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Communication Q&A and Videos

About Communication

At the end of the day, working in tech, or anywhere really, is all about working with other human beings. Communication is the core skill necessary to make this collaboration effective.

How can I identify companies that have good work cultures where code doesn't have to be refactored all the time?

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

How can I prevent myself from putting myself in a job where I have to recode an entire code base after a long amount of time on a product?

More specifically, how do I identify good teams that have working styles where you aren't having to refactor an entire codebase and have a frustrating work environment? In the past, I've heard that at companies like Netflix that people can just code in whatever language they want, then when folks sometimes regroup/resync with a larger product team, one team in a particular language will win, leading to large parts of other specific devs on the team to hate it because they have to refactor their code.

How does one come up with certain criteria (and follow through with it) as they interview for jobs and specific companies about working styles on preferences of code base, tools, frameworks?

What other core principles and criteria folks consider as they're interviewing other people (not just the company interviewing for a role) that they should consider as a part of the dev culture, structure when it comes to these types of things so I don't make the same type of mistake?

And yes, I know people refactor code bases (ex. legacy projects, cleaning out whatever tech debt folks have), which people tend to hate because it's a lot of work--and that it's still bound to happen and unavoidable, but how can we eliminate cultures we dislike that are refactoring code bases as a result of a dysfunctional tech team? I want to avoid having terrible experiences at a future company I work (similar to an hackathon experience I had recently working on a small MVP can be frustrating when folks are not aligned / on the same page for things that might take to long to complete or have to refactor completely if they are not communicating well or upfront from the beginning).

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First time working on a project with non technical work as well.

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community

I'm starting an API migration project due to a licensing issue and am the primary point of contact for stakeholders.

I earned this responsibility by building a relationship with the downstream legacy team and leveraging their solution with ours, using our framework in a novel way. My manager quote said “not that you can you should own the xfn”.

This is my first time doing non-technical work. Here’s what I've done so far:

  • Created a step-by-step plan and design document, captured requirements with due dates, and integrated tasks into Agile sprints.
  • Maintain a living document for future technical challenges, and note taking for all steps I outlined.
  • Outlined the battle plan to the po, my manager, and the senior engineer who all gave sign off.
  • Plan to give updates and assist with troubleshooting for client teams.
  • Set a goal to thoroughly test the solution, ensuring an adequate test suite is in place, aiming for it to work on the first try.

Questions:

  • For cross-functional alignment, what steps should I take for communication and updates? We have a Slack group with all clients. If there’s a communication template that worked well for similar projects, it would be helpful.
  • If there was one thing you'd challenge me to do in my execution of this project, what would it be? For context, I’m probably mid-level with an interest in learning how to grow.
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Questions for Recruiter?

Data Engineer at Financial Company profile pic
Data Engineer at Financial Company

I had a round with a recruiter from a Big Tech company today. She reached out to me on LinkedIn, but it wasn't for a specific role, it was more of a call to determine what team would be best for me.

The call lasted about 25 minutes, where she asked about my background and explained the interview process. Then she asked me if I had any questions.

I felt constrained in asking questions because I felt like the questions I would ask a Hiring manager or member of the team to find out more about the team would not be questions the recruiter could answer. Also, she is recruiting for many teams, so how much can she really know about the team?

Should I have taken the opportunity to ask questions?

My usual go-to questions are:

  • What are the company’s/team’s greatest challenges right now?
  • What can you tell me about the team or group I’d be working with?
  • How has the company changed in the past year?
  • What are your favourite and least favourite things about working here?

The first 2 are team specific and are ones I felt the recruiter might not be able to answer so well. Indeed, when I asked what the company's biggest challenges were, she said that's very broad question, and I don't think she could answer for the team. She already told me basic info about the team, so I couldn't ask my 2nd question.

I could've asked the latter 2, but they feel kinda forced, especially during an intro call.

Should I have asked anything? I'd like to make a good impression on her, but I also don't know how important that is since she's going to take my profile back to the team and they'll determine if they want to proceed with me.

I've heard that a good question could be "How did you find me?" or "What made you interested in me?" since it forces them to come up with strong points about you and thus gives you a more positive image in their mind. Practically though, if I ask "how did you find me?", they might say "simple LinkedIn keyword search" rather than "I love your background using X, Y and Z tech!"

Thanks!

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