The clearest way a company can acknowledge your growth. At the end of the day, you can't solely interview your way to a principal engineer; promotion is the true foundation of your pay and career.
I'm a Staff Engineer in the satellite telecommunications industry where I am responsible for the strategic success of the software products in my department. My organizational responsibilities and weekly calendar align almost perfectly with the . I'm sure that it will come as a surprise to no one that getting to this point in my career was an intense and conscientious journey. I am self-taught, I fell in love with programming as a child, and I have never attended a University. Things are not even close to perfect, but I am happy with my career so far.
My day-to-day work does not involve much programming, but I spend the vast majority of my time communicating with Tech Leads, Scrum Masters, PMs, TPMs, EMs, etc. to coordinate and accomplish different tasks. The rest of my time is split between communicating and aligning with high-level product stakeholders, such as my boss, and mentoring engineers. When I do code, it is because there is some experiment I want to run, i.e., I might create a prototype of a new product or feature that could massively impact a departmental OKR.
Outside of my day-to-day work, I dedicate as much time as I can to learning and practicing new technical (programming, cloud), professional (LinkedIn Learning), and domain-specific (satellites, AI) skills. I also consume a lot of content here on Taro and I often participate in company and community programs that I believe in (change maker programs, diversity and inclusion programs, etc. as a participant or as a coach).
I would love to have input on this aspect of my career as a Staff Engineer who would like to be a Fellow one day. As I make progress in my career, I find that (obviously) the expectations others have of me, in regard to being at the forefront of technology and really knowing what I am talking about in domain-specific (science-heavy, business-heavy) topics, have grown exponentially. I've already adapted my approach to developing domain-specific skills, for instance, instead of relying solely on MOOCs, I also now have regular sessions with domain experts (business folks with advanced industry-relevant university degrees), something my boss encourages and expects me to continue to do. I have now also considered the prospect of going to university myself, something my employer would sponsor.
So the question is, how can I best invest my personal development time so that as I progress in my career I can continue to meet, or even surpass, exponentially growing expectations?
I'm sure someone will have a great idea of how to approach this challenge. Also, there is a quote I appreciate from Alex Chiou that gives me hope that I can do it.
It wasn't due to natural talent or anything - I'm honestly not that smart.
I had a question on how does one exhibit impact and staff level behavior as a Senior engineer.
The staff engineers on the team code as much as me. Although I am a lead for a team, there is distinction between me and how another lead is being perceived. I am happy for them.
They have been in the company way longer, they advocate, question and are not afraid to speak up.
But code wise, I have way more commits. We are both leads, but I can tell they are on the way to becoming staff, and it is the behavior. I am not able to put a pin on it.
How can we be perceived of being extremely valuable and influential to the team without crunching code.
Hi. Sorry for the long post.
My manager is quite happy with my performance as an IC, so in our 1:1s during feedback sessions, his suggestions for me are usually around increasing my influence within the team. Drive decisions, improve processes etc.
To add some context, Snap has a HUGE L4 band. Bigger than most companies (L5 at Snap is equivalent to E6 at Meta). This means we have a LOT of L4 engineers.
So right now I am in a situation where my team has 6 L4 engineers, ranging from 3 years of experience to 10 years of experience, with me falling towards the lower end of this range. To make matters worse, we also don't have a TL or Principal Engineer in the team. Which means we don't have a "guiding" engineer in the team to help "decide" on important technical decisions.
This has some consequences.
There's a big scope for "showing influence" in the team. Since we don't have a TL, every important decision is an opportunity to influence the team. And literally every L4 engineer is trying to jump on that ship. So we have this situation where people try to out-influence others (not sure if thats a word). This leads to lots of debates, lots of pointless meetings, and people eventually "fighting" over trying to be the decision makers for a decision.
A real example scenario: we recently had some discussions about improving our operational tickets backlog process, and literally every single L4 in the team wanted to write a doc on it to suggest improvements, to introduce a process to make the ticket backlog handling better, to show "influence" in the team.
I guess my question is, in a team like this, how should I try to build my influence ? I realize that everyone in the team is trying to achieve the same, so what can I do different. I know this is not a unique situation and very very common among more senior ICs, so hoping to pick their brains.
I joined under leveled in a company. My mgr and skip know it.
But they are assigning tasks which are L+2 level. If I am talking promotion they are turning the other way.
How to smartly communicate that I won't do such high level work unless they get serious about promotion?
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?
Sorry if this seems like a rant. Trying to collect my own thoughts.
I have been at my current company as a mid level backend engineer (a startup - around 10-12 years old, went public recently) for around 4-5 years and have a total of 6 years of work experience.
I feel like there has not been much career growth. Got my first promotion after an year of joining the company and not much thereafter. Thus, feeling very lost about where to go next from here.
In the current climate, we had our recent round of layoffs in the organisation. Also, I don't feel very good about some of the things in the organisation such as the stuff I am working on. I don't feel I am learning enough. It is just business requirement - one after another, that too often getting cancelled. Last project I worked on for 3 months, got cancelled after that due to changing priorities. Stock price is plummeting as well. I feel like the best way forward is to restart my own learning journey - what are your thoughts? I used to be one of the top performers in my current and past company and even got awards around 3 times in last 6 years. I tried to work hard for promotions as well, but even after multiple rounds of my manager asking me to do things such as leading the team, multiple XFN projects, infra level revamps etc. - I did not get a promotion. I asked my manager if there is a list of things I should do consistently for a good enough time and if then, we'll be able to make a case for me. He said, that I am trying to gamify the system, but I was only trying to set goals for me. Now, I feel somewhere midway, I have lost my motivation. Feeling a little depressed and often evade work, just coasting to get by.
I want to take charge of my life again and be positive. Quite often I think about other career choices, but have always been in love with CS (and math in my childhood, particularly due to them being intellectually challenging). Just want to make up for the time I lost, and want to do some things I am proud of. I often think of my life being pointless in last couple of years. And want to get a renewed sense of motivation and be excited for the things I work on.
I feel like joining a fast paced place or somewhere I can learn a lot (even outside of work) might help. Don't feel very happy about my current situation though.
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)?
Hey folks, I recently got promoted to L5 (Mid Level). Looking for any advice in general on how should I approach my work, what to look for etc. Any words of wisdom that people would like to share?
PS: Apologies if this sounds too generic. My intention is just to learn from other people's experiences. Any advice is welcomed.
I'm a support engineer in big data profile working in Amazon web services, and I'm looking to transition into a SDE role within the teams like Spark, Hadoop, Yarn EMR infrastructure, etc
At the same time I have been working hard on my promotion from L4 support engineer to L5 support engineer.
Given a scenario if I get promoted to L5 support engineer and later, down the line I also get L4 software engineer role within Amazon, should I take the SDE role at a downgraded level, should I look outside or what should be the best route?
Somebody I know has been working in Amazon BA and related positions for seven years, however they switched to SDE intern positions within Amazon. Do you think it is a wise move?
I am a newly hired Senior Software Engineer. I worked at FAANG before but have never been in a senior role. I am currently in week 3 of my new role. My manager gave me expectation to ramp up in 3 months but with very little further guidance. The codebase is huge with very little and mostly outdated documentation.
What do I need to do to ramp up as fast as possible and position myself for promotion to Staff within next 1-2 years? I read that there are people ramped up within 1 month into their jobs on Taro. Hope you can share your tips and tricks.
Some engineers like to code, some like to manage projects, some like to stay close to the users. Software Engineers come in all shapes and sizes.
What are the major archetypes of Software Engineers and how can one identify one's own archetype to double down and improve.
I have been chasing the SDE-3 promotion from last one year. It was denied in the year end review cycle in December.
In this cycle (Jan - June), I have ticked almost all the checkpoints as per the firm's SDE-3 competency matrix and I have a good amount of documentation around it as well which I have submitted to my manager.
I want to let my manager and skip (Director) know that I will leave if I am not promoted in this cycle as I don't think there are any negative data points against me.
Any suggestions about how should I subtly carry out this conversation?
I'm on a small team attached to a specific fund at a hedge fund (there are many different funds both in the main org and subsidiary orgs). Due to compliance reasons, my specific fund has been firewalled off from the main hedge fund so we don't have leaks and conflicts etc, and as a result our codebase and infra are entirely separate.
Generally, what can engineers do to grow if they've been placed on teams that operate outside the main engineering org? Is the solution just to transfer to the main org eventually?
Always been on the fence here whether an MBA helps me boost my visibility, help me learn more business skills and builds a well rounded profile than "you're just another average software engineer" which could help me get into management track and above faster than my peers?
In other industries, having an MBA is a requirement, but not so much in tech yet, apparently.
Happy to hear back thoughts form folks about this with some recommendations
I've seen advices here in Taro that seniors should make themselves very much replaceable so that when this senior is away, someone is able to cover for them and the team could do well, which makes sense.
I thought the fact that people found the advice to be helpful, shows that making yourself replaceable isn't something that's very intuitive the first time. Like if someone didn't read the advice, they probably wouldn't have optimized for that.
I'm not quite senior yet but just curious to understand the situation (and people) better - was this thinking assumes that the amount of scope is in hyper-growth phase? Are there cases where it isn't really applicable / optimal for them to do so (and so they don't make themselves replaceable, and still do well) - then wouldn't they just continue doing it and we can't really blame them? I feel it's rare that people would change their behavior unless they really understand why.
I have about 5 YOE and trying to grow from Senior -> Staff engineer but noticing that the path is taking longer than I'd hope.
This is the case whether I try to speak to other companies and ask about interviewing at that level or try to grow within my own company.
Within my own company: Requirements unclear, seems to be more time based (just keep on shipping). Since we're on the smaller side, we don't have a clearly defined structure like FAANG.
Externally: Due to the YOE, usually discussion of Staff isn't even an option even though I think I'm doing Staff level work. In fact, they usually decline the idea before even having a chance to explain what I'm working on.
The projects I'm working on span the entire org (startup), I have multiple mentees, and org-wide impact. I will be honest and say that I don't think the projects I work on are necessarily insanely technically complex (not going out to millions of users, dealing with hyper concurrency issues, or needing to deal with large scalability issues), but they do have a large amount of scope and senior+ level management required to run them.
I think from the project management perspective, I have things nailed down pretty well.
So I wonder if I'm either missing...
I'm essentially trying to understand what my gaps might be, and the technical aspect is one I'm unsure about how relevant it is.
Would appreciate any thoughts, especially from Staff+ engineers, maybe sharing what they feel makes them a Staff vs a Senior and how much technical skills play a role vs other elements.
Hello Taro community,
I hope you're all doing well. I have a question and would greatly appreciate your insights and guidance.
Background: I joined the company last year (ex-FAANG) as an L5 level and have been actively involved in developing internal tooling for a new product. Recently, while exploring our growth and levels documents, I came across our internal rubrics that outline the expectations at each level.
Situation: After identifying a gap between my current level and the staff level, I expressed my interest to my manager. As a result, I am now leading a team of five individuals in the endeavor of implementing automation tooling from scratch. This effort encompasses setting up everything related to automation.
While my background is primarily in development, I possess knowledge and experience in quality as well. Given the broad impact automation can have across the company, I am eager to leverage my expertise and make a significant contribution.
However, I am uncertain if my focus on quality within a developer role might put me at a disadvantage when aiming for a staff position as a developer.
I am seeking guidance on how to navigate the path towards a staff role, either by leading projects to completion (quality) within my team (& across) or by continuing to work on internal tooling rather than customer-facing products.
Or should I pivot to product development tasks - How do I navigate this conversation with my manager about this dilemma?
Lastly, how can I show metrics and impact?
I have 12+ years of experience and would like to move to management ladder. I have been working with my manager for over a year to get there.
Couple weeks ago I got to know that my manager is leaving the company. I am worried that with his departure all the effort I put in over the last one year would be wasted. My manager mentioned that he has recommended me as his potential replacement to his skip(Director) but he(manager) is not sure if the company will back-fill the position or not.
My departing manager gave me the following suggestions so that I stay on track with my career goals:
I have monthly skip level 1:1 & have mentioned this interest of mine(moving to management ladder) to him.
I am not sure how frequently should I talk to VP & HR as well as how to bring this career aspiration of mine to their notice. Should I have monthly sync's with VP & HR personnel too?
I am been working as a Senior software engineer for quite some time now. To move to the Staff level, one feedback/pointer I got was to start developing opinions on how to do certain things. When people start respecting your opinions, they start to see you as a leader.
The problem I have is, in many cases, I don't have enough relevant experience for the problem at hand. Also, I find, that in discussions I am listening more than I am speaking. Having no opinions, and finding it hard to express opinions for fear of being judged and losing respect in case my opinion is wrong, are the problems I am facing.
Is there any advice on how to develop these skills?
I have 10 years work experience, and I have previously worked at a FAANG that had no levels (big clue here!). So regardless of the scope of work, we were Senior. That kinda played at a disadvantage to me when I found my self looking for a job due to a layoff and visa issues.
I believe I am working at staff capacity, leading 5 folks, driving initiative. But I feel like I am unable to "show" Impact. We have metrics at each level. I have addressed the same with my manager, went over the metrics and identified gaps and took action.
I got lukewarm response, at best from other staff engineers and management. No idea if at all I will be considered for promo, and I get no response besides stating, it is a lagging promo.
Right now, I have no visa issues, so I can hop around other companies, I want to move back to a FAANG+ company because of higher pay.
Question is :
How do I ascertain my promotion?
and which of the following is a good bet:
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?
I was recently laid off from AWS. I see few open roles for SDE-1s but descent number for SDE-2 roles.
Should I study system design and apply for SDE-2 roles or focus on SDE-1 roles?
I have not studied for system design interviews. I estimate that I will need 2-3 months of studying before I can pass the interviews. My YOE is low for SDE2 and I might be wasting my time applying for SDE2.
Here is a breakdown of my experience:
My manager at AWS was telling me that I should apply for promo in the next few months (after finishing a project). I got laid off before I could apply.
Is there anything I can do now to make me stand out as an SDE2? For example, contributing to open source. I want to try being an entreprenuer but I know few ventures make more money than working at FAANG so maybe it's not a good idea.
I'm looking to level up and am currently designated as an SWE-2, where I take end-to-end responsibility for an Android app. I have a couple of juniors who report to me. I also took responsibility for writing backend APIs.
I even led a feature using guidelines of system design playlist and made a brag journal for promotions.
What are the exact behaviors to become one level up as SWE-3 (Mid-level)?
I see many experienced developers finding flaws in the existing architecture and also refactoring them to make it much better. I don't think I have yet gained the ability to identify loop holes in complex projects. However, I am able to fix issues if someone else calls them out pretty quickly.
How can I improve on this? What are some good resources to develop this skill?
I've reached a point in my life where I believe I can live off my salary comfortably and start a family. I work at a startup that doesn't have levels but I was told this was the equivalent of a mid-level engineer. For the longest time, I wanted to make X amount of money so I can provide for my family. With my current salary, there is still room to grow but I don't have the same ambition I had with trying to get promoted. I am more focused on learning new concepts, building new apps and just having a solid work-life balance.
I would still consider myself early in my career 4 years of experience. Would you recommend I try to level up to a manager or any advice on what you would recommend as the next step?
I'm imagining a 2x2 matrix where one side has work-hard/not work-hard and the other has advance/don't-advance in career.
I think it's safe to say that one box has very few people in it: not work-hard and advance. I'm sure there are people who don't work-hard and get promoted, but these people must have something that gets them promoted such as great communication skills and the ability to sell themselves, so at least in that sense, they are unique and productive.
I would think most software engineers would fall into the work-hard/don't-advance block because they focus on the wrong things. In my view, you either want to be in the not-work-hard/don't-advance block or the work-hard/advance block, since the don't work-hard/advance block is not available for most people.
My question is, is the way to get to those 2 blocks effectively the same in terms of the skill sets needed, and moving between them purely a matter of quantity or effort? That is, in order to get by at a job where I would be content to just do the necessary work and then go home, I need to learn to be productive in a short amount of time, and then if I decide that I actually do want to advance, I only need to ramp up on the time or effort I put into applying those fundamental skills?
Hopefully this question makes sense.
I joined my team as a new grad engineer a year back. Recently, in my 1:1 conversation with EM, he brought up talks about a promotion to next level and a plan to execute it in next couple of months.
Although, I think I am getting better in my current level, I don’t wish to take on added responsibilities of next level from this year, due to some personal problems.
My question is, how can I communicate this to my EM without coming across as someone who is not willing to grow or worst an employee just quiet quitting?
Also, as someone who is new to the tech industry, what are the disadvantages of delaying your promotion?
tldr: My skip suggested that I come back with Promotion Doc ready by this Tuesday.
Context: My manager was let go in the reduction of force couple of months back and all 7 of us now report to skip. This is the first 1:1 I had with Skip .
She asked me if there is anything she can do as we are overburdened with work and stress is on the rise. In reply , I asked her suggestion on promotion conversations which stopped with my manager's departure. I am SWE L3 working in the team since Jan'22.
Question: I copied the ladder doc for L4 , but I am unable to make a solid doc out of it. Skip said I will have 5 minutes to present and if she likes my doc then she will put my name at the Promotion Board. Any best practices that I should follow?
I have covered the below in my promotion doc:
My previous manager never formally agreed to work on any promotion doc. He did agree that I am working at next level and was always happy with my work. I have watched multiple times, it is awesome!! Except for getting Manager work on a shared doc I have done some of the suggested items already.
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 am a senior software engineer working primarily in Python. I consider myself a pretty good coder, being able to solve problems and deliver software on time at the necessary SLA. I understand and have worked with the major Python web frameworks such as FastAPI, Flask, and Django.
But I see a lot of things lacking in myself. I am not able to handle algorithms very well, nor am I able to efficiently use design patterns.
I see that all of these skills are part of FAANG interviews and much sought after.
I also understand that there is Leetcode, HackerRank, CodeSignal and that help better ability.
What is the best way one can upskill self given the many options?
As the title says, I’m stuck as an entry level engineer in FAANG for almost 4 years now. I’ve been reflecting on what I’m doing wrong.
My first company I worked for 1 year and didn’t not like it because the lack of mentorship. I joined and my questions never got answered, the tech lead didn’t really care about giving mentorship, just gave me links and bug IDs. I was able to survive for 1 year but I left the company because I felt so lost. My manager mentioned that I was “on track” to getting promoted but I hated the culture.
Then worked for 1.9 years on another company, where I received awards for my projects and contributions. I did receive mentorship here, but I was not able to get promoted. At the end of the timeline my manager mentioned I was moving slower and slower. I was working as a full stack and I believe my error here was not playing my strengths, since every time I had to take another project it would be on a different area, such as server on a language I never used before. I had a few discussions with my tech lead and I felt I lost my team trust because they would give a lot of comments, and just get a lot feedback from other people. This kinda demoralized me and made it hard to keep working so I changed teams. My last team I worked for 8 months before getting laid off. Here I also received recognition for my projects. My first project I missed the deadline because the onboarding had nothing to do with my project. I integrated our tool with an external team, so most of the code base I worked was not even ours (the techlead and team didn’t have much knowledge). Then I was given another project where I was starting to get traction, onboarding and project matched, I had to ramp up again on the new tech stack and my manager was getting frustrated with me, my team was very helpful and I was slowly to become independent. I feel like people trusted me here and code reviews would go smooth this time, at the end I was finally getting positive feedback, but was affected by the layoffs. From reflecting, here is what I did wrong:
Not communicating well enough my work with my managers. Status updates I was blocked/learning and that would make me look slow.
Not very good mentorship, I feel like at the beginning I needed lots of 1:1 to be able to learn our teams codebase. Sometimes I got very good mentorship but not complete. So I learned well parts of the code base where the tech stack applied.
Switching projects too much, went from front end, full stack, server side with several languages. Every time I had to re learn a lot of new of the tech stack.
I did get several recognitions for my contribution with at least helps me think I’m not completely inadequate for the field.
I am looking for a new position, is there anything that could help me perform well as a mid engineer?
For me i am looking for promotions. I architected, led a staff level project successfully with 5 engineers working with me over a period of 5 months.
Nor one person had a bad thing to say about me or the project and everyone agrees it was a major step for our team.
To be fair, I had a troubled relationship with a principal engineer who namecalled me in a public meeting with my engineering manager in that meeting and I decided to stop talking to him (i would avoid going to meetings with him instead of confronting him)
The principal engineer gave my managers feedback that I am trying to hoard information.
Now my manager is giving me the feedback that I don't go along well with more senior engineers (which is not true, it is just 1 person). I was denied promotion even though more senior engineers than me who I led are getting promoted.
There is also some resume driven development going on at the management level and pe level which is what I was asking questions about.
This was the reason for strong resistance against me and product.
From my end I have tried to normalize my relationships. But it seems my hard work may be better rewarded elsewhere.
I don't want to say all this but am curious how would one let their managers know that they are looking outside within the company. The reason for letting them know is they will get an email when I apply internally.
I run into this from time to time where more Senior and Staff Engineers take interesting projects. I’m usually left with ones that take medium time and medium impact. How do I find projects for myself that expand my impact?
I recently changed teams(been over 4 weeks). The current team did not have a manager/sr. engg manager to report to, and everyone reported to an Sr. director. This sr. director reported to a VP in my org.
Unfortunately during a round of layoffs, our director got laid off. So, now imagine my team is "headless".
Our VP did mention that they will try to bring in someone interim. Say that happens, and I am able to make a good connection with this "new" but temporary manager, but after a few months, we get a "permanent" manager, my questions and/or concerns around these are
Some more information about me:
YOE: 6+ this is what has been killing me from inside, 6+ yoe, and stuck on Level-2, I agree things were not hunky dory with me(been through a lot of personal s***), and couldn't focus on this side of my life.
I agree this is my mistake, but I know myself, and I know I can make it work,I can push myself and make it work, but asking for a guidance is all.
Appreciate you all for reading till the end, can't thank this community especially Rahul,and Alex.
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'm defining a career path for my company, and don't know where to start. I would like to see how Meta, Google are doing this so that I can tailor to match my smaller company.
In your experience, as you moved up the IC levels or through your experiences with others, how important do you think it is to be connected within your org to move up as a IC?
If so, how does one go about this and is there a way to quantify/measure this?
For this upcoming half, I'm working in four different areas: reliability, sourcing, delivery, and datastore table. It just seems like it's too much and I'm not building any depth? Feels like I won't be able to build expertise in anything and be unable to contribute as a good team member if I'm working on everything?
My TL has also informed me they are struggling to scope out work due to a lack of senior engineers. This has resulted in me getting menial tasks such as better engineering work and refactoring in some of these projects (i.e. delivery, sourcing, and reliability). It's great for my diff stats, but I want larger scope and less narrow work to be considered for E4. I'm discussing with EM, but the EM and TL seem like they are on different pages. I'm most interested in sourcing, but seniors are struggling to scope out work.
Any suggestions on what to do here? I feel a bit lost overall and I'm struggling to understand how to get scoped and larger non-menial project work. Should I involve my skip manager here? A couple of questions in this one question but appreciate all the help in advance.
In my last performance review, we discussed me being promoted to an engineering manager role because I'm already doing a considerable amount of what an engineering manager does. However, we had something big happen (good thing for the company but can't disclose yet) so we had to put this promotion on pause until everything settles down. It has been a couple of months since the undisclosable event and I haven't been able to get far in discussion with my supervisor about the promotion and setting a timeline. I could go elsewhere but I do like the company. Is it still too early?
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.
My manager told me in my 1:1 that he would like to see me working more independently. He had few points for me like utilize other engineers to unblock and have more discussions on team channel. I feel like I already work quite independently. I drive discussions on my own and involve stakeholders as needed. I speak out whenever I see any issue or I've something to contribute.
I'm trying to understand what can I do more here and show my manager I'm already doing what he's suggesting.
I'm in process for L5 promotion and I feel this feedback can negatively impact my chances.
What are common limiting beliefs that you all believe software engineers have that aren't true that typically cause them to hold themselves back or causes them to not progress as quickly as they'd like?
I would assume that at each stage there are some beliefs that we have that cause us to not progress, I am currently most interested in SDE2->Senior, but would also be interested in hearing other common limiting beliefs to progress past senior as well!
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!
I am doing backend engineering for last 5 years in small sized startups. I am doing relatively decent with good work/learning and good salary.
I am confused about future - since I have done bachelor’s only and that too from very very average tier 3 college in India so, do i need to go for masters from a reputed college to make my resume better for future. Is it even required to do masters or education from reputed college to grow in career or I am over thinking? Right now I don’t face any problem when I change companies but what about 10/15 years down the line. I am confused sometimes that do only skill matters or i need pedigree also to grow.
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’m considering leaving a startup because of 2 things I’ve seen on Taro:
2019 Goal of Joining a Startup
Learn a lot about how to be a good software engineer
Be an early employee at a startup that makes it big
Quickly become an Engineering Manager because I like working with people, helping others
2023 Thoughts on Staying as an Eng Manager or Joining Big Tech
Dream of being an EM, is happening on small start up scale with a growing number of reports who like my management so far
The dream is to be early at a unicorn and that is close, but
The new standard should be 10B not 1B
Doing this with a first job is not necessary and high risk
In 2-4 years I’d likely still be a engineering manager from a no-name startup
L5+ engineer in big tech may fit well with my personality right away based on Taro, where I love collaboration, helping people, product and technical challenges
Getting a 2 FAANG+ badges on my resume over the next 4 years would be more way more worth it than even a million dollar payout from a startup
Could have many doors opened for high level roles at startups OR faang depending on what I feel like at the time
Big tech stock offer may also easily be worth 1M in 4 years
Supportiveness of team
Maximum outcome (Risk)
Supportiveness of team +0
Work-life balance +7
Company prestige -1
Growth opportunities -3
Company ethics -2
Remote work +6
Product space -5
Technical space -5
Maximum outcome (Risk) -10
Taro priorities video is
150 people, 25 engineers (doubled from a year ago)
Fall 2021 had 50% investment at 250M valuation
Dec 2022 450M valuation
Revenue has since doubled in last year to 125M
Profitable per years with 20% gross margin
Not venture backed, so not expecting 20x growth
Estimated in 2-4 years to sell for 1-2B
How to evaluate a startup video
Current job stats
Team lead for a year after 2.5 years as Software Engineer
0.1% equity, 100k cash
18th employee, 4th engineer
Dream of being an early employee at a unicorn, seems close
Would lose all stock if I leave before acquisition/ipo
Biggest point for discussion: ***2-4 years of being manager at a small startup may not qualify me to be an EM in big tech***
190k cash, 350k stock over 4 years, 60k sign on bonus
Work life balance is supposed to be great
Great food, big tech lifestyle that I’ve always heard/dreamed about
Would work to be promoted to L5 in 1-2 years, then manager a year after that.
Being a new person at a fresh company sounds very exciting now, I know the business fully and the tech stack of the current place to the point where many things Ive see before and feel stale/boring
Based on my write up about values, priorities, liking collaboration, would I like being an IC L4 coming from being a manager where I have solid tech skills but strong soft skills that I enjoy using.
If I stay at the start up would I be able to get a big tech EM offer with 3-4 years of management experience at the start up? Note this question shows what I’m learning now as a manager.
Should I down level myself from L5 to L4 if I think I could get the offer at L5 but am not sure about the certainty of success? (Question asked separately )
I am currently on a team where I am assigned to work on a different area of the product(s) in each quarter as per the priorities of the leadership for that quarter. This has resulted in me gaining a good full-stack overview but not much depth on any specific components/technologies. I've been on this team for around 18 months right out of college but 80% of the technical work I've delivered till now has just been pattern-matching based on the existing code and infrastructure, although the outcomes have been impactful for the business. I feel like I'm not learning anything technically significant beyond company/product-specific knowledge which are not transferable to other companies. When I check out job postings from other companies for my level of experience, there always seems to be a focus on having expertise in some technology, which I can't confidently claim. This brings me to the following questions:
1. Should I stay at my current company? My career growth prospects seem great here as I have a very good reputation in my team and sibling teams, and have gotten very good feedback and visibility from managers and seniors. I also work as the lead developer for a legacy product which is not that robust and has hard-to-reproduce customer bugs, but the leadership has taken a renewed interest in adding new features to it, resulting in more potential scope for me. The main downside is low technical-learning as mentioned above, and I've heard this same remark being mentioned by senior engineers who have joined from other companies as well.
2. If I decide to switch companies, how do I bridge the lack of technical expertise that's expected for my level? When a recruiter views my resume, the technologies that I've used at work and as part of side-projects are all over the place, without a clear specialization. Although I'm confident that I can pick up these stacks without trouble on the job if needed, I feel underconfident in them in an interview setting.
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.
Hi all, recently during Q1 roadmapping I chose to move on to a new workstream from a growth/independence point of view as part of working my way up to E4. (My earlier effort was a 1->100, this one is 0->1 and was decided by me, my TL and EM together), and I had a couple of questions about this move.
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.
I worked on backend for 10+ years and was a Tech Lead before switching to iOS for the last 10+ years. I was offered an E6 position at a Big Tech company, but I asked to be down-leveled to E5 due to imposter syndrome since I mostly worked at smaller startups and didn't know what to expect. When Leadership later found out that I have backend experience, they started pushing me to do backend. Is it easier to get to E6 doing only iOS or doing both iOS and backend? I'm much faster coding iOS than backend since I know the Xcode shortcuts, a lot has changed in backend over the past decade (e.g., AWS, Kubernetes, etc.), etc.
Hi everyone, I have about 0 experience with machine learning and I'm thinking of ways to significantly increase my value in the future. My ideal plan is to get promoted to E5 in < 1 year and then change domains to ML (or ML Infra and work closely with ML engineers). I have almost 0 experience with ML directly, but I think they make much more money in the long run? I'm currently a backend software engineer.
Basically I want to know if it's worth investing my time & effort this or if it would be better to just eventually go for engineering management in the domain that I am already familiar with.
Manager and I have a disagreement on creating a promo doc as per the approach suggested by Rahul and Alex .
So to avoid losing the time I went ahead with working on a XFN project, say Project XFNA , as it has high visibility and chance of impact. Due to the complexity I had to spend lot more time on it than I initially estimated.
It meant putting 1 week time learning/testing a frontend framework , Angular and I am a backend developer and never done Frontend coding earlier.
What happened was.. my main project's progress ( say Projects B , which doesn't have impact opportunities in the short term) got delayed by a week , due to my focused attention on Project XFNA. I am Mid-Level Software Engineer [SDE 2] at Amazon.
I will need to defend my time on this project XFNA as I focused on it purely for delivering quick impacts. So can I say to my Mgr that I "I took this initiative to work on Project XFNA for showing impact in the short term". If not, how should I rephrase it?
I don't hate my job but not interested in overly performing as I am not happy with my compensation.
No motivation to prepare for interviews in the current market
I just want to do whatever is assigned to me. I have no leadership skills, no confidence. No motivation to put lot of efforts and make an impact due to low compensation to fix my leadership and communication issues. It typically takes 2.5-3 years to get promoted to next level as an average engineer like me. I have been stuck due to immigration issues. Manager has too many reportees. Hiring freeze everywhere.
Do you have any recommendation on what to do in this case?
I used to describe project in three sections:
Not every project is straight line. Some projects have lot of ambiguities and need lot of discussion to clear those ambiguities, certain features where we spend are de prioritized/removed, process challenges, changing direction/vision. How to explain all these as a story to express the complexity of the project by showing the challenges faced?
I’m currently relatively happy in my current role working on challenging problems, I like my technical peers and management and during my 3 years here I got promoted from entry level engineer to senior engineer (SD1 to SD3).
However, given the scope and impact I provide, it feels like I can potentially make ~100k more (50% increase) with a job hop talking to multiple recruiters.
The worry is that I lose the equity I built in my current role and be exposed to layoffs at the new company. Also, getting promoted to staff engineer for a similar compensation increase would probably take a while. I’m tempted to switch jobs to maximize compensation.
I'm aiming for a promotion in 5 months and to do that I've been told that I need to evidence execution on a few complex projects. As a team we're working on some big projects but I'm not sure how to approach identifying a sub-project, isolating and owning it.
Does anyone have any tips on this?
I got promoted last half to IC5 and have been leading impactful work streams within our team. I am enjoying my new role and work. In our last 1:1, my manager asked if I wanted to lead a very high priority org level initiative that has impact across multiple teams and suggested this could be a potential staff level project. While this is a great and unique opportunity for promotion, I am also nervous about taking this up because:
Wanted to get your thoughts on this and what you would do in my position? And if I say no, should I be worried about my manager passing me up for potential opportunities in the future? Thanks!
I have been at SDE 2 for a couple years now, and I feel like getting to SDE 3 is unnecessarily complicated. I've gone through multiple teams, and the recurring theme is that there isn't enough SDE 3 scope for me. You also need a lot of documentation (think 5+ pages) to show that you have the sufficient impact to deserve the promo, and that's really daunting as well. Any tips on how I can find that SDE 3 scope and navigate this senior promotion in general?
My goal is get promoted to senior [5A], and I'm currently working remotely. My manager is okay with me working remote only, but the promo committee might not be as Uber leadership overall is investing into RTO, and my team has gone back to the office for the most part. Do you think this will hurt my chances, and if so, any tips on how to navigate the situation?
I had a career discussion with my new manager during my one-on-one meeting. I did ask him if he is ready to put me up for promotion to senior software engineer. He said he will gather feedback and get back to me next week. In the following one-on-one discussion, he brought up a few points as feedback.
I am actually upset and demotivated. How can I handle this situation? How to move forward with my new manager regarding career discussion?
Like a lot of E5s, I'm working on a piece of my team's overall project roadmap, which is set by an E6 TL. The piece I own is less technically complex than other parts, but it is quite XFN heavy (great for people/direction contribution). I was wondering if this is still enough to get to E6 or do I need the higher technical complexity as well?
The setup on my team is pretty standard: There's an E6 tech lead that has broken up a big project into multiple pieces, and I own one of those pieces (and the rest of the pieces are owned by other E5s). I'm leading a couple engineers (<5), and I think they're E3/E4.
Zooming out, this seems like decent E5 scope, but I'm sure there's some gaps to turn it into E6 scope. The tricky part is that my org is pretty XFN heavy, so it's hard to get things added to the roadmap, and with the hiring freeze, it's hard to get more engineers onto my team to lead.
All that being said, what are some ways I can find staff scope in this situation?
I joined Meta as an E5, and now I'm looking to get to E6. I want to stay on the IC track, so my goal is concretely to get to E6 and stay there, not become an M1. I know that leadership is crucial for EMs, but is it the same for staff engineers at Meta? I'm currently leading <5 engineers who are probably E3/E4, and I'm wondering if I need to expand my leadership scope there.
I'm trying to get promoted to E5, and my progress so far has been decent. I'm doing well on all 4 axes, but I currently have a gap on the people axis (it's not Exceeds Expectations yet). I know that people/direction are very important for E5s, so I really want to get better here. I do things like give tech talks and mentor some rotational engineers, but it doesn't seem to be enough for an E5-level people contribution. What can I do to shore up this aspect of my performance?
I'm looking to get promoted to E4 in the next cycle, but I'm worried as my impact contribution isn't very clear. I've done a lot of work, but due to churn within my org (which includes a recent re-org), a good amount of my code isn't truly in production yet. I've documented my work in Quips and tasks to show that I did it, but I'm wondering if a lack of shipped impact will hold back my PSC.
I'm pushing for the E4 promotion in the next PSC cycle, and I've gotten some feedback that I could shore up my people axis contribution. Given that, I was wondering how important people is for this promo and how I can get points on this axis as a growing E3. People axis contribution seems harder given the hiring freezes (e.g. it's harder to be a bootcamp mentor) and the fact that the main intern season is over.
One of my core goals is to get to L5, which is senior at Target. However, I'm not entirely sure what is necessary to get to that next level - I've tried to get specifics from my manager, but their answers have been relatively vague. I was wondering if anyone could share more concrete attributes of what a strong senior engineer looks like.
A lot of examples of growing to Staff are more oriented around less technical fundamental/soft skills, including the examples in Taro. However, I'm unsure how to find this scope in my team, and I don't think that kind of behavior works to get to Staff at Apple overall. I spend ~90% of my time coding, and the culture is more top-down at Apple compared to a company like Meta.
Given all that, how can it be possible for me to grow to Staff? Are there paths to Staff that are heavily technical?
I'm currently an IC4, which is mid-level at Coinbase, and my goal now is to grow to IC5, which is Senior Software Engineer. I know on Taro that creating a growth plan is important, so I was wondering how exactly I could do that. Does it make sense to have a 2-year plan since that's a fast but still reasonable amount of time to make this jump?
I'm a pretty new SDE 2, and I know that the SDE 2 -> SDE 3 promotion is really difficult at Amazon. Given that, I would like to start working on this promotion as soon as possible. However, I'm new, so I don't want to make things weird for my manager and I. When does it make sense for me to bring up this topic of promotion and start working on a growth plan with my manager?
Question: "For being promoted from SWE I to SWE II, how do I take the behaviors my company has associated with each role (below) and make that more concrete for a growth plan, taking into account the changing & flexible timelines startups have?"
For context, I already have weekly one-on-ones with my manager (who is new at being a manager & is also my mentor), and a growth plan (that I created with him) that roughly outlines (meets most expectations, meets expectations and exceeds expectations for my role). Additionally, keep in mind I work at a startup w/ <30 people so highly specific concrete goals set on a particular date can change in 2-3 weeks as priorities change. Also, my company has defined a series of behaviors as to what each SWE level should be able to accomplish. Here it is.
Software Engineer I (<1 year - 2 years)
Software Engineer II (2-6Years+)
I recently had a conversation about promotion with my manager. It seems I am primed to move from L2 -> L3 which I am happy about, but I was more curious on making the bigger jump to senior as that’s when the scope and responsibility become greater. According to him I already demonstrate senior level qualities whether it’s being completely reliable in shipping features, scoping out work and planning projects, to working with engineers outside my team to work on broad initiatives to benefit the whole org. All of which I have already done to some extent.
I asked him after I move to L3 and prepare for senior if the years of xp is still a hard requirement and he said yes. And that being a senior after 3/4 years in the industry is a bit quick and needs at least 5-7. In that case if the years of xp is so important, should I even operate at a senior for 2 years if I can’t even be considered for it until some arbitrary time has passed? It seems like extra effort to be paid the same.
It seems at Apple that getting promoted past ICT4 can take ages. My manager has 3x my YOE and many reports, but we're both ICT4. There is no leveling rubric that I can find, so it's unclear to me what differentiates an ICT5 from an ICT4 here. I'm thinking it might even just be worth abandoning the promo goal for the duration I work here, then aim to be hired into a promo at the next gig in a few years.
In the previous cycle, I wanted to be promoted to senior, but my manager stepped in relatively late into the process to let me know that my promo packet had gaps. Because of this, I wasn't put up for promotion and I'm still at SW2.
This all caught me completely off-guard, and my goal is to make sure this doesn't happen again in the next performance review cycle. How can I make sure that my manager and I are completely aligned going into the next promotion process, and I'm not hit with any last minute surprises?
If your organisation is not promoting you, what can be the possible reasons? Does it make sense for one to join another organisation at a higher level or is it a recipe for failure?
I am joining Amazon soon as SDE 2. At my previous job, I was a higher end SDE1. I have owned small internal services at my previous job. I would like to know what are some of the things that can be expected from me as SDE 2 @ Amazon ? I am expecting more ownership, but is that the only thing? I did ask the same question to my manager but he seemed very chill about it and said that he cannot say anything at the moment, maybe in our 1:1s we can discuss more clearly. Also, if you can let me know how the expectations vary across levels for Junior and Mid level and what can I do to hit the ground running and create a good impression from the very start, that'd be great. I am sure that you must have seen various E3 / E4s at Meta. If you can relate to what exactly was the difference that you saw, that'll be super helpful.
I recently accepted an offer as a full-stack developer for Atlassian (P4). I have about 2 years of experience.
My first company was about 12 people (all engineers, no teams) and my current company is about 400 people (about 20 engineers, with my team size being 5 people). The team I'm moving to at Atlassian has about 100 engineers in total, and the team I will be on should have around 10 engineers I have been told. The hiring manager said that the teams are made up mostly of mid-level and senior engineers.
What can I do to make sure I get up to speed in ample time and be able to make an impact? I would like to become very career focused starting with this job and focus on advancement. My main concern is that maybe my experience in only smaller teams at smaller companies will cause friction for me as it will be a big adjustment.
I am trying to get promoted to Lead Software Engineer, which relates to an E5 level at Meta, if I am not wrong. I have seen several engineers in my organisation coast at the current level I am.
I wanted to understand if there are some key things I should be doing in order to perform at a Tech Lead level, so that I am promoted to one as well. This would be a bit long question, but please bear with me.
Following are some of the things highlighted in a few discussions:
Another aspect is that my team would be getting changed soon due to organisational requirements. Given that, How do I make sure I am on the right trajectory to getting promoted ? (One thing on top of my mind is that I would be asking for junior engineers whom I can work with and try uplifting, alongside asking for opportunities/projects that would have large visibility and impact.)
Do you have any other advice for me?
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?
My main goal right now is to level up, and that next level for me is making the jump from junior to mid-level, hopefully within 2-3 years. To better understand the evolutions I need to make, what are the main differences between junior and mid-level when it comes to SWE?
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?
Something I want to get more efficient at is promotion trajectory, and team selection is a big part of that. If I were to switch teams, how can I find one that's important for the business and has a good amount of L5 scope? My goal is to move up to L5 soon and have scope to start making progress to L6 as well afterwards.
My first order priority is to ship great projects and have a strong narrative behind them, one that can help in future interviews when switching companies. Does it make sense to also pursue promotion (a move to Staff in my case) as a core goal? I know that this promotion can take a while, and I've been told Etsy falls under this bucket as well.
I've been a senior engineer for a while, so I would like to start making real progress towards that level. I see a lot of other engineers in the company making it to Staff or an equivalent level, and I'm wondering what I can do to make that same level up.
At Microsoft, basic criteria for promotion is to deliver at next level consistently. Example: At L62, i need to work and deliver at L63s work level standards.
I've been at mid-level for a while, so I want to level up to senior quickly. However, I'm not really sure what I need to do to make this jump - The feedback across my manager and engineering mentors has been good.
My goal is to level up to senior, but it's tricky as I'm not getting the feedback on how to bridge the gap. I have other engineers in the org as mentors, but I haven't been able to get areas of improvement from them. I don't get a lot of comments on code review anymore either - It seems to be going fine there alongside everything else.
I recently got feedback from my manager, and they mentioned that to start making progress to E6, I need to come up with new initiatives, which are big projects spanning across multiple teams. This is especially important for us as our team works in a way where we need to come up with the roadmap more on our own in a bottoms-up fashion.
This feedback is one of the core pillars I want to focus on going forward, but it's hard to make it actionable. What can I concretely do to start coming up with these projects?
My goal is to level up to Staff someday, and I feel like I've gotten a lot of very high-level advice and examples that are hard to directly apply. What are some detailed examples of Staff level projects, and what about the execution/behaviors made them Staff?
I'm currently SE2 in my company, which is the earlier side of mid-level and am trying to make progress to SE3 and then senior engineer. Knowing that, how can I start making headway towards that SE3 promo? Do I need to be able to draw the line between my work and business impact?
I've been on ~5 teams during my ~4 years at Meta, and I'm wondering if I need a mindset shift when it comes to choosing a team and staying there. Is it more on Meta that teams don't fit or should I make a bigger effort to stay on teams longer and establish myself there? I'm also looking to get to E6 someday, so the team switching makes things tricky.
I'm a new E4, so I obviously have promotion on my mind. I have a good amount of experience coming into Meta (~5 YOE), so I want to move more aggressively with this promotion. If I work 40-45 hours per work with very good work ethic, what's a reasonable target to hit for the E5 promo?
I've found other resources in Taro about and , but I was hoping I could get a more nuanced and clearer response for my situation.
I got feedback from my manager that I can do more to increase the scope of my influence within the company, and this involves getting more recognition and visibility from leadership for my projects. How can I do this?
I have worked at Meta my entire career (~5 years). I know that Meta is pretty "startup-ey" among the Big Tech companies, but I imagine that it can't mimic startups entirely and there's unique learning value startups can offer. Does switching to startups give big value to career development?
I'm considering a team switch, but I'm wary of the effect that it will have on my E3 -> E4 promotion timeline, which I know we have to do within 2 years. I've been at Meta for around a half - Does the timing for a switch work out here and what other factors should I consider?
Let’s say 2 companies give you different levels, but the compensation is the same. Is it better to have the lower level to have lower expectations? Zooming out, how should I think about level and its overall importance across my career.
In my effort to grow my scope as an engineer (and get promoted), I’ve constantly hit the same weak spot - not “working through others” enough.
I’m always happy to identify problems and solve them, but as a relatively inexperienced engineer compared to the rest of my team, I feel uncomfortable pushing work onto others, as I often am not sure my ideas will even be fruitful.
This issue is exacerbated by the fact that my team skews very senior and I don’t feel comfortable/qualified working through them.
How should I approach this problem?
I’m an electronics and communications engineer, I’ve been working in low-level software and hardware. I want to understand other domains – other technical teams and also dipping into PM strategy. I think this is limiting my growth in Amazon.
I'm an Android engineer working on an infra team, and like every other Meta E4, I am working towards the E5 promotion. Because of this, I'm spending a good amount of time building up the non-coding skills needed for the people/direction axis, doing things like XFN alignment and project management.
My question is how "all-in" should I go developing these behaviors: How much of an engineering excellence commitment do I still need to maintain? How often should I still be landing diffs?
I recently joined Meta, and I'm aware of "up-or-out". However, I would like to more deeply understand how it works and have a better mental map of the entire thing in general.
How long do Meta SWEs overall take to go from E3 to E4 and then E4 to E5?
I'm currently a mid-level engineer, and I've already made a good amount of progress towards senior. However, I'm looking to change teams as I don't like the work too much on my current team, and I want to minimize the progress "loss" as much as possible in my new team by finding one that sets me up well for the mid-level -> senior promotion.
What’s a good team composition for this? Do you just want a good mix of all levels? What other factors besides team composition should I look for when it comes to evaluating a team on this axis?
I’m currently a relatively new senior engineer at Pinterest trying to get to staff engineer. The area where I need the most help is the direction axis of the next level. How can I meaningfully shape the vision for a decent project?
I'm going to be joining Google soon, and my current approach is just to come in and stabilize as a solid L4. Over time, I’ll assess my situation and see how I should pursue leveling up. I would like to grow (i.e. eventually make it to L5), but I’m not in a huge rush - I don’t think I want to set a very concrete goal like “I want to get promoted from L4 to L5 in 1.5 years”. Thoughts?
I have some doubt around my ability to capitalize on my work and opportunities to get the recognition and credit I deserve. How can I make sure that I’m doing this properly, so I’m properly leveled and promoted over time?
Here are some of the things I’m doing to achieve this:
For additional context, I’m working on a big refactoring effort to move the company’s Perl codebase to Java. Is there anything I can specifically do there to get the maximum amount of points?
They recently rolled out the Booking Career Framework, creating itemized lists on the expectations for each level, so I know what it takes to get promoted. I'm 70% - 80% that I'll get it in the next performance review cycle, but I have some concerns.
My main concern is that Booking doesn't have a lot of space to grow, evident by the fact that I spend ~50% of my time on the company's migration effort to move from Perl to Java. The effort for this started in 2014 and is around 30% done. It's not a super high company priority according to my manager, but my team spends a lot of time on it, which worries my prospects about finding scope with better business impact.
On the flip side, I had Java experience coming into Booking, so I am well-equipped for this migration work. For example, I was able to solve a deep image loading issue recently that required a strong understanding of default Perl behavior.
I heard from Tech Career Growth sessions that promotion is a main indicator. Is that the best one or are there other ways to identify if you’re truly becoming a better software engineer?
Here's the experience I have so far with leadership:
And here's more details about my current team: