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.
With all the remote work, more people are opting to not use cameras in meetings. On one hand that means you can not have to worry about looking put together, but on the other hand it makes remote work more painful
Questions for the community:
When I say meetings, I am referring to small huddles/quick zoom call with your coworker(s) to help or ask for help on some bug or brainstorm stuff. By large no one really pays a ton of attention in large more formal meetings anyways
Hey Taro members,
Since in most companies, I believe the 1:1 with Managers is biweekly or weekly I was thinking about what to communicate in every meeting. At times, I run out of things to discuss. We cover topics related to how tasks are going, feedback if any, and after that, there's not really anything else. Given the fact these meetings are recurring, I want the communication to be more natural. Any advice for that since I do realize the importance of 1:1's and would like to make the most of it?
Also, any other topics besides the ones mentioned above that should be discussed in 1:1 something I can initiate a discussion about as an Entry Level Engineer and make the most out of these 1:1s?
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.
I am onboarding at a new company. Sometimes, I feel I am completely lost when my teammates were explaining something to me. The reasons I can find may include
In this situation, how should I respond to my teammates? Thanks in advance!
In lot of meetings I am feeling I am less knowledgeable than others and unable to add value a lot. All my peers are very smart.
When analyzing critically I feel maybe I am spending a lot of time learning and lesser doing.
What works for me is => having focus blocks. Catch is that I am getting too comfortable sometimes not having meetings. This leads to missing lot of context sometimes.
What tips does community have to to handle this pressure?
I am been working as a Senior software engineer for quite some time now. To move to the Staff level, one feedback/pointer I got was to start developing opinions on how to do certain things. When people start respecting your opinions, they start to see you as a leader.
The problem I have is, in many cases, I don't have enough relevant experience for the problem at hand. Also, I find, that in discussions I am listening more than I am speaking. Having no opinions, and finding it hard to express opinions for fear of being judged and losing respect in case my opinion is wrong, are the problems I am facing.
Is there any advice on how to develop these skills?
I would like to understand how can I drive an effective Tech discovery session (just had a PRD walkthrough) with the team (remotely working) before we start writing a detailed system design document. The engineers are mostly L4 and are still learning how to effectively collaborate instead of full blown meeting.
Big companies have multiple teams across. There will be a team just for the login, a team for backend logic, etc. There are so many teams and microservices and internal jargon all around.
Problem is during team meeting, seniors have more in depth discussion where I'm unable to provide value as good as them.
How do I get familiar with them fast? Or am I focusing on the wrong idea and should just narrow down what I'm working on and just let time do its thing?
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 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 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'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.
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.
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?
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'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?