Team Selection

Team Selection

The first step to career growth is to choose a good team that works for you and your goals. The career advice here teaches you how to do just that.

Dead end job role at Apple?

Mid-Level Software Engineer [ICT3] at Apple profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer [ICT3] at Apple


I have 6 years of experience in the software engineering field, mostly working as a software consultant and at not well known startups. Having done MSc in the field AI, I got an offer to interview with Apple for an interesting role that seemed to have the best from 2 worlds - Software Engineering & AI/ML. To my surprise, after 6 interviews over the span of 2 months and an emotional rollercoaster, I got the job at ICT3 level and moved to another country. I thought I might be underleveled at first, but I kept thinking I actually don’t have experience in AI/ML so they’re levelling me as ICT3 must be right, I also don’t feel like a senior yet.

The situation I’m in now at work is very frustrating and disappointing to me, because of the following :

  • I’m still onboarding after 9 months in, without being in a senior role. There is no serious documentation, I have to “network” in a forced manner, to find out vital information for an engineer like “do we have 2 prod environments and when do releases happen”.
  • up until now I have not received any tasks or projects to sharpen my skills or keep the ones I worked hard for so far
  • I had to beg for 8 months to be included in a project, the explanation was “we’re in the planning stage, we’re waiting for OKs to get started”
  • I get neither serious SWE experience from this, nor ML/AI related one.
  • Over the past month, after telling my manager I would apply for other jobs if this situation (not participating in anything palpable - just meetings) did not change, they finally moved me to another team that’s closest to SWE that this role can get.
  • in the new team, they advertised this project that would mostly be backend work in Go. It turns out the codebase belonged to another team and the role that I’m in, does not imply bettering/maintaining their codebase or adding new features, it’s mostly data hillclimbing and adding some strings in the right places, so super humiliating after having prepared from DSA , system design & design patterns
  • I don’t get to touch any AI/ML models yet or work with them, because I don’t have experience with AI/ML
  • My manager is a new manager and has half the experience in the field as I do. I talked to him about my disappointment of being so undervalued and his take on this is, I first have to learn the tech stack to participate in “more advanced” projects. However my male colleagues, who joined the company a few months earlier than me, have been given more responsibility faster (participating in 2-3 projects after aprox. 6 months in)
  • Time spent in the office is not productive at all, I can’t do focused work there at all. People chat and socialise all the time in the open spaced office we all work in and there are at least 60 people working there. This forces me to work overtime & during weekends, to achieve deadlines for the project and to learn the needed tech stack
  • I’m starting to feel trapped in this job because it’s consuming my time, including my free time and I’m actually worried that if I continue like this without coding, participating in code reviews & other healthy SWE practices I’ll get out of hand and have a hard time getting another software engineering job or staying relevant in the industry
  • Maybe what I’m experiencing in this particular branch of Apple is unusual for FANG or even other Apple jobs and would be grateful for others’ opinions on this situation.
Show more
1 Comment
10 days ago

To FAANG or not to FAANG?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I live in orange county, CA. I have about 30 years of tech experience where I was a software engineer for most of these 30 years. I also had couple of jobs as manager leading a team of software engineers. For last 5 years, I have been working as a senior software support engineer for a local company here in Orange County, CA.

So I would rather be software engineer than be in a support role where I just do mindless support of enterprise software. And its not very challenging either. So when I started working for this company, 5 years ago, I started to teach myself angular and typescript. Worked on a project and deployed it live on the website and learnt a lot. And really enjoyed programming.

But then 1 year ago, I started applying for actual jobs in angular programming and got zero response. Zero emails from the companies. Zero interviews from the companies. That was very scary. So a friend who works at Microsoft, advised to prepare and apply for SWE job at Microsoft. She mentioned that MS would not care about lack of my latest/greatest experience. If I pass the coding interview, I have a good chance event to get an entry level SWE job which is better than what I am doing these days.

Another reason I would like to work at MS, is that all my 30 years I have worked for midsize companies. I would like to work at MS because I will be surrounded by really smart engineers and people.

I am lucky to have a job, Pay the bills and have health insurance for me and my family. A year ago I started the interview prep, leet code, algoexpert etc. But then for some reason for last 4 months, its really hard for me to study. May be its my age. May be I get very tired after all day of work, and just watch mindless TV and eat sugary snacks and waste my time and health away.

When I used to work on my angular skill sets I was really energized. I had small tasks already in my queue. I could easily get in the flow when programming.

But My highest priority right now is to get a job at Microsoft as a SWE so that I have job part taken care of. Then after that I could work on side projects so that is why I am focused on interview prep but that is not dopaminergic for me. If I work on interview Prep and work on a side project, that could be distracting and not very focused effort (I think)

I feel depressed about my career. Some of my friends are directors, VPs, CIOs for medium to large companies. Here I am still angling for mediocre DEV jobs.

Any how, here at Taro, I would like to meet, interact with engineers, and really find my passion back.

I would really like to join a mastermind here at Taro, where I could hangout with engineers where we could have a conference all once or twice a month, motivate each other, etc.

Thanks for reading..

Show more
a month ago

Feel like I lost a lot of my time at my current company

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

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.

Show more
2 months ago

Taking a Learning Break/Upskilling to get the role you want - How to think about it?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I’ve seen questions recently about people wondering whether to pursue an MBA of a CS Masters which comes at the expense of either maintaining your current tech job or searching for a new one. My question is slightly different: When is it worth taking a learning sabbatical if ever?

By learning sabbatical, I mean I have seen people put on LinkedIn that they did quit their jobs to do a bootcamp in some field (Mobile, Blockchain, etc) or even just self-study on their own. I have a coworker who’s a business analyst and told me he’s quitting to do a data science bootcamp. Doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, but not my decision.

I think the general rule people follow is to have a job while looking for one, particularly in this economy. Still, I’m wondering about what circumstances actually warrant quitting a job to invest in getting one in a different field. Obviously being in a toxic environment is the best reason to get out of a current job. Similarly, if you really need the money, you probably can’t leave the job.

So let’s assume that neither is the case. You don’t need the money and the environment is positive, but you’re really not doing what you’re passionate about and feel like every day you are missing learning cool stuff. Say you’re a business analyst and want to become a data scientist or backend software engineer. An obvious move is to try and switch into these roles within your current company. But if you can’t do that, how to think about taking a learning break?

Show more
1 Comment
3 months ago

Should I consider switching teams?

Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Pinterest profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Pinterest

I work as an ML Engineer at a company, and I have been part of my team for two years. Unfortunately, the product I was solely responsible for got canceled due to external reasons, even though it was showing good growth. Throughout my career, I have specialized in creating recommendation systems for online content platforms.

Currently, I am involved in less impactful tasks related to migrating our systems. We hope to find more meaningful work in the future, but I'm unsure if our team can achieve significant growth. While my manager sees value in me, I am not considered the best player on the team.

Recently, I learned that the Ads department is actively seeking to hire experienced ML engineers, possibly even seniors. They have ambitious goals and are eager to develop new solutions to reach them. I attended their hiring meeting, and the ML director spoke passionately about the work, which felt risky but exciting.

Part of me believes I should join this team. The expectations would be higher, and the company genuinely values their work. It would provide a greater challenge, and I believe such situations are crucial for personal growth and improvement. Additionally, working in a different department would expose me to different organizational dynamics. In my current team, I'm increasingly feeling complacent and lack inspiration.

On the other hand, part of me thinks I should remain with my current team. I don't dislike my manager, which is not always the case in every job. My current team is also important, and I have respect for my colleagues. If I stick it out, there's a chance I might come across something interesting eventually. However, switching teams would mean losing the relationships I've built and potentially delaying promotion opportunities. Moreover, there are concerns about possible layoffs, so it might be safer to be conservative.

Do you have any thoughts on this matter?

Show more
4 months ago

Should I just accept the job offers I get offered?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Should I just accept the job offers I get offered rather than chasing the jobs offers which don't pay attention to me? I've kind of had this mindset that I should have a nice linkedin profile, and then just work on my craft and participating in the community. I'll apply to the big/medium sized tech companies I wished that I worked for, and if they accept me, great, and if they don't, well I have tons of stuff to do anyways and my current job is fine so it's whatever. Eventually my skills will be so sharp that the cool companies will reply to me, right?

Is this a reasonable approach? Or am I tricking myself here? Should I be more deliberate in my job hunting process even though I'm not really trying to run away from my job?

I'm a fullstack engineer, mostly focused on frontend. On my sparetime, I try to build web apps with the stack that I'm currently familiar with, hoping that they could attract some users. I try to learn about software patterns and tooling that the community recommend, and I try to learn more about cloud infrastructure so I can ship projects (including my own) more easily. Besides this, I participate in my tech community by doing some talks and attending meetups.

I don't dislike my current job, but I feel ready to take on a new challenge. At the same time, I don't know if most people who work in big tech follows a similar recipe that I'm trying to follow. I guess there's no magic formula. I tell friends and family that I'm trying to get into big tech, and I catch myself repeating myself about my plans every time I see them. I graduated university a couple of years ago, so I'm still somewhat new to the industry, but it still makes me question myself if what I'm doing is right, if it's completely wrong, or if I'm just being unpatient.

What should I do? Double down and try to improve my chances of getting replies from the current companies I apply to, or lower my expectations? Or is the answer just based on how much more effort I'm willing to put into it?

Show more
1 Comment
5 months ago

Advice for someone looking to switch jobs to a Senior Engineer at tier II or tier I tech company?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Continuing from the post here:

Would the suggestions in that post be different for my scenario? I have added my details below.

I have a total 12 years of work experience. Currently, I am a SDE II at a fintech company. I have worked at this company for 3 years now and had 3 managers in past 3 years. At my current company, I am being asked to constantly move from one project to another every 6 months. For the last 6 - 7 years I have been working on mostly frontend engineering, including hands-on experience in Angular, React, and Backbone JavaScript libraries. I am looking to make a job switch as a Senior Frontend engineer.

I know that to get to the Senior level, I have to show influence at high levels. After reading the answer to some of the questions in the community, I am not able to decide whether I should focus on building web projects or should I start building an Android app. The advantage of choosing a web project is that I already have expertise in modern frontend frameworks. My initial years of experience is in legacy backend systems(mainframes) which I think is not of much use now in Silicon valley companies.

As far as my interest level goes, I am very much inclined toward the web. But I know that app development is definitely something that helps to attract users to your product. I am a bit lost on what I should invest my time on. Considering that I have 12+ years of experience, should I do both? Will doing both Android and web both open a lot more opportunities for me?

Should I focus on building something where I can show the impact with the number of users rather than thinking about the platform (android or web) for which I start building my side projects. Should I even care about doing side projects considering I have 10+ years of work experience?

Should I target full-stack roles instead of front-end roles?

Looking for suggestions. Apologies if this question comes out as too broad and not very clear. I am open for discussion if that can help to narrow down the response.

Current TC: 220 - 240K

Show more
Editor's Choice
5 months ago

What is the best way to let my management know I am looking for internal transfer?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

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.

Show more
1 Comment
7 months ago

Should I join the new team along with my manager?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Hi all,

Due to recent changes in the company (Big Tech), my current manager is moving to a new org and a new manager is brought to manage the team. I really respect my manager and they were amazing at supporting me (helped me grow from E3 to E5 in 2 years).

They mentioned the new team has an opening and mentioned that I'd be welcome to join if I wanted to. The new team is our company's top priority and based on initial understanding, their work sounds very interesting to me. Here are some pros and cons I could think of:

Not Changing Team:

  • Pro- I have great relationships with IC6s on the team and also junior engineers.
  • Pro- I know the codebase well and scope is well defined.
  • Con- Been working in this space for 2+ years and feel slightly bored sometimes. Skillset also becomes stagnant.
  • Con- Manager mentioned hard to find IC6 scope in the org moving forward.

Changing Team:

  • Pro- Will continue the same manager, who I have a great relationship with.
  • Pro- Exciting new space and top company priority.
  • Pro- Manager considers me as high IC5 and mentioned potential IC6 growth opportunities-(although since manager hasn't joined the new team yet- so I should take this with a grain of salt).
  • Con- Having to ramp up to a new team as an IC5 (seems a little risky considering layoffs).
  • Con- Unknowns like work life balance, team friendliness, team success etc.

Considering these, I am planning to talk to the senior manager in the new org to evaluate their team and vision. Since this is a unique situation, how should I approach choosing between the two? What kind of questions should I ask? Thanks a lot!

Show more
7 months ago

Need help to figure out what is next?

Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta profile pic
Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta

Some background about my experience. I have overall 10 years of experience out of which first 3 years was in Service based company in India and then 6 years at Amazon/AWS and around 9 months at Meta. I got promoted to Sr. position almost 3 years ago and have been working as Sr. Engineer since then.

Since few months before my promotion I am feeling bit burnt out. Promotion came after lot of hard work and honestly the compensation increment was totally underwhelming. So I interviewed and switched and comp increase was really good but I am not liking work culture now. This made me sort of realize few things:

  1. Promotion and level don’t actually mean much. I feel like I am part of a rat race and trying to prove my worth to someone who can whimsically just say yay or nay. This is extremely demotivating.
  2. Early days of my career were great, I was making good money and learning ton of new stuff. However, now I realized that most of the stuff I learned is not useful outside and I saved enough money to not feel the need to do job just because of money.
  3. It is not worth being loyal to one employer. Even though I changed companies for comp, my new employer (Meta) recently let go of lot of people. Some of them have been there for at least a decade. Plus the remaining of us are now in constant fear of layoff based on performance.

Now I want to get out of this job→money→stress→new job→money→stress cycle but don’t know how. I am planning to move back to India after few months and was hoping to start may be freelancing or some consulting work where I can control my time. I am more than happy to take a pay cut. So I started doing some research:

  1. Freelancing: Most of the jobs in freelancing are web development. I have lot of experience with backend and some experience with web development but I am nowhere close to the people on youtube/udemy. I can most certainly build stuff but have no experience to show for and I am not sure if I’ll be able to find any work whatsoever 😟.
  2. Consulting: Everybody suggests to build a network and then you can find work through them. My network is mostly SDEs in FAANG who I’ve already talked to. Most of them told me, dude if we know about such work we’ll jump ship as well, but they have nothing. One of my jobs was to build cloud services so I know how to build them at scale. But I have less experience in how to use them, so even if I do certifications I am not sure I’ll be able to find work on this area.

Now last option for me is to find a job which pays less and have less stress which will be okay. I can most certainly say screw it and not worry about getting promoted. But then I don’t know if that’ll be satisfactory, it’ll be more like I accepted defeat and ducked out of rat race but I still have no direction to go on.

Sorry if this all sounds like a rant, but I would love to have some guidance from people who have been in similar situation. What did you guys do and do you have any suggestions for me?

Show more
1 Comment
14 days ago

Should I leave my startup after 3 years for big tech?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I’m considering leaving a startup because of 2 things I’ve seen on Taro:

  1. faang+ as a long term investment in your career
  2. .

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

    • I like not just spending 80% of my time heads down coding and that may be possible and expected right away in big tech, no need to be a manager
  • 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

Priorities 2019

  • Supportiveness of team

  • Growth opportunities

  • Company prestige

  • Maximum outcome (Risk)

  • Compensation

  • Company ethics

  • Product space

  • Technical space

  • Work-life balance

  • Level/title

  • Benefits

  • Location

  • Stability

  • Remote work

Priorities 2023

  • Supportiveness of team +0

  • Work-life balance +7

  • Compensation +2

  • Company prestige -1

  • Growth opportunities -3

  • Stability +7

  • Company ethics -2

  • Remote work +6

  • Level/title +1

  • Benefits +1

  • Location +1

  • Product space -5

  • Technical space -5

  • Maximum outcome (Risk) -10

Taro priorities video is

Startup Stats

  • 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

  • Growing industry

  • 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***

FAANG+ Offer

  • L4 equivalent

  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 )

Show more
9 months ago

How to manage politics from more senior engineering folks?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Hi all

I recently joined an organization as a senior where I was made tech lead within 3 months of joining. This was somewhat related to recognition of my work among product and my peers.

I advocated for good engineering practices such as automated integration testing and established projects for cross org collaborations to help deliver whats important for the organization.

All of this was quickly realized as a super critical projects by the organization. I created tech specs and prototypes for these projects.

However recently the organization hired a principal engineer.

since he was new I volunteered to help him onboard and asked for his advice on the new super business critical project that was next in our todo team pipeline. He is an ambitious guy so he wants to create his mark in the organization.

But for some reason the way he is approaching it doesn't seem right to me.

He plans to create a new team taking over the business critical project while splitting the newly formed team I lead on the same project that I helped him ramp up on.

I opposed to this asking for rationale for a new team.

there seem to be now two impressions of my work:-

  1. held by my peers, folks I lead and product manager of good business delivery and product timelines. I am respected among both.

  2. the principal Engineer tries to devalue my work in front of senior engg. Leadership saying things like I am overcommitting and under delivering if I do this project with the existing members of my team in public and in front of senior engg leadership.

The automated integration testing project which no one was doing before and we were starting from a basic version to iterate on. This is now communicated to engg management as every team is trying to do their own testing.

My engg management for some reason is siding with him since he has 15-20 years of experience and i have 5. He also is principal and i am 2-3 levels below him.

for some reason I am being micromanaged with no fault of mine.

From engg management perspective I have been just told to lead the project that I am currently leading and just help the team formed by principal engg to start the project.

I have communicated my expectations of being able to continue leading the project. Product is in support of that but engg managment isnt.

I have also tried giving feedback to the principal engineer that his actions are disruptive to the team and becauase of what he is doing he is slowing us down and blocking us from doing critical projects.

My worry is despite doing the hard work the project I have the most context on and I worked on for a while is being given to someone else and second i will not be given credit for the hard work I am doing.

Should I just change teams. I dont want to leave my existing team because I do think they need me but I feel I would rather create more impact where I dont have to swim against the tide. I may also be suffering from sunken cost fallacy here where I knew I led the development of a new critical project

Tia for your help.

Show more
9 months ago

How to prioritize Growth vs. Technical Learning?

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Citrix profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Citrix

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.

Show more
9 months ago

Is there a tactic to finding jobs/companies to apply to?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I feel like I'm doing this wrong. When I want to see what jobs are available, I go on LinkedIn, hit the "jobs" tab, type in "frontend jobs", and scroll through the search results. But that's often unproductive because nothing looks enticing. I scroll past companies that I don't know (because I assume the pay or the benefits will be mediocre), past companies that I've heard negative things about (which is a lot of them), and then I'm left with no options at all.

I wanted to work for a FAANG company, but after all the layoffs and hearing stories from my friends who have boring work and teams, constantly feel anxiety around their jobs, and feel like code monkeys, I am a bit turned off from applying to FAANG-type companies. I work for a well-known fintech company now but I don't have a good manager and the upcoming changes in upper management don't look promising. Plus, I've been here for 3+ years and I want to know how other companies operate, know more people, and just learn more within software engineering too.

Here's what I'm looking for

  • great team (a team I can learn lots from, I get along with, and have folks who care for me as a person). I've had this before so I know this is not an impossible ask
  • innovative work
  • great manager
  • good health insurance/benefits (such as vacation)
  • good work-life balance

Location doesn't matter and I'm ok with a remote job too. One tactic I thought of was to look up "great places to work" and apply to companies from that list.

But in general, how should I look for jobs and companies to apply to when I'm not targeting a specific company? Plus, is applying to FAANG level companies worth it for the resume boost and the experience?

Appreciate any insight into this! Thanks!

Show more
1 Like
1 Comment
9 months ago

Moving to AI/ML from web development?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Hey guys. Hope everyone is doing well. Also using AI/ML as an umbrella term throughout - feel free to correct if needed.


Senior Web Developer. Initially started from Software Development. Developed passion for Web Development and made the move. Worked my way up to Senior position. 70% backend, 30% frontend. Currently 80-90% IC, rest managerial responsibilities. 9.5 years overall. Changed companies over time. Been in various industries.


Going back and forth about moving into AI/ML. Motivation - high interest and demand. Fear - leaving web development skills behind.

My Current Solution:

Ask reputable sources about AI/ML day to days and job responsibilities. Lots of it seems to be marketing and all that glitters is not gold.

If all checks out and my passion is rooted in evidence then I would like to take few Stanford machine learning courses online. Once fundamentals are solid would like to go for masters degree in applied machine intelligence or similar. Start looking for jobs.


  • Since this is one of my reputable sources - would you please describe a day to day/job responsibilities for an AI/ML engineer?
  • Granted everything checks out - do you think going for Masters makes sense? Given that finances and time is not the problem.
  • Would you say I have to leave a large portion of web development skills behind when making the move? What are some of the transferables?
  • Would I have to start as an entry engineer? Do you think Masters helps here? Ultimately I would have to pass the interviews but then there is applying for the position and being considered for it afterwards.

These are all the questions I could think of. Apologize for the length, but thought it would be helpful to give context. Please feel free to include anything else you deem helpful. Much appreciated and Happy holidays.

Show more
Editor's Choice
9 days ago

How to navigate switching teams when working on a project that's dragging on?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I'm an E5 mobile engineer at a Big Tech company. Due to lots of manager attrition, I currently report to a hands-off Director with too many reports to have regular 1:1s. I found an awesome EM who agreed to let me join his team and promised me E6-scope projects on his team. My Director is his skip-level, so I'm staying in the same org.

However, before I could make the official team switch, my TPM loaned me to another team lacking mobile resources to meet the TPM's own OKR. He did not bother talking to the awesome EM or me beforehand. My scope on the TPM's project is E5 at most. Now that project is dragging on. It's already code complete, but they want to keep me on that project until it's fully rolled out. We're waiting for mobile adoption to reach a certain threshold before we can do a force upgrade. Due to the code chill around the upcoming holidays, we likely can't do the force upgrade until next year. In the meantime, the project's EM is asking me to investigate pre-existing bugs in their feature. The awesome EM met with the TPM and that project's EM to fast-track my transfer, explaining that he needs me for Q1 planning & our team's own OKRs, but the latter two insisted that I need to support their project until it's completely done, which includes the force upgrade. Am I stuck on this project until January next year or is there a way to switch teams more quickly?

Show more
1 Comment
3 months ago

How do I move ahead in my career?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Background: I studied Bachelor's in computer science from a Tier 3 college in India and joined a reputed early-stage startup (Bay Area based) as an Operations Manager in India. I worked there for two years, and during that, I got exposure to technology. I gained tech skills by myself and moved to another startup as a Backend Developer.

I have been working as a Backend Developer for the last five years. All the companies I have worked for and left were in the early stage, so until now, I didn’t progress much in my career and still hold the designation of Software Engineer. I am earning and learning decently in Dubai, but I feel like stuck and not moving forward as I don’t see my future, at least in the current startup. I work as an Individual contributor, and management is pretty naive here.

I don’t understand what to do to move ahead from here:

  • I don’t feel much enthusiasm for engineering as my other colleagues and friends feel, so I feel like doing MBA and trying Product Management. But I am also not sure as I have already changed my career path once, and I am already 30 years old, so, not sure if doing it is a good idea or not. It's costly as well, so not sure it's a good investment. My wife is also doing an MBA, so I feel maybe FOMO is causing me to try it and get out of this zone.
  • One question that keeps me curious is why most of the engineers who are already working in Engineering don’t go for MBA.
  • Another option I feel is to try a Master's in computer science as its relatively cheaper than MBA also, I have been doing tech for the past five years so it can be a supportive degree, but I don’t love tech so much that I want to spend whole life in it, so I feel may b its also not a good idea.
  • I have a very limited professional circle as I have worked in very small startups and studied at Tier-3 college, so I feel like MBA/MS can help.
  • I feel like maybe I can also try FAANG instead of MBA and MS and see what happens from there, but I like my current work with elixir and enjoy it, so I don’t feel much happiness while doing preparation.
  • Also, I feel it's been three years here. We are two backend developers here, and we have good money. I get decent work with Elixir. I can stay here at the same startup, and maybe I will grow in future here only, which I strongly feel will not happen.

So, this is the problem I don’t understand where to go in my career from here. I am sure, for one thing, I want to try my startup again (I have tried twice, once in college and once a year back and closed before it started) in future.

Show more
1 Like
7 months ago

Should I make a career path or just be open to interesting positions?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I don't really know what I want to do in my career. I finished university one year ago, and I work as a full stack engineer right now, and I'm quite interested in ML. I'm more frontend-facing right now, but I see low returns on spending too much time learning new frontend frameworks my entire career. I'm more interested in becoming a well-rounded engineer, so I feel that there would be higher returns on digging down into the backend more. I have been looking at trying to join some big tech company as a backend engineer, but I just went on an interview for a small tech company which does quite alot of ML with the hopes that they were looking for another ML engineer. Instead they presented me with a broad-scoped data engineer role which sounded pretty cool.

My strategy up until this point has just been to find cool roles where I get to learn useful stuff as an engineer from people who are way smarter than me. Sometimes I think "If I would make a startup, would this skill come in handy?" Is that a poor framework? Should I have a plan? I don't even know if I ever want to make a startup lol. I'm interested in joining big tech, but other than that I'm not really sure. I just enjoy building stuff, and I see this as an opportunity of learning data engineering really well (which I don't know very well), but that is perhaps not a wise career choice? Any guidance on how to think as a new grad is appreciated lol.

Show more
1 Comment
10 months ago