Snap Inc. is an American camera and social media company, founded on September 16, 2011, by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown based in Santa Monica, California.
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.
If you have a new manager joining to manage your team, how can you ramp them up quickly on all the work you have done before them, the impact you have generated, your role in the team.
One thing that I learnt in one of the taro videos is to choose the right project for the career growth. However, I lacked this kind of vision/ability to evaluate. What I can do to improve this weakness? Should I grow more engineering domain knowledge or should I take some business courses to further improve myself?
Currently, I have interviewed many companies and got many offers. However, I am struggling on what company/team to choose to maximize my potential impact and career growth in the future? What questions do I need to ask so that I will know better which team/company is best fit for me?
I started my career in a mid-level startup that was on the verge of IPO. I contributed a lot. Learnt a lot in terms of how to deliver big scale features relatively quickly, work within sharp deadlines, owning features and products. I was a high performer.
After 2 years of working in that company, I decided to switch to Big Tech for better compensation. While Snap is not exactly a Big Tech company, this is what I had in mind when switching.
I immediately started adding value in terms of delivering features and owning products. However, since I come from a mid-level startup, my soft skills are very weak. I am an excellent programmer, but I struggle writing Technical Design Docs. I deliver features quickly, but I don't know how to contribute to the spec sheets and writing launch emails, holding engineering sessions, efficiently using 1:1s. It feels like in my previous company, delivering features on time, writing quality code was enough to be a high performer, but seems like Big Tech requires a lot more. My manager's ex-Amazon, so he values tech docs a lot, and I feel like I am missing a huge opportunity here by not being good at them.
How do I adapt better to this work environment ?
I'm a new engineer at Snap, and my first month here is for onboarding. My team does internal tooling, and I have my first major project already lined up.
My manager said this should take an L4 engineer 1-2 months with a lot of help from the tech lead. This tech lead is a senior engineer pushing for promo.
The stack is a mix of Java, Go, and Python - I'm a back-end engineer on the team. However, I'm transitioning from a field that's pretty far from back-end. I'm wondering how I can make this transition as soon as possible and make sure I onboard well into the team?