It's hard to fully replace the value of talking to others in person. However, meetings are expensive - Every software engineer should know how to get the most out of them.
Sometimes I sit in meetings that I feel aren't really necessary. How can I better identify whether these meetings are necessary and propose a better asynchronous form of communication (slack post, quip doc, etc) if they aren't?
Some of these meetings include status update meetings (besides standup), and meetings where people are there just to absorb knowledge. Is it a general rule of thumb to have meetings primarily to get alignment on decisions? Are there cases where we can get alignment asynchronously as well via commenting on a slack post/quip doc, etc.
I am a mid level engineer and I work for a manager who has micromanaging tendencies. Some of these tendencies include,
I have a few questions based on the above context.
I am working as an Entry level engineer at mid size product based company. In my end year performance review, I got a feedback that I can work on improving my debugging and technical skills more. As well as, knowledge of other features and overall product as a whole would need to be increased as well.
My Tech lead has offered to mentor me by conducting 1:1 sessions to help me improve at debugging and help identify patterns and teach basic principles. 2 other senior engineers on the team also reached out and offered to conduct sessions regularly with me, for which I am really grateful.
For more context, all my teammates work remotely, so it is not beneficial to go to office. My question is, how can I best utilize these sessions with the senior engineers on team to improve more and skill up? That is, what kind of preparation/ questions should I have ready to make the most of these sessions?
What does a typical day working as a software engineer (say mid-level) in FAANG look like? I know there are at least 2 important variables, namely a) the person (how good they are at managing time, how motivated they are, how good their technical and soft skills are, etc.) and b) the team and company they are on.
I'm curious about the nitty-gritty of it, namely how much time is spent coding, how much time in meetings, how much time for breaks and lunch, how common is it to work overtime, etc. I'm looking for both the good and the bad, not the shiny, social-media-friendly videos made by people.
I have read time and again (including from Alex) that many if not most FAANG engineers work evenings and weekends. I just read that today from an ex-Facebook LinkedIn influencer I follow who was talking about his own 1 (unpleasant) year there.
I know my question might be so broad as to be meaningless given the number of engineers and situations there are, but if I can get the day of "Joe or Jane average FAANG engineer" who spends 2-3 years and then leaves, that's what I'm looking for. Not the talented and ambitious few who are able to work long and smart and able to rise up the ranks to staff.
I am working on a component with eta 2 weeks. This is to write just the application logic and doesn't include any infra setup or APIs. I am not blocked with any major issues. I am new to this team. My update is like I am working on xx component and continue working on it today. Can I get ideas on various ways to update?
I'm an E5 at a Big Tech company. There are several loud, opinionated, dominant personalities on my team. Some of them are E6. They often talk over each other as well as the rest of the team, so the rest of the team rarely contribute to discussions anymore. When a teammate (E5) presented his RFC to our team today, the dominant personalities started questioning his design decisions and talked over him when he tried to defend them. My teammate looked so discouraged and beaten down at the end of that meeting. When I brought this up to my EM in a 1:1, he said it's a people problem -- people are not being respectful. I asked my EM if he could coach those people, but he said he prefers to invest in people like me who are interested in learning & growing.
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?
I'm an E5 at a Big Tech company. My team's working on a very ambiguous project. 3 opinionated, vocal engineers (2 E6, 1 E5) tend to sidetrack our brainstorming discussions by playing devil's advocate to shoot down ideas. How do I drive these meetings forward with this dynamic? We often rehash the same discussions over and over. When we're close to reaching a decision, oftentimes someone would throw a wrench into things. Moreover, some engineers require upfront planning and want to finalize all the details before committing, while others prefer to defer the details to future milestones. Both my manager and team are getting frustrated, but are unsure how to fix this.
During design meetings, when there are questions that causes circling around a topic that is marked as out of topic. Even though I tell people that it is out of topic as we don't have time to build it and no plan to build it in future and people are still ask questions about same topic. When I personally feel its a nice to have feature but the scope has already been defined, what to tell and move forward to continue with the rest of the design?
As a senior IC, I am included as part of leadership meetings (Director+). I gain a lot of early insights into business direction, which is great. However I would like to see how i can take part in the discussions and have effective conversations?
I am looking for a book suggestion and/or framework to use on how to go about improving on this?
Few dimensions which could impact this -
I am about to have a conversation with my manager for asking me to convert into full time.
I am an international student in USA and I have tried to search for FT’s but in current job market where a lots of companies are on hiring freeze i dint get a lot of opportunities and very few opportunities i got wanted to hire me at lower salary than I am earning in my current internship. So, I want to stick with the company am working with. Also, I loved the team and work culture there are strictly no complaints. All the team and my manager are impressed by 2 projects that I did in my duration of internship.
So in my next call what all things I should include/highlight to make the transition from an intern to full time?
is a nice series explaining what is wanted and talks about further iteration, but how can this happen in parallel or complementary if there is an environment that is doing SCRUM by the book?
I am mostly concerned about the time for meetings, since the ideal in this project is to make the engineers who will develop somewhat part of the design process to increase agency and accountability.
Sometimes people forget to follow up on their Action Items from meetings. They sometimes misremember meeting decisions as well. To mitigate this, I usually take detailed meeting notes in Google Docs and tag people on the Action Items they're responsible for. However, we don't always have meeting notes (e.g., for an ad hoc situation). What are some best practices for avoiding misunderstandings?
I've done various presentations throughout my career, and I always get stressed out doing them. I'll make slides/a script beforehand and pull all-nighters the day before. I'm okay presenting in front of smaller groups, but it's hard in front of larger groups.
How can I get more comfortable with this, especially with higher stakes presentations like those trying to get buy-in from a large group of senior+ engineers and tech leads?
I'm an E5 iOS at a Big Tech company. I'm in the process of switching teams. While they're figuring out the paperwork, I've been invited to their roadmapping and architectural discussions.
The 2 E6s are dominating the discussions. The E6 iOS has been on the project since its inception a year ago and has all the context; the E6 backend has been helping out our team with the discussions and may eventually join our team. I'm the newest team member so I have the least context. The E6 backend's proposals usually sound like great ideas to me, but the E6 iOS often shoots them down and provides historical context on why those are bad ideas.
In my 1:1, my manager asked me why I'm not participating in the discussions. When I told him I don't have context, he told me to participate anyway. How do I participate effectively when I don't have context?
I am working on building a framework and often I need help from a IC XFN partner to keep making progress in the project. However, many times they would not respond back or give vague responses on chat threads. When I set up meeting with them, they would not be quick to respond to meetings. I once asked them that I had certain questions that I documented after going through their codebase and need answers from them, however they would not take me seriously. How do I handle this in a positive way, keep making progress and unblocking myself? I want to building meaningful relationships with XFN partners and would like them to respect me however, it seems they are not reciprocating the same
My friend just introduced me to his friend who works at this big tech company that I would love to join. I'll meet this friend in a couple of days, and I wonder how I can make the best use of this opportunity. How would I handle this in the best way possible?
(I'm a software engineer with 2 years of experience and a computer science degree)
I've read in a number of places that it's great to tackle your most important tasks first thing in your day, spending 2-4 hours of solid work right from the start. However, I've noticed that it's hard for me to do this in large part because I have my morning scrum an hour into my day and currently have to participate in another team's scrum as well. These meetings often combine to ~45 minutes. Therefore, I'm more inclined to do maintenance tasks and low-hanging fruit, as well as other, smaller-leverage activities like browsing Taro.
I'm assuming morning scrums are the norm, so any tips to get high-leverage work done with a scrum smack in the middle of my morning? Now that I think about it, starting earlier would be one solution. Others are welcome.
There were some great tips on this question, that was previously asked. Our team is pretty good at steps 1 & 2 that Alex mentions regarding setting an agenda and sending the invite beforehand. However, the team really struggles to make sure the meeting agenda is achieved. We have a lot of great discussions but they are not related to the objective of the meeting. How can we bring the discussion back to the main agenda without being rude and cutting potentially important tangents?
I have communication issues. Especially in a new team, it takes lot of time to grasp what others are saying. During design discussions and post scrums -
I was wondering if you have any thoughts about how to run a meeting/brainstorming session effectively keeping a time check and also ensuring that everyone in the meeting gets a chance to speak. Although this is not a new situation, I have struggled with cutting people off when they sort of hijack the meeting taking all the time leaving others checked out. They don't necessarily mean any harm most of the times or don't intend to steal the thunder but as an organizer it is my responsibility to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to speak. The main challenge is that most of the times what they are talking makes sense atleast 70-80% of the content so I find it difficult to cut them off easily without being rude or disrespectful. Being rude/disrespectful is the last thing I want to do! And a few are fast speakers that don’t catch cues of someone attempting to say something. Again, not at all a new situation and I think I do an okay job if not a great job in navigating through this but was curious to know additional thoughts and perspectives.
I've gotten feedback that I'm more on the quiet side and that I could be more active in meetings. However, I feel like I don't have much to add when it comes to meetings. I want to say something that's insightful and adds value to the conversation, but I'm unsure how to come up with that level of material, especially on-the-spot during the meeting. How do I figure out what to say?
I just joined a new team within a Google Infra team and have been attending many team meetings and architecture planning discussions. I’m very quiet in these meetings and don’t feel comfortable saying anything - I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid, or I’ll be exposed as someone who shouldn’t be a senior engineer.
I'm relatively new to Meta, so I'm having trouble processing things in meetings as they happen, making them a substantial waste of time for me overall. I don't want to seem dumb, so I would to avoid asking a bunch of questions during meetings to make people explain what they just said. What can I do to make meetings more productive for me?
I have my 1:1 catch up call scheduled with my manager soon, this is the first 1:1 / call I'll be having with him since I met him in the interview. What are some of the good questions I can ask w.r.t to the team and the work that I'll be doing? He had taken my System Design interview and there he went on to talk about the team for 15 mins where we discussed about the team work, team size, on call structure, wlb etc. One important point which I feel is that I won't be joining the team immediately, there's still 3 months time.
Every quarter, manager asks few question like what are things that went well for team? what are things that didn't went well? what are your top priorities as a team member? What is best way to answer these questions (as someone who's been in company for less than a year)?
My manager has given me feedback that I could be more active in meetings, which would help me find my place within the team. However, I find it hard to participate in meetings a lot of the time, because I don't know the technical source material they're talking about. This leads to me learning as I'm in the meeting, and I don't have any remaining mental bandwidth to speak up.
When it comes to meeting types, I'm good with those like retros and brainstorms but those that are more technical like tech reviews and project planning can be hard to a large voice in.
I read , and I like the advice about doing homework so you can be more effective once the meeting comes.
However, I imagine there's a potential negative extreme here in spending too much time preparing for the meeting. What's a reasonable amount of time here?