This is an absolutely vital process for any employee in tech to understand, especially in a world of stack-ranking and layoffs.
Should you take all your allocated PTO at "FAANG" companies or will that affect you when it comes to performance reviews or promotions?
I have 2 other developers working with me on a critical project, plus my mental + physical health is not so good.
I really want to move to a more relaxed workplace, but I feel deadlocked. I'm unable to carve out time from my job.
I have recently not been performing as well as I did last year/early this year due to my mental health and some changes in my personal life, and my manager noticed that too. I got promoted this year only, and if my performance drops, I get compared to my performance last year which led to my promotion. So if I try to avoid work, I'll be noticed further.
In July, I received a mid-year evaluation indicating room for improvement, with a rating of 2 out of 5 on the scale. My goal is to achieve an outstanding rating by this time next year. Here are the areas my manager provided feedback on for improvement:
He is a college hire, so he is a very junior developer. He is an enthusiastic member of the team and seems eager to make contributions. He has struggled to learn the fundamental skills required for the job (programming, database, web development). He will need to improve upon these skills in order to make contributions to the team with little assistance from his peers.
This is not a typical question for Taro community, but l'm here to vent, and looking for honest advice. I'm a working mother at one of MAANG companies. I am a senior engineer, and currently working in a very competitive team that has very poor work life balance. I love my project and l've been getting good ratings so far and everyone is happy with my performance whether it's my manager, TL, DS, PM or XFN partners, according to their feedback for me during PSC.
However, I've been mentally stressed for months now about meeting the expectations and finishing my work while also meeting my kids expectations and having to deal with their emotions and other stuff, taking them to activities and playdates, ... etc and I don't get much help from my husband due to his larger responsibilities at work. I don't Iike to be an average engineer, as l've been used to excelling in my studies and work, it's a mental thing, perfectionism I believe. Should I just quit my job and look for a more relaxed one, if it exists? I’m at a good point in my career now and have already built very good relationships with everyone, and I’m afraid if I will regret this decision later if I don’t find a good alternative.
Hello lovely Community! 👋
I am currently working as Senior Software Engineer 1 and I am close to get promoted in the next performance review cycle.
My manager asked me to create a development plan and individual goals to track the progress efficiently.
Wanted to understand how the development plan and individual goals should look like for Senior Engineer?
Hi everyone! I want to understand what are some most effective ways to articulate your person goals and growth areas to your manager. What are some questions to consider? How do I measure success?
I want to maximize 1-1s as much as possible and I think this is a good starting point to laydown the roadmap.
I was informed by my previous manager that once we move teams, promo is "reset" i.e. only the work in the new team counts for the promo cycle (despite being on the same job ladder of TSC, DE etc).
I am currently at L4 and the role I am going into is scoped for L5 (they were targeting a L5 hire). Given I am changing team mid-year, I am not sure I can get a rating beyond SI in the Jan GRAD cycle.
What is the best way to work with my manager to secure an L5 promo and what timeline is realistic for this promotion at Google (I was targeting next August)?
English is not my first language. I have been keeping work journal but struggling to write good impact of my work. I am following the SBI model but when I write down my impacts they seem very simplistic.
for example, I wrote some training material for my team to teach them a piece of software i created. However, I am at loss to write good sentences to show the impact of this training very well.
In my culture we are not supposed to brag or talk ourselves up to others, so I really struggle at this.
Do you have tips and guidance how I could improve on this area?
I need some advice on how to navigate my situation. I have recently joined a staff engineer role and its has been 2 months. My manager mentioned today that I would be put under PIP. He mentioned that there is gap in the expectations.
To give a context, I am the only one person here and everyone else including manager (who is a director) are in different country (in europe), completely different time zone and it has been every hard to get any time from them to discuss anything. I have been left out of important meetings because of the time zone. Now, I am working alone here on a new project independent from others. When I created PRs, they were stuck for ever (sometimes a week or so). I posted in multiple channels, etc. Even sync meeting with team mates sometimes were cancelled because of they were busy and it has been hard. I have raised this with manager but nothing changed. For onboarding, I didn't have a buddy to begin with and manager was my buddy.
I am supposed to talk with HR tomorrow and discuss my options. PIP or mutual termination. I am not sure what should I ask HR and what should I do? Any advice would be greatly helpful.
Manager says that I have not been meeting expectations of my role while my teammates do not agree with his comments.
He writes email after our 1-1 meeting every week with not meeting expectations claiming that I did not deliver on time while another staff engineer on the team told me 1-1 that I have set the example for others in the team with my deliverable.
I have met 1-1 with other senior engineers in the team and all of them have told me that I am clearly meeting the expectation of the role but my manager always seems dissatisfied with what ever task I do. Am I being managed out?
This manager joined the team 6 months ago. The manager who hired me left the company.
What should I do?
Current level - SDE II
Total comp - 240K
Hi Taro - just wanted to say thank you for the . I was wondering if you could share with the Taro community your thoughts on how managers evaluate their employees in detail (you mentioned some things like internal tools that one could go and see how many PRs, discussions, comments someone had in Github/JIRA and who all were at the top of that baseline followed by the bottom rankers; so I would like more specifics if possible).
Although no one likes it, it would be good to understand how "stack ranking" works at FAANG - and how some managers evaluate on this criteria, despite it being a practice that sucks. In this way I can just be more sure I'm hitting a baseline - even if it's invisible because I can take daily steps to work on my own visibility and perceived performance.
I feel like the biggest challenge right now is getting critical feedback from a manager / org (and it sounds like some companies in the FAANG space are pretty awful about it). E.g. I read about a Redditor who got let go without much notice because they weren't up to par (decided by a skip level manager) in terms of their code and daily output (while the direct manager and everyone else had been communicating often that this employee's performance was great). But this goes back to the idea that 'great' is 'average' lately, and it's way harder to hit exceeds and greatly exceeds on performance.
Thank you in advance!
I have joined this new company for little less than a year. I had interviewed for a different role but due to certain hiring constraints joined in a different team and role. The team I am in is not very technical, there's a lot of process and grind work that's part of the role. It is rather different from what I have been doing which was essentially automation of manual processes and deployment pipelines using tools and coding.
I had one review till now where I got an average rating, to me it seemed sub optimal given I put in a lot of effort to add value to the team. Some of the comments I received included that I should come up with my own ideas (this was with respect to a manual process that I automated which was lying in the backlog for over two years) and also related to some of the choices I made (manager asked if I want project A or B and I said I'm definitely interested in A).
To be honest, I feel my manager is nit picking and he also trivialized my work by making comments like anyone can code, ideas are important, etc even when no one from the team actively owned to execute the ideas.
I feel my manager doesn't particularly like me due to the above behaviors. In this situation how do I set myself up for a good performance review the next time. I would have considered quitting but I like the vibe of the company and some of the other teams are doing phenomenal work. It was hard for me to get in so even if I quit I don't want to quit without trying first.
In most of my previously held roles I became a go to person pretty quickly and got good visibility. How do I do this here?
I've received the equivalent of EE in all the areas of assessment. I'm disappointed with my performance review as I did not get promoted or get a reasonable raise despite my great performance. I (along with many of my peers and my manager) feel that I've already been performing at the next level for the past 6 months. Now it seems that I've to keep performing at the next level for 6 more months before actually getting promoted to the next level - this seems unreasonable to me.
What are my options apart from looking for other opportunities outside my current company?
Sometimes an engineer might not be performing up to expectations because their manager is unable to provide them clear expectations for their level. If they feel like that's the case in the face of a PIP, what courses of action do they have to push against the PIP?
I'm a junior engineer working with one other person on a pretty isolated part of the codebase. I work closely with this one person, but I don't work for an extended amount of time with anyone else. I am part of a larger team, but the work we do doesn't really interact with them (for example, I don't even take part in their sprint planning, and they generally don't know anything about what we're working on, and us them.)
As a result I only had a couple of peer reviewers in the last review cycle, and my manager said I would need more peer reviews in order to be promoted. What are some things I can do to plan ahead and assemble more reviewers, given I don't naturally get enough reviewers through my core work? I am trying to review some of my team's PRs and be more active on slack in order to increase my interaction with the team, but I'm not sure that's enough to request peer reviews from others.
I'm an E5 iOS at a Big Tech company. My team has some E6 work that I'd love to take on, but my PM prioritized some E4 work above it. Since the only other iOS engineer on my team is E6, my EM asked me to take on the E4 work while the E6 works on the E6 work. The E4 work is scoped to about a month's worth of work, but I worry that scope creep may drag things out further. I've been at this company for close to 3 years on various teams. For the majority of that time, I've been saddled with E4 work (and sometimes even E3 work) that has taken valuable time away from working towards E6. I was hired as an E5. Is there a way to avoid spending time doing lower-level work to focus on getting to the next level? For what it's worth, I got Exceeds on my latest performance review.
As a mid-level (not senior yet) SDE, what are the core skills I should be consistently developing to grow my career, not only for promotion within the company, but also for personal growth, and to get ready for diverse opportunities years ahead?
I know we have covered lots of topics, like DS & Algo for interviews in case you suddenly get laid off and you are looking for opportunities, communicate well with colleagues to make impact, and manage up to avoid getting into PIP, System Design skills.... But is there a list of Soft AND Hard skills that are core to a engineer's career in long term?
I joined Meta and my team in July of last year. I got an MA for this half. I am happy I at least got that, but it looks like a lot of people got exceeds expectations. The thief is making me less happy, and slightly worried. Should I feel good about this?
As a senior engineer L5 in my company for 1 year, I recently found myself in a new team with a new direct manager but report to the same Director in the same Org due to the recent company restructure/company reorganization as part of layoff changes. My Director and I are the direct responsible individuals for the Backend Platform System for the last 1 year. However, I am finding that a significant portion of my time is being taken up by "glue work," such as onboarding new teammates, updating the Wiki, documenting On-call Runbook, mentoring cross-functional team members, providing code reviews for new developers, and unblocking people in their code development. While these tasks seem important, they are making it difficult for me to focus on my own projects.
In my first one-on-one, my new manager expressed a desire for me to take on new initiatives. I am eager to do so, but I need to be able to focus on my own work to make this possible. My manager understood that the frequent on-call support was a blocker for me and asked me to train and onboard a new teammate to take over the on-call support, as well as field requests from users and help others with their work. However, I have still found myself doing a lot of training and providing support even two weeks since my last meeting.
I would like to hear from others who have found a way to balance these responsibilities effectively. How can I prioritize my own work while still contributing to the team's success? I know this will be a difficult decision, and I'm not sure how to approach it. I'm worried that if I stop doing some of these tasks, it may impact my relationship with my manager and team.
If anyone has faced a similar challenge, I would appreciate hearing about how you approached it. Did you stop doing certain tasks and responsibilities, and if so, how did it affect your relationship with your team? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I've been at this small startup (~100 engineers) for about 8 months.
I've worked on 2 different projects/teams (2 months + 6 months) for various reasons. This constant ramp up process is limiting my ability to make significant impact.
Now my manger is about to move me to another totally different project because my current project scope is transferred to another team.
The startup hasn't done a layoff yet, but the possibility is there this year.
I think I need to stop paying the ramp up cost and stick to my current area (meaning switching to the other team) so I can make bigger scope impact and avoid getting laid off.
How should I navigate this conversation with my manger?
I am a tech lead for my team of 5 engineers. I am also a senior eng intending to climb up to staff level.
My manager is not very vocal or supportive and seems reluctant in terms of helping out a plan for myself. I have been working hard though. How can I work with my manager to create a promotion plan for myself and get buy-in from them?
I am not sure if I should move up the eng ladder or transition to management, but are there any guidelines for creating a written promotion plan and manage up so to speak?
I was fired from my previous company due to bad performance on the job. What to tell to potential recruiters about my employment status? Will letting them know that I don't have a job make them lose interest in pursuing with me? Will it reduce my ability when it comes to negotiating the salary/benefits later?
Got feedback from manager that my rating is just MA and on the border. I was given the context that my project complexity was not that much and it was a lower level project. I worked really hard and was expecting good ratings. What can I do to make sure that I exceeds the expectations next time?
I joined my current company a bit more than a year ago as an L4. Within 4 months, I'd launched a high stakes project, and after some churn in the team leadership, I was put into the role of being a tech lead to my remaining team of L3s.
As a pseudo TL, I did well in the mentorship and technical guidance responsibilities, but my code output dropped drastically (due to my projects being in the design phase which were being done by my juniors with me providing high level guidance).
In the last three months, I suffered some mental health issues. My work productivity dropped significantly during that time. I've been very open with my manager about my mental state throughout this process, and they've been very supportive of the things I need to do to recover. Around this time my team also hired an L5, who is now officially the TL.
Due to my drop in performance in the latter half of the year, I'm afraid my manager won't trust me with important projects. I wonder if I need to again prove my credentials to keep me on track for L5. I feel very low about my software development abilities.
This has made me demotivated and disinterested in my work. I took a couple weeks off, yet I don't feel like going back to work. I'm not considering changing teams due to immigration issues. I also don't want to leave a team on a low.
Any tips on turning around my motivation, and trajectory on the team? What can I change in my mindset and working style to overcome my struggles?
I am an Entry level Software Engineer( SWE 1) in my current team for a year now in a mid sized company. I have a matured tenure( 3 years ) SWE 2 in team who has been wanting to get promoted to a Senior Software Engineer for sometime now.
The situation is, in order for a chance for promotion, this SWE 2 was asked to lead a small feature implementation of 2 people where they ended up missing deadlines twice stating engineering complexity. Due to this situation, whole of the team, including Teach lead and SWE1s have swarmed in to help them meet the deadline which is almost a week from now.
The thing is, this particular SWE 2 has been calling me out in Standup and grooming meeting and in person to EM for not completing my story in time even though I am giving proper updates in standup and Tech lead hasn’t raised any concerns yet. According to this SWE2, the stories I have been working on should be completed in a particular x timeframe because he thinks so. They have not laid out any scope or plan where to make changes for it. Their argument is, unless I complete this task, the whole team is blocked because of me. They made it a point to convey it to EM along with PM. EM reached out to me in frustration and seemed content after I explained him the complexity and was able to deliver it next day morning. I had reached out to other senior engineers on team and they guided me properly to finish this task.
This particular SWE2 again called out my name again in my Tech Leads one of the PR and mentioned that other devs are blocked because of me. Tech lead gave a great suggestion to unblock others ( which he could have asked way earlier and implemented ) and others are unblocked now. When I reached out to this SWE2 asking an estimate for current story, in our 1:1 conversation he mentions go with your speed. We don’t really need your part to be unblocked. It will be a good to have. But he keeps on throwing me under the bus infront of team, EM and PM. This SWE2 lacks technical depth and keeps on checking with me everyday if I need any help. But they can’t explain anything properly and I consider it as a waste of time to even decipher their explanation because it tends to increase my confusion.
If it matters, we have our end year review next week and EM seems to think SWE2 is the one helping me (in fact not at all, can’t even explain a proper code change). This SWE 2 is one of the main reason I was given not meet expectations last time in our mid year review rating. I am scared of how much impact he has because of EM’s calling out, again on my review this year when in fact I have hardly worked with him this year. Please advise how to handle this situation.
I am working on my P0 goals for this half however, the XFN is not communicating well. I am done with my changes and blocked on them for days. They don't review code as fast as I need and keep me waiting. How should I approach them? Also, I want to build good relationship with them for a good Performance cycle feedback. I think they don't take me seriously. what is the right approach here?
My ideal plan was to reach E5 (Senior Engineer) on my current team and then leave. But I am nowhere near promo currently. I’ve been on my current team for about 1.5 years now. I have to get promoted in about a year from now, or else I’ll be fired.
I need help deciding whether I should roll the dice and switch to another team. I’ve built some strong relationships on my current team, worked with my manager for over a year now and am fully ramped up to my current team’s stack. I’m not sure how to make the decision of whether to leave or to stay.
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.
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.
I joined a company 6 months back and from start I am noticing that some of the engineers in the team are constantly underperforming and I can hardly see them working on any task. This puts additional pressure on other teammates to perform as we set team sprint goals considering availability of all engineers and we find the team always lag behind the deadlines.
I am wondering what should be the right way to discuss this with my manager during 1:1’s. I don’t want to sound like I am pointing fingers on others.
Currently, I'm on a 10 person team, but we only have 3 senior engineers and the remaining 7 are E4s (5 people) and E3s (me and one other new grad). For our upcoming half, they want E4s leading some of the projects for their development. However, I would like guidance, mentorship, and feedback from an E5 or above ideally since they are more experienced. Also, from one of the Taro videos on feedback, one of the points made was to find a way to get feedback from senior engineers at the end of the half who will bolster your PSC packet versus a mid-level engineer who might not hold as much weight (Correct me if I'm wrong)?
Anyway to navigate this the right way? Should I avoid certain projects that are led by E4s? Does this even matter?
After this past half (I joined mid-August), my manager is saying I'm working at a meets all (MA) level. Granted, I only joined in the middle of the half, but when I ask him how can I take the next level to be promoted or have an EE or above rating, I get very vague answers with not much detailed support (he's also a new manager and this will be his first PSC).
This past half, we had an expectations doc where it listed each project and the impact it should have. I hit all those expectations, but with his vague advice, I'm not able to create actionable steps for myself for this half to get the promo or higher ratings.
From Taro, I'm learning code quality, velocity, and impact are the most important at my level - which from my feedback, I'm doing well in. What are some ways to take it to the next level? Finish my projects earlier and take on more projects in the half? Feeling a little bit lost so any advice is greatly appreciated!
We are 3 people in my team. I've been at the company for 2 years roughly and my team mates for 15+ years. I'm in a situation where my coworkers do stuff, but stuff that's often completely unrelated to our backlog. One of them struggles with being motivated by the job. Occasionally, a 16-hour job takes a month to complete. Maybe 2. And you never know why or when it will be done. This causes a lot of tension with the product lead. The other teammate (focused on the front end) rarely makes any PRs. I'm not sure if it's due to the fact that they have mostly done HTML/CSS and are unsure of how to navigate the frameworks we use or what it is. Our manager tends to cover for us, but obviously he's not loving this situation. It's been like this for 1–2 years. Now it has started affecting my pay raise, and I'm starting to feel tired of always playing dumb or referring to the other great work that they're doing when asked what my teammates are up to. Both seem to be struggling somewhat with stress and anxiety, so I've tried to be compassionate with them. But what do I do? I want to take ownership of the team's performance, but it's difficult to know what to do. They have the senior roles, and they have most of the ownership of the project, so I also feel weird telling them "what to do," if that makes any sense. The company size is roughly 20 engineers, FYI.
Any advice on how to handle this situation nicely, i.e. making sure we're still friends afterward, would be highly appreciated.
Hi Taro folks,
I’d like to create a doc to track my deliverables across engineering axes to make my work easier to see for my manager. This should also help with arguing for promotions down the road… does anyone have a good format for such a doc? FYI: engineering axes include project impact, people, direction, engineering excellence, etc.
I transitioned into a backend engineering role 1 year ago after working as a data analyst for 3 years. The jump was definitely big to me, as I had to learn a lot of new concepts (OOP, clean code, architecture, devops etc). The transition was done through internal hiring where they did a live coding interview (2 easy leetcodes), a live system design interview, and motivational interview. I passed all of those and ended up in a high-paced team.
The team was severely understaffed. The manager was managing 3 teams that decreased from 20+ people to <10 people and there was hiring freeze. There was no proper onboarding and all the seniors were too busy with tasks to help me properly. I did my best to read the documentations and set up 1-1s with more senior engineers from other teams that could help me. I finished several projects although carried over some to the next half.
My 1st performance review was "meet expectations". However, before my 2nd performance review, there was a manager change and this manager gave me "partially meet expectations" and then said that I would be put on PIP program. When I asked the manager what the program would be like and how many people completed this successfully, he/she couldn't give a definitive answer and said that HR would be in touch me.
I decided to quit and spend time to learn more fundamental concepts and take up a freelance project. It's been 2 months since then. Right now I feel like I'm learning a lot in these 2 months compared to my 1 year in that company, but I can't help but feeling very anxious with all these layoffs and the incoming tech winter. I don't have any self-confidence within myself that I would get any decent job, especially after getting an incoming a PIP, I'm just worried that when I'm interviewing at my next job, the career gap in my resume and the past potential PIP would deter me from getting any jobs. I'm also at loss on how to avoid potential PIPs in the future. Any advice to help me? Thank you very much.
Edit: For more context, I didn't come from a CS background (I studied Mathematics). My team was not a revenue generator. The company was especially hit really hard during covid and had 2 big layoffs. When I left, there are many products that are being shut down and a couple of senior-level product managers left as well without being replaced due to hiring freeze. During the talk of my PIP, the manager brought up his/her expectations on me that was 1 level (mid-level) above my current level (junior-level).
I work for a very technical and niche start-up as a Frontend Developer. For context, we have 3 F.E. devs and 3 B.E. devs. I was hired as a vaguely-level intermediate developer, and after about nine months at this company, my F.E. lead is advocating for me to be a Senior developer. The only issue is that the company hasn't done internal promotions before, and they're a bit stalled whilst considering how to best handle the process. There's also some ambiguity in measuring a Front-end developer's skills - especially compared to a back-end developer; Our CEO is also a seasoned back-end developer, so he understands technical skills but is unclear on how it maps to Front-end skills.
What are some things I can bring up to my company's leadership on how to measure my skills and value? Such to help facilitate a conversation around my promotion.
I have been doing good at my current company, been here for 3+ years working initially as an Entry Level, then promoted after an year to a MidLevel Software Engineer. I have been receiving "Exceeds Expectations i.e. 4/5" rating since the beginning and "Superb i.e. 5/5" rating once.
I applied for international relocation to Singapore back in July. The manager and skip mentioned that while cost cutting is going on, they are making an exception for me and it should be processed completely by initial weeks of January 2023. In times of layoffs, and especially with my company's stocks not doing that good, I am afraid if it could lead to getting laid off. This is causing me a bit of anxiety.
Although it is being mentioned by leadership that no layoffs are happening, we are seeing projects getting cut off, rigorous re-orgs happening, and entire focus of the organisation is on cost saving, which I feel is great especially in current times.
I started the conversations for relocation when times were going good in terms of offers being posted in the market. The teams were thriving as well in terms of work. But by the time entire process got over, it seems the situations have changed. What should I do?
To add on, another thing I did sometime back was to share with my manager on how I am performing several roles of the next level and how it can be used to further the cause of promotion in the upcoming performance reviews. I tried to break down the career ladder doc into key umbrellas of behaviours needed, and assigned the initiatives I delivered under those. Now afraid if this was another way I shot myself in the foot by asking for more in times of cost-saving and probably being conservative. Please assist with your advice.
Since Dec 2021 to Aug 2022, My managers changed 4 times after and I got promoted from sde1 to 2. Due to multiple projects and managers, I could not take ownership as I was still in ramp up phase but manager was expecting more at the SDE2 level, pointing issues, demotivating. So I took internal transfer to a different team. I am in this new team for 3 months. 1 month - I took to even understand the basics. Manager left and new manager joined. I had to go on vacation for 15 days. I don't have metrics to show that I am performing at the SDE2 level because
Worried about Q1 performance cycle in 2023. 2022 was difficult for me to show any impact. Is there anything I can do now to not get low rating in Q1?
At this point, I am no more interested in work and just want to leave due to lack of mentorship. I have a buddy who answers questions if I ask in this team but I don't have anyone to mentor me to guide me to see what kind of projects I can work, coming up with the initiatives. I feel stuck. There are no hirings happening outside and inside the company. What can I do to proceed further?
I am an L4 engineer with decent knowledge of my team's stack.
What are some actions I can take to meet expectations in my current role for the next few years, while minimizing the amount of time I spend on work?
Given that I'm not shooting for a promotion, does that change how I should approach relationship building with senior folks on the team? There is a lot of advice on Taro about relationship building, but it appears to be aimed at folks who wish to promote quickly.
A little context: I joined my company back in Jan and have been doing really well. I’ve been consistently pushing code, owning projects, and creating good relationships with my colleagues.
This week I’ve been really sick and it feels like nothing is going right. I have been running an experiment for a couple months and today I found out that one of the arms is bugged because I introduced it a while ago. After a scrambled meeting with my lead and manager, I addressed the bug and pushed a fix but because of freezes my bug fix won’t actually be in til after year end. My manager stated that they wouldn’t have expect an engineer to not notice a bug like this go on for so long.
The business side is actually not even interested in the bugged arm and would like to go with an approach I proposed earlier in the project.
I’ve learned a lot since I pushed the bugged change and my code and communication has improved but my managers comment plus all the news about layoffs and perfs and PIPs has had my anxiety through the roof the past few weeks. Anyone else feeling the same?
What concrete things do I say, in a conversation with my manager to "set expectations"?
Do I say something like "I would like to ____ expectations this quarter, is it sufficient to complete project A & project B?"
What if I am new to the company, and unable to contribute meaningfully to a significant project, or there is downtime when no projects are available?
Can I say I'll fix some unknown volume of bugs this quarter?
I came into my role with an advanced degree, so I started out as a mid-level engineer. However, I still need to be able to ask questions as I've never worked as an engineer before. I've seen all the Taro content around asking questions, but my manager has drilled in since a few months into this role that expectations are that I function independently, unblock myself, and don't take up much of others' time by asking questions. That it would count against me in performance reviews (versus for me if I help others with their questions).
Given the current job market, I don't know where else to go, but this environment leaves me pretty exasperated. Is it normal in other companies to go to more senior engineers with help getting unblocked? Are questions only really around code, or is it normal to ask for help debugging a feature/bug/test? I worry about becoming a senior with the expectation to be independent and help others when I myself have never received guidance to grow to that level properly.
I am usually very competitive and while I love my friends, I have this internal push to always do better than people around me. I got promoted to SWE II within a year in 2021 and I was so proud of that. However, this year my manager changed and without really knowing or understanding me, he gave me the feedback of "didn't meet expectations" in our annual performance review in Feb. I had full plans to change my company soon since I didn't feel supported by my manager. However, my father fell incredibly ill in May (still is) which canceled all my plans as I moved back home to support my family.
I have a feeling my friend who is on a different team than I am (but reports to the same manager) might get promoted to senior. She deserves it. She got different opportunities than I did but I can't help but feel a pang of jealousy knowing that all I want this coming Feb is "meets expectation" rating while my friend might get promoted. Another friend of mine switched to a company that seems incredible but I somehow feel "behind" in my career despite knowing that I will meet the career goals I have next year. I am already a million times a better software dev than I was beginning of the year. I have close relationships with my colleagues but how do I focus on my own lane and not compare myself to others?
Hey everyone! I am looking for some advice. I have weekly 1:1 with my manager and during our last interaction, he suggested to come up with a yearly plan on things I want to achieve. Can someone shed some ideas/templates I can follow to create a roadmap or plan.
My manager changed in H2, and my previous manager became my skip. While my current manager has a decent idea on the current projects I am working on and their importance, sometimes I see them mixing up specifics, which could be because they’re still ramping up. With that context, how do I make sure my manager represents my year long performance in upcoming calibrations well? Should I give them context on all my work in our 1:1s, especially my H1 work as they weren’t in my team?
Do you have examples of a problem, action, and impact for performance reviews? For example, I was working on a migration from a monolith to a BFF. I was loaned to a different team to help with their extractions. Their engineer gave me an API to use, but their API turned out to have serious shortcomings and I ended up working long hours to reimplement a lot of the monolith’s logic in the BFF. Despite this, we still slipped our timelines. How do I describe the impact of my actions in this case? I feel like my actions had “no impact” because we slipped our deadlines regardless.
I've gotten feedback from a mid performance review and my manager wants to see improvements in various areas. It includes improving my debugging skills by paying closer attention to pertinent details (and not getting distracted) for example.
Since then, I've become much more conscious and aware of the errors that I run into and much more deliberate in my debugging approach. This has resulted in me being able to diagnose problems much more accurately, and has also lended to me problem-solving much more effectively as well.
The problem is I'm not sure how to best demonstrate (or prove) that value improvement to my manager. Unlike PRs (which are often more visible in the value it demonstrates) -- you see what you get, my debugging skills/tactics are not readily obvious to the outside party unless they're observing my day-to-day activity. I can say that I've gotten better but if I have nothing to back that up with aren't they just words without weight? Who's to say that I'm even right in my own assessment without social feedback? I could be dunning kruger for all I know.
Is it enough for me to simply document those performance improvements and share (or talk about) them with my manager?
Note: My ultimate goal is to get promoted so I'm trying to (1) show that I've taken their feedback seriously and (2) demonstrate actual improvement since my last performance review.
Let me know if I'm thinking about this the right way or if am I overcomplicating it. Thanks!
In one of the videos Alex mentioned that some devs get a culture shock when joining a Big Tech company from a smaller company. What kind of culture shock would that be? Do you have examples and methods how to prepare oneself for those?
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.
I am a little worried about the potential of layoffs at Meta. I am not sure if I will get a needs support. I have been working on doing a design doc for the past month, and my manager has generally been very positive towards me. But I feel like I might get a NS due to my not submitting as many diffs and accepting as many diffs. I joined my team less than three months ago, and still technically ramping up. I would be sad if I got a NS or a pip, but it wouldn't destroy me.I guess my question would be how can I best buffer myself during these next few months, and how can I avoid situations like this in the future? What should I do if I do get put on PIP/NS?
I'm relatively new to the company, so I would love to understand more about this. Here's more specific questions I had:
Prepping for interviews always feels detrimental to actual career growth. At the same time, what are the things one should look out for to avoid getting laid off and jump ship when things are about to go south.
One advice mentioned often is to look for finances of the company, but I am not aware how to analyse it. Can you help with resources for the same?
I've learned it is a great idea to keep a "brag journal" up to date with your accomplishments. This is something I've been doing but my question is what are some ways I can bring this list up during the performance review? Do I share the document prior to the meeting or do I quickly go through the documents with them?
What role does good feedback received in a 360 review cycle have in the promotion / salary hike conversation? How to make the most of good feedback?
I was told that exceeding expectations doesn't necessarily mean that you're operating at the next level, so I would like to get more clarity here. What does it mean to exceed expectations in a way that's building up towards promotions vs. not?
I work on the privacy side, so our core projects are often held up by XFN. This leads to me having to find something to do in the meantime, which often means smaller, ad-hoc efforts. However, I've been told that working on larger projects across a lengthier time horizon is better for promotion. What can I do during these blocked times that also shows good execution signal for promotion?
Some additional questions:
I've heard that situations at Atlassian and other companies in general can be very competitive to the point where engineers are competing against each other for survival with systems like stack rank and team quotas. I'm wondering what's the best way to navigate through systems like these.
I’d like to convert my internal system of progress into a checklist and then share it with my manager. For example, I’m learning about logging. A question to measure my own progress is to check if I know what information should be logged? What about security considerations? If someone asks me about logging in 2 months, can I unblock them?
Samsara’s a great company, so I would love to receive a return offer and be regarded as a "superstar" intern. What high-level tips do you have to accomplish this?