has compiled a comprehensive support run-book log for each corresponding issue/alert, which shows the severity, priority, and range of the issue. The on-call rotation involves acknowledging alerts and following the steps outlined in the run-book.

Please note that the support run-book is not a 100% comprehensive source of truth since the production system is integrated with multiple 3rd party APIs and systems, and the backend platform serves as middleware for both mobile and web applications. There may be instances where issues are caused by third-party vendors and cannot be solved by the on-call person.

I would love to hear your thoughts and perspectives on this matter. I'm also meeting with my boss for our one-on-one to talk about his idea. This is still an experiment, but would like to get people's perspective. Thank you!

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Learn About 1 on 1 Meetings

1-on-1 meetings are important for building deep relationships and keeping key stakeholders in sync with the progress on a project. They can be an effective way to build deep relationships. These 1-on-1 meetings should be proactive, and they should ideally occur once a week for 30 minutes. It’s important to realize that there is a lot of value in 1-on-1 meetings because they can provide more depth of conversation than what can be provided in emails or team meetings. One has to be proactive in setting up meetings because it’s easy to wait too long to set up 1-on-1 meetings or consistently cancelling 1-on-1 meetings. The discomfort of discussing deeper, more emotional topics is where the majority of personal and professional growth happens.
It’s important to have a clear plan and agenda when having a 1-on-1 meeting with your manager. It makes the manager’s job easier, and it allows for a more focused conversation about tough topics. The purpose of the 1-on-1 meeting is to have proactive discussions where a manager and individual contributor can solve hanging threads and plan projects ahead. These meetings can be a powerful tool to discuss one’s career goals and seek alignment on solving the most pressing issues that a team faces. Managers can offer guidance, support skill development, and create a path for career advancement.
Remember that it’s important to embrace discomfort and avoid shying away from emotional topics during 1-on-1 meetings. Sharing feedback about what you’ve been doing, how you think things are going, and how you’re feeling can go a long way in building trust with the other person. It’s important to be genuine during these meetings because people are more willing to be vulnerable when they can sense that you are being vulnerable. Discussing what you liked or disliked about a project or meeting can lead to deeper conversations that can address problems from happening in the future.
1-on-1 meetings are an important part of effective management within a tech company. When they are approached with intentionality, these meetings become a necessary tool for fostering professional development, improving team dynamics, and driving overall success among individuals on a team.
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