Few understand that this act is a skill to master in and of itself. When you take the time to ask truly great questions, you get answers faster while making others respect you more.
I'm a little over two months in at this large (10k+ employees) org, and I work remotely in internal tools to try to automate processes. My immediate development team is fairly small and mostly junior. Most of us onboarded right before the 2023 holidays when things were winding down.
I am trying hard to fit in here and balance, but I am struggling. Our group chats are pretty dead, and it doesn't seem like group-questions are rewarded. We have daily standups, but a lot of work here seems to be conducted "behind-the-scenes" and in 1:1 conversations. I've gotten a bit of a vibe check on this scenario from folks who don't work in tech, and that seems to be normal for those environments. Things feel like they take an age.
For some reference: I get that everyone is different, but also sense a direct correlation between curiosity (to get questions answered and work done) and our team velocity. Maybe it's not something I should be worried about nor even my business, but I still am. I'm still working on disambiguating how performance reviews work, but in the meantime, it seems like we will be judged on velocity metrics, probably sometime in Q3/Q4.
I come from a space where questions were welcomed / encouraged. It doesn't feel that way here, which I feel like I need to adapt to healthily for the near future. A conversation starter model I've found helpful from a managerial relationship is "I've noticed a different communication style here. Is there any way we can discuss?"
Any additional suggestions for coping at this stage would be enormously helpful. I also definitely want to be mindful of being careful what I wish for and the impacts of "going fast" on junior devs, especially because there's a bit of trauma for me there on that side.
Every time I'm assigned to a new ticket. I feel really anxious and afraid of asking questions because I don't know anything about it.
This led to procrastinating and making zero progress during 2 - 3 days.
Has someone else experienced this? How did you overcome it?
Hey folks have started out on my first full-time job as an Early Career SWE at a Big Tech Company. Wanted to ask what is the ideal line of progress in terms of as months pass by.
For example in 3 months at least I should be capable of doing XYZ things.. in 6 months XYZ things... and within a year's time XYZ things independently.
I ask this question mainly since it's going to be close to 5 months of joining and I do require handholding with other peers on the team my aim is to operate as independently as possible. One of the feedbacks in the first quarterly check-in was to go in full depth for the debugging and independently create test plans for the work assigned before asking questions.
As for the creation of test plans yes since the codebase is too large I do tend to ask other team members if there is an existing functionality that can be leveraged or in case I get stuck as to what to do ahead or when I don't understand something.
The good feedback was the questions I asked were formed and detailed.
From the feedback, I am kind of at a crossroads in understanding whether I should ask questions or not ask questions and also crippled with self-doubt
Another pointer was how to be assertive in the sense I tend to be scared to share my ideology or idea about how we can potentially do something. Communicating with peers also seems intimidating especially Senior or Lead members or Manager too.
Is there a more proper way to communicate/send messages? The primary mode of communication is Slack and at times threads get bulky.
Any tips to understand the feedback properly and improve on the above pointers or in general are highly appreciated. I hope to get better at being a good SWE.
I just found out that I was rejected from one of my dream FAANG companies :(
The recruiter told me:
Thanks so much for taking the time to interview with our team - they really enjoyed meeting with you. Unfortunately at this time, we will not be moving forward with an offer. The team really enjoyed your positive demeanor, thought you had great communication skills, and a well thought out process throughout the technical interviews. I am not able to share specific feedback as per company policy, but I am of course happy to jump on a call if you have any questions.
What can/should I ask her in this call to maximize my learning to be a better candidate?
My org VP holds office hours every week. Also he sometimes does AMA sessions. I'm usually not sure what to ask so I don't avail those sessions as I don't want to ask any stupid questions.
First of all, I'm a huge fan of Alex & Rahul and I want to grow in this community together with mentors, seniors & humans.
But lately being in meetings I've stopped asking much more questions to my seniors because they come with limited knowledge whereas GPT can follow up with me can guide me expertly. Whereas it can even give me expert advise in tech career growth and many such areas.
Even I don't even open stack overflow now.
Re. this on building relationship, I was wondering what questions would you usually ask or like to ask to tactical stakeholders and good to know connections in the company to better know them and strengthen relationships?
I'm not sure exactly how to phrase this, but to give an analogy, I love card games (ex: Legends of Runeterra, Race for the Galaxy, Hearthstone, etc). There are a fixed set of rules and a fixed set of cards. I can "grind" games and get better by noticing patterns, picking up new strategies or tactics by playing against a diverse set of players. The outcome of an interaction is usually idempotent (i.e. card 1 interaction with card 2).
In real life, things are quite complicated. Asking a certain question in a certain way to person 1 and person 2 may give wildly different responses, and may even depend on your mood, their mood, your tone, time of day, etc. It's super messy and unpredictable.
I also feel a similar way about system design. The nearly infinite possibility of inputs, outputs, TPS, throughput, scenarios make it difficult to reapply the same set of rules to different scenarios. This is just talking about one component, when we bring in N components, the interaction gets very complicated and the "rules" change" case by case. I'm sure it gets better with practice, but I also feel I have a limited opportunity to learn or practice these on the job.
Has anyone found a way to structure these learnings in terms of a repeated "grind", because oftentimes I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. This is a complicated question, so answers regarding either a) soft skills or b) system design separately I will treat as valid answers.
I work as a mid-level software engineer. We have team channels where people can reach us on. But for some reason people always message me in a private message or they visit my office for team related tasks or product owner tasks. I keep telling them to ask the person in charge or communicate through our team channel, but they don't.
I don't want to be rude to them, yet I find my frustration growing. Sometimes I feel like they can't bother to formalise their requests, so they go to me to quickly mention whatever is bothering them, so they later can refer to our "discussion" if the issue is brought up again.
What should I do?
Every time, when my manager asked me to do some changes to the repository that is totally new to me. I became scared.
I prefer to do research by myself first. But I got lost in the new repo by reading file by file, and don't get the clarity.
So I ask the repository owner to provide documentation, mostly they don't maintain documentation, and even if they do, it is not updated or it involves a lot of detailed feature-wise documentation, which is usually not relevant to my requirement.
Then, I call the POC of that repo, but I couldn't figure out what is the right question to ask in the first call. Over time, I ping him asking questions whenever I face hurdles while achieving the requirements.
Sometimes, I put a debugger or logs to understand the flow of code.
The above processes took a lot of my time.
What is your suggestion to get clarity in the new repo such that I can complete my requirements in less time?
I asked this question on chatGPT, nothing proper not found. I need your help guys, currently I am interviewing with some companies which their Glassdoor reviews are really low and there are pretty bad reviews in terms of culture and engineering. Just wondering what is important things can I ask them to get know more about that, or is there any technique that bring this kind topics during the interview?
I'm still navigating a career switch to SWE, and I tend to get pretty overwhelmed when looking at code. I already ask a lot of questions, and I want to be more self-sufficient because my full-stack team members are pretty busy. (They are all kind and would all be willing to to take some time out of their day.)
How can I get faster at reading code on my own while balancing a team transition? I'm at the point where I understand the high-level purpose of parts of our codebase but little as to how the moving pieces all fit together.
While I understand that there is likely no magic threshold to determine the point at one needs to ask for codebase navigation guidance, a good rule of thumb would be helpful when possible.
Finding a solution is one thing but you don’t understand it unless you can communicate it and others can understand it too
This becomes specially important when you are blocked and adds an extra layer of complexity when finding a solution can already be a challenge
What good practises can one apply to get better at this?
Recently I completed my first-ever proof of concept (POC). I got positive feedback, but I think it's because the manager understands that I am doing this independently for the first time. After giving credit for my work, one senior member broke down the task into smaller pieces with step-by-step technical sources (from blogs), which made my life much easier. Now when I am re-evaluating this now, I observe the following:
Since it's likely to have more POC shortly, and I am sure I will face this situation, I want to overcome the nerve and ask the right amount of questions (not too much, but good enough to unblock me) during growth along the POC task.
Thanks ahead for your sharing!
I will be moving to a new team soon. Is it recommended to ask for feedback from my old team before moving out.
I have good relationship with my team and I want to leverage them to know more about my overall contribution as a team player and engineer.
What is the best way to do that ? What type of questions I can ask ?
I want to avoid falling into same mistakes and grow faster in my new team.
I've been reached out to by a recruiter to interview for a fully remote Senior Dev position at a seed stage startup, with around 50 employees per LinkedIn.
Ive only ever worked for larger companies before, what sorts of questions should I make sure to ask during the interview process to make sure there's no hidden problems/wrong expectations? What expectations should I have going into the interview?
I came into my role with an advanced degree, so I started out as a mid-level engineer. However, I still need to be able to ask questions as I've never worked as an engineer before. I've seen all the Taro content around asking questions, but my manager has drilled in since a few months into this role that expectations are that I function independently, unblock myself, and don't take up much of others' time by asking questions. That it would count against me in performance reviews (versus for me if I help others with their questions).
Given the current job market, I don't know where else to go, but this environment leaves me pretty exasperated. Is it normal in other companies to go to more senior engineers with help getting unblocked? Are questions only really around code, or is it normal to ask for help debugging a feature/bug/test? I worry about becoming a senior with the expectation to be independent and help others when I myself have never received guidance to grow to that level properly.
What is a good way to ask questions in a domain where you lack knowledge? How do you make a question a high effort question when you know relatively little about a topic? Sometimes you're put in a situation where you don't really know the fundamentals. How do you navigate this landscape and ask questions of higher quality? I feel like the more that I learn about a certain topic, the better I get at at asking questions in this area. However, I don't really have a great framework on asking questions when I'm starting out in a new field, so what could one do in these cases?
Currently working full time as an Android Developer but also running a small consulting gig on the side. Main reason at the time was to have another income stream.
Now I am torn between keeping both jobs, quiting the full time and going all in on my company or dropping my company.
For me personally it is a difficult choice because I am driven to achieve what my mind sets out to do but lately I have not been enjoying work like I used to. In the end the decision is mine to make but I would love some guidance.
I recently started at my new gig as a remote tech lead. While I am on the West Coast, most of my team is either on the East Coast or in Europe (+11 hrs). Meetings start at around 7 AM PT and go on until 11:30 AM PT!
Here is my challenge: I am a morning person & like to do more deep & undistracted work during the morning hours (Coding / Reading / Writing) . Screen time in the mornings usually drain me out & my productivity dips post multiple zoom / G-meet calls. What are your thoughts on how could I balance my sacred morning hour time between meetings & impactful work?