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Productivity Q&A and Videos

About Productivity

We all have the same 24 hours in a day - The difference is that some are able to get far more out of it than others. Here's what they're doing that others aren't.

Explain day-to-day operations and decision-making in Meta

Staff Software Engineer [E6] at Meta profile pic
Staff Software Engineer [E6] at Meta

What is the prevailing culture within the organization, and how does it manifest in day-to-day operations and decision-making? The prevailing culture within an organization is the shared values, beliefs, norms, and practices that shape the social and psychological environment of a business. This culture influences employee behavior, motivates management styles, and affects decision-making processes. What are those for Meta?

What are the hidden things to notice and to worry about? For example:

  1. Cliques and Silos: Pay attention to the formation of exclusive groups or departments unwilling to share information. This can indicate a fragmented culture that hinders collaboration.

  2. Resistance to Change: If there is noticeable resistance to new ideas or changes in procedure, the culture may be rigid and resistant to innovation.

  3. Overwork and Burnout: A culture that consistently expects long hours and overwork may prioritize short-term gains over long-term employee well-being and sustainability.

  4. Turnover Rates: High employee turnover can be a red flag for issues within the organizational culture such as lack of growth opportunities, poor management, or a toxic work environment.

  5. Office Politics: Pay attention to how much politics influence decisions and progress. A culture heavily influenced by politics rather than merit can demotivate employees.

  6. Feedback Mechanisms: Lack of mechanisms for providing constructive feedback, or a culture where feedback is ignored, can indicate a culture not open to self-improvement or employee development.

  7. Diversity and Inclusion: Observe whether the organization actively supports diversity and inclusion, not just in policy but in practice, reflecting a culture of respect and equality.

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Need help on how to navigate PIP

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

I've not had great reviews from manager in the past few months. I think it all started with me taking PTO for 3 weeks in december and something I handed over to team before leaving not working as expected. Before that maybe I had a made an impression that I was not proactive enough and it all escalated with this issue in PTO. They had to source a member from another team to get it done.

After I was back from my PTO I did work really hard to get back at the work left and finish diligently, but it again happened that after this work was merged, some other api's failed in Integration environment. And I fixed it soon and got it working. But by this time my manager had decided to put me in PIP I guess.

Now about the PIP, its 60 days long and the way my manager talked about it seemed like she wants me to take it very seriously and improve and she and other seniors can support me during that. My skip manager who is a director, however seems like a not so nice person, I also have a have monthly connect with him next week. He can easily influence the decision even if I do well and my manager wants me. How do I talk to him is one question? And how do I navigate this whole PIP is another.

Since the market is also very bad right now, I'm planning to work hard and complete every objective there is on the PIP document. What do you think about this? I am on stem opt visa and might have 3-5 months to find another gig that's all.

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Learn About Productivity

Productivity is very important for a software engineers because it can greatly affect your career trajectory. Software engineers who can consistently deliver high-quality work within a defined timeframe can position themselves for faster career advancement. When you can execute tasks quickly, you build a track record of reliability.
When you can meet project milestones, it shows that you can manage your time effectively. When you are productive by optimizing your time, you’ll be contributing to the success of your team.
A strong flow state and ability to context switch are key components of productivity. If you can achieve a flow state, you can significantly increase your speed and efficiency. This is very helpful when you are dealing with a calendar filled with meetings.
You should also be able to manage meetings effectively. This involves not attending unnecessary meetings. It also means consolidating similar meetings to create more focused blocks of time for yourself. If your daily schedule has too many meetings, you run the chance of not being able to get any work done.
When you are in a meeting, you should make sure to follow certain guidelines to make the meeting as productive as possible for everyone involved. Make sure that a clear and detailed agenda is set for the meeting. You should share the agenda with all of the meeting attendees in advance so each of the attendees knows about the context behind the meeting. You should also remind people about the agenda document by pinging people in your company’s communication channels, like Slack or email. Make sure the meetings actually follow the agenda and give everyone in the meeting the opportunity to speak. This will lead to an inclusive environment where everyone is heard.
You also have to be aware of your own mental state to avoid burnout. It’s important to communicate with your manager and tech lead about project timelines and priorities to manage your workload and prevent burnout. Just because you can execute on the work doesn’t mean you are delivering the most meaningful work. Always be prioritizing with your stakeholders to make sure you are meeting the most important goals of your customers
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