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Mid-level Engineer Career Development Videos, Forum, and Q&A

How A Mid-level Engineer Can Grow Their Career

Mid-level engineers have very strong technical proficiency, able to execute on small to medium-sized projects with minimal hand-holding, leveling up from junior engineers.

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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FAANG Contracting. Is it worth it?

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

Some context, last July after getting laid off I started searching for new work with a particular focus on FAANG.

I garner traction with a few companies but am elated when hear from a FAANG head hunter.

I passed the first interview. Scheduled the second and it wasn’t until the confirmation email of the second interview that I saw “Contract”. I was greatly disheartened though I figured I might as well go through the interview process and decide after I’ve lined up all my options. And after talking to the hiring manager I was promised a chance to convert the contract is up.

It was a hard decision, but ultimately I passed up on a well paying senior role at smaller company to take a stab at FAANG.

And I loved it. The engineers I work with are brilliant, the products impacting orders of magnitude more clients than I ever have before and I'm learning.

However, after shipping our first project, the hiring manager that brought me on board switched teams. The projects I've been reassigned to have been largely tech debt and non technical. I have had no direct manager for 4 months with no new one stepping in in the foreseeable future. While conversion is supposedly still on the table, there is no one tracking my contributions and there is a new stipulation of “if the market permits” tacked on top, meaning they have an excuse to prolong the contract rather than give a chance to convert.

The cherry on top of all this is, recruiters from this company have reached out multiple times over the past two weeks but pull out after I inform them that I'm currently contracting for them. This is due to the understandable “external” vs “internal” hiring conflicts.

So I guess the question is, should I quit and open up the chance to once again start applying externally? Or would it make more sense to stick around and try for the mythical conversion or even just maintain and study for the inevitable interviewing at the end of the contract? Maybe try being overemployed?

I have tried asking the stand in managers, but they have much bigger fish to fry than the ambitions of a contractor so I would really appreciate some opinions on how I might navigate this period of contracting.

Thanks for the read and your time,

E

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Learn About Mid-level Engineer

A mid-level software engineer has all of the foundational technical skills, industry knowledge, and practical experience that allows them to contribute to software projects. They can collaborate with cross-functional teams, handle complex tasks, and demonstrate a deep understanding of the technologies they work with.
A mid-level software engineer can demonstrate a certain level of technical proficiency and independence. They should be able to handle most bugs without needing constant guidance. They should also be able to independently implement features with medium complexity. It is the level where one becomes less reactive and more proactive. Proactivity means anticipating where bugs may show up as well as suggesting improvements in the codebase. They should have a high standard of code quality and high velocity of code velocity.
The journey from a junior to a mid-level engineer is a significant step in one’s career. It’s important to focus on developing the skills necessary for the next level. This shift involves being able to write code to being able to write better code faster. One should be able to understand systems, plan out projects, meet deadlines, and occasionally function as a lead to make the transition. They should also be improving their communication skills during this period and seek feedback on their work from more experienced software engineers.
The transition from a mid-level engineer to a senior engineer involves a deeper mastery of technical skills, leadership capabilities, and a complete understanding of the software development lifecycle. Senior engineers are responsible for making high-level architectural decisions, guide the technical direction of a project, and mentor junior and mid-level team members. Collaborate with your manager to develop a formal growth plan. Take the initiative to write the document yourself and discuss it with your manager. One should be able to recognize gaps that a mid-level engineer has so they can improve them: writing more code rather than reviewing code, not being available to help out during big incidents, or only dealing with one’s own code. By focusing on these issues, you will be able to exert your influence more broadly across your team and company. You should also consider mentoring some of the more junior members on your team to help them grow and develop their skills.
The journey from a junior engineer to a mid-level engineer or a mid-level engineer to a senior engineer involves a continuous process of learning and refining one’s technical, communication, and leadership abilities. One should strive to have more and more impact and influence across their company to have a successful career progression.
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