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Microsoft Career Development Videos, Forum, and Q&A

Grow Your Tech Career at Microsoft

Microsoft is an American technology corporation which produces computer software, consumer electronics, and personal computers. It developed the Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Microsoft is often credited for ushering in the modern PC era.

Got a Meta E5 offer, but unsure if I’m ready for it - Should I accept?

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft

Hello! I would appreciate some career guidance tips in transitioning to a new role. To give some context about me, I am currently L62 at Microsoft with 7 YOE and have recently received an offer for E5 at Meta. It is a level+1 for me. From what I have gathered, the expectations for E5 are going to be high involving scope/ambiguity resolution, delivering under tight deadline, etc. Also given the stack-ranking nature of evaluation, might need to compete with my new colleagues, who are currently working at senior level.

I feel I'm an average+ engineer and doing WFH for the last 3 years made me working in silos. My current team does not punish teammates without active participation. Being introvert by nature and someone who is afraid of public-speaking, I got used to the comfort zone of inactive participation. My misconception about focusing solely on technical skills to grow in career has made my career progress slower and I am painfully realizing it lately. To add to that, job security is important for me as I'm a visa holder.

Given this context, I am considering whether to take E5 Meta offer. On one end, I can take this as a growth opportunity and improve my technical and soft-skills. I am definitely looking forward for ways to increase participation, influence team and being a strong engineer. I wonder if I should improve my current soft-skills in my current-role and then move or if I could simultaneously improve them on my new job.

On the other end, I wonder if I could survive in an environment like Meta and deal with stress/burnouts and whether the lack of improved soft-skills would make me unsuccessful in my new role.

Appreciate your thoughts!!

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Seeking Guidance on Navigating Initial Tasks, Documentation, and Codebase Familiarization

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft

Hi Taro Community,

I’m a recent addition to my company and have embarked on my journey with a few initial tickets, completing 3 PRs in the span of 2.5 weeks. Alongside these tasks, I’ve been provided with architectural and design documents to help me grasp the broader system. However, these documents are quite high-level and, at times, challenging to comprehend fully, especially without knowing which sections are most pertinent to my current work.

Given the breadth of information and my eagerness to effectively contribute, I’m contemplating the best approach to balance my tasks with learning. Here are a few points I’m considering and would love your insights on:

  1. Targeted Learning from Documents: Should I consult with my mentor on which specific parts of the document would be most beneficial for me to focus on initially, considering my current assignments?
  2. Codebase Familiarization: How should I approach diving into the codebase? Is it advisable to ask my mentor for guidance on specific modules or areas that align with my tickets or overall team objectives?
  3. Balancing Tasks and Learning: What strategies have you found effective for simultaneously working on assigned tickets, understanding high-level documentation, and becoming familiar with the codebase? Is there a recommended balance or sequence that could optimize my ramp-up process?

Navigating the initial phase and ensuring I’m building a solid foundation is my top priority. Any experiences, strategies, or advice you can share on managing these early stages of onboarding would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your support and guidance.

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Strategizing for a Potential US Relocation Within Microsoft After a Year

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft

Hi Taro Community,

I’ve recently joined Microsoft India as an SDE-II, transitioning from Cisco where I had initially been based in the US before relocating to India in 2020 due to visa challenges. With an aspiration to move back to the US within the next 1-2 years, I’m seeking advice on how to strengthen my case for this potential relocation.

Here’s a bit of background: At Cisco, I reported to a US manager, and post-layoffs in 2023, I embraced the opportunity at Microsoft India amidst a lack of other offers. The remote work model, extending from my time at Cisco to now, has been challenging, often involving late-night work to accommodate time zone differences. This has reinforced my desire to return to a US-based role.

Understanding that I need to complete at least a year at Microsoft India to be eligible for relocation discussions, I want to proactively prepare and position myself as a strong candidate for such a move. I’m interested in hearing from those who have navigated similar paths or have insights into making a compelling case for international relocation within a large organization like Microsoft.

  • What steps should I take in the next year to build a strong case for relocation?
  • How can I effectively communicate my desire for relocation to the management team, ensuring they understand the professional (not just personal) benefits of such a move?
  • Are there specific achievements or contributions I should focus on that would underscore my potential value to a US-based team?

I appreciate any guidance, experiences, or strategies you could share.

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Staff IC to EM-1: Should I make the transition?

Staff Software Engineer [E6] at Taro Community profile pic
Staff Software Engineer [E6] at Taro Community

I have 15 years of experience in the tech industry. I joined meta as an E6 engineer in July, following 7 years at Amazon and over 6 years at Microsoft. Afte joining, I quickly initiated and led small projects, progressing to a major project. I utilized my experience to guide and support other engineers, contributing to their professional growth. Our team has another E6 tech lead with deep domain knowledge and currently, he is the face of the team. We maintain a positive and respectful relationship, trusting each other.

However, I observed that our engineering manager (EM) was not effectively providing direction, hindering team productivity. Recognizing this gap, I collaborated with other tech lead to create a project tracking sheet, enabling us to monitor initiatives with timelines and ownership. This significantly improved our team's efficiency and motivation, leading to the successful completion of a major project.

Now, here's the exciting part – my skip reached out and surprised me with an offer for the EM role! While I'm honored, I'm grappling with doubts about whether I have the necessary skills for success. Despite enjoying mentoring others in technical discussions, I'm concerned about potentially losing touch with the hands-on tech work that I love.

On the bright side, my tech lead partner is supportive and believes I should take on the EM role, offering full support. However, I'm contemplating whether I should explore the possibility of a Tech Lead Manager role to strike a balance between leadership and hands-on technical involvement.

I'm at a crossroads and would love to hear your thoughts and advice based on your experiences.  One side me want to try EM path but one side says why take this hassle and stick with what you know better i.e tech. Also, I treat myself as avg communicator. I feel, I am good at empathy, task breakdown and mentoring skills.

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To FAANG or not to FAANG?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community

I live in orange county, CA. I have about 30 years of tech experience where I was a software engineer for most of these 30 years. I also had couple of jobs as manager leading a team of software engineers. For last 5 years, I have been working as a senior software support engineer for a local company here in Orange County, CA.

So I would rather be software engineer than be in a support role where I just do mindless support of enterprise software. And its not very challenging either. So when I started working for this company, 5 years ago, I started to teach myself angular and typescript. Worked on a project and deployed it live on the website and learnt a lot. And really enjoyed programming.

But then 1 year ago, I started applying for actual jobs in angular programming and got zero response. Zero emails from the companies. Zero interviews from the companies. That was very scary. So a friend who works at Microsoft, advised to prepare and apply for SWE job at Microsoft. She mentioned that MS would not care about lack of my latest/greatest experience. If I pass the coding interview, I have a good chance event to get an entry level SWE job which is better than what I am doing these days.

Another reason I would like to work at MS, is that all my 30 years I have worked for midsize companies. I would like to work at MS because I will be surrounded by really smart engineers and people.

I am lucky to have a job, Pay the bills and have health insurance for me and my family. A year ago I started the interview prep, leet code, algoexpert etc. But then for some reason for last 4 months, its really hard for me to study. May be its my age. May be I get very tired after all day of work, and just watch mindless TV and eat sugary snacks and waste my time and health away.

When I used to work on my angular skill sets I was really energized. I had small tasks already in my queue. I could easily get in the flow when programming.

But My highest priority right now is to get a job at Microsoft as a SWE so that I have job part taken care of. Then after that I could work on side projects so that is why I am focused on interview prep but that is not dopaminergic for me. If I work on interview Prep and work on a side project, that could be distracting and not very focused effort (I think)

I feel depressed about my career. Some of my friends are directors, VPs, CIOs for medium to large companies. Here I am still angling for mediocre DEV jobs.

Any how, here at Taro, I would like to meet, interact with engineers, and really find my passion back.

I would really like to join a mastermind here at Taro, where I could hangout with engineers where we could have a conference all once or twice a month, motivate each other, etc.

Thanks for reading..

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