Meta Platforms, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns 3 of top 4 social networks in the world: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. More than 3.5 billion people use at least one of the company's core products every month.

How to be an effective senior engineer?

Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta

I was promoted to E5 in July 2022, and I’ve been working on a challenging and highly ambiguous project since then, where my TL and another UberTL have limited ideas on how to make it a successful project and what direction the project should go. I’ve been getting little XFN support since the beginning of the project but still was able to implement and ship the MVP design I did on my own, but I still got MA rating for this. Starting Q2, things got a little better and the direction is somehow clear for H1 with specific high-level components to implement. My questions are:

  1. Given this setup, since my TL has already defined the design and different components to implement, how can I still have high impact as a senior eng on the project? Previously, my EM suggested I look at myself as the CEO of the project and my TL as a consultant, but this has already changed when he got very involved in the project. I already do regular project updates on the project and have been getting positive feedback from all stakeholders that I usually get everyone on board with my positive communication with all of them.
  2. My EM and TL have been giving me feedback that I need to move faster and target small wins, as opposed to working on a large goal that takes months of implementing, as was done for the MVP solution. The problem is: my whole team work past working hours up to 12-14 hours/day and sometimes on weekends too, which is not feasible for me, so I’m seeing this issue more as a relative issue compared to my teammates as opposed to being slow in execution. How can I resolve this issue? Can I talk to my EM about this?


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5 months ago

Resume feedback and questions for a pivot into junior back-end roles?

Data Engineer at Meta profile pic
Data Engineer at Meta

Hi everyone, I'm looking to optimize my resume () and would love some feedback on it. I also have two specific questions about it.

  1. Should I even include my personal projects in my resume? Neither have any active users, so all they do is show that I can build something, not necessarily something of value. I've seen advice online about not including personal projects unless they have some sort of tangible value and/or active user-base, but I wanted to hear this community's thoughts about this.
  2. Is my resume too short? Can a resume even be too short? This partially ties into my first question because without those two projects, the resume would only fill up half of the page. My resume used to have a lot more points describing what I did during my professional experience, but most of it was fluff, so I decided to cut them out. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place here because if I want to fill up my page with more information, it feels like I would need to add fluff-like material. However, I don't want the few seconds a recruiter will spend looking at my resume to be spent looking at the unimportant fluff material I used to fill up the page, so I added the projects as a way to hopefully avoid the whole issue. I'm wondering if this is even something I should worry about.

Of course, if there's another issue with my resume that I didn't mention in these two questions, please feel free to point it out, even if it's a nitpick. Also, if it helps, for context, I am currently looking to pivot from data engineering to backend development, so I am aiming for more junior level roles.

Thanks in advance!

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8 months ago

Ok to have low code output for IC5?

Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta

This quarter, my skip requested/ gave me an opportunity to lead an org wide efficiency initiative as we are at risk of hitting quotas for some internal services (he mentioned potential IC6 scope) and it’s quite urgent to act on it. My role is to start and lead a large team of engineers on this initiative which involves tons of direction to ensure our org isn’t over quota. I would look my role as a hybrid of TL+ TPM with following responsibilities: analyzing data to find opportunities, creating roadmaps for the program, supporting engineers for execution to reduce usage, project management, understanding and enforcing processes, building knowledge on internal services, coaching engineers, setting Eng excellence culture within the org. All that to say, given limited time and a need for someone to lead, I will be focusing on direction and delegate all of the execution work to the squad.

  1. How risky is it to have low code output as an IC5? Given the year is just starting, does it make sense to explicitly discuss this with my manager and skip that my code output will be close to zero in Q1?

I did read some accounts (anon post on WP) where EM and skip aligning on low code out out but the IC5 still got MM at the end because they had only 10 diffs for a half. I don’t want to be in that position.

  1. Should I deprioritize some direction work and allocate some time for coding on my timeline through P2 projects? This will increase diff count but that just seems not a great usage of my time. TIA!
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8 months ago

Need help to figure out what is next?

Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta

Some background about my experience. I have overall 10 years of experience out of which first 3 years was in Service based company in India and then 6 years at Amazon/AWS and around 9 months at Meta. I got promoted to Sr. position almost 3 years ago and have been working as Sr. Engineer since then.

Since few months before my promotion I am feeling bit burnt out. Promotion came after lot of hard work and honestly the compensation increment was totally underwhelming. So I interviewed and switched and comp increase was really good but I am not liking work culture now. This made me sort of realize few things:

  1. Promotion and level don’t actually mean much. I feel like I am part of a rat race and trying to prove my worth to someone who can whimsically just say yay or nay. This is extremely demotivating.
  2. Early days of my career were great, I was making good money and learning ton of new stuff. However, now I realized that most of the stuff I learned is not useful outside and I saved enough money to not feel the need to do job just because of money.
  3. It is not worth being loyal to one employer. Even though I changed companies for comp, my new employer (Meta) recently let go of lot of people. Some of them have been there for at least a decade. Plus the remaining of us are now in constant fear of layoff based on performance.

Now I want to get out of this job→money→stress→new job→money→stress cycle but don’t know how. I am planning to move back to India after few months and was hoping to start may be freelancing or some consulting work where I can control my time. I am more than happy to take a pay cut. So I started doing some research:

  1. Freelancing: Most of the jobs in freelancing are web development. I have lot of experience with backend and some experience with web development but I am nowhere close to the people on youtube/udemy. I can most certainly build stuff but have no experience to show for and I am not sure if I’ll be able to find any work whatsoever 😟.
  2. Consulting: Everybody suggests to build a network and then you can find work through them. My network is mostly SDEs in FAANG who I’ve already talked to. Most of them told me, dude if we know about such work we’ll jump ship as well, but they have nothing. One of my jobs was to build cloud services so I know how to build them at scale. But I have less experience in how to use them, so even if I do certifications I am not sure I’ll be able to find work on this area.

Now last option for me is to find a job which pays less and have less stress which will be okay. I can most certainly say screw it and not worry about getting promoted. But then I don’t know if that’ll be satisfactory, it’ll be more like I accepted defeat and ducked out of rat race but I still have no direction to go on.

Sorry if this all sounds like a rant, but I would love to have some guidance from people who have been in similar situation. What did you guys do and do you have any suggestions for me?

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20 days ago

Measurement of impact for MLE?

Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta

I joined my team in June this year right after bootcamp. When I joined this team, we set the goals for the half, and then got reorg-ed to a different domain (think ML for ads vs ML for recommendations).

Our models had only shown limited success in the previous domain before the reorg, we spent around 2 months (July and August) just building new versions of these models for the new domain.

It's October already, the model hasn't shown any significant success in any of our projects with XFN. We are getting closer and closer as we understand the problems better. However with code freeze in November, December - it is unlikely it will reach production or even online experiments by then.

Does that mean I would have "no impact" at my first PSC? This would be the case for all of my teammates which seems bonkers.

I thought about writing a long note with all of the progress we've made in understanding the problem (which will result in a model that's cheaper than the current one and easier to understand), what are some results we have seen already, and hypothesis on where to go next.

Still to be honest I'm scared the results I got won't be good enough to get to production by PSC-time, and thus I'll be marked as no impact. In retrospective I should have studied the problem more when I joined but I was so new to Meta.

How can I mitigate this? Looking for a side-project now I can fully own (as E5, I don't think attaching myself to a teammate's project is good enough) is unlikely to get any results with the current model we have.

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a year ago