Episode 295: Underleveled at FAANG and lazy tech lead

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Love the podcast, love the banter and jokes, keep up the great work! Now, for my predicament:

    Good news: I just got my first job at a FAANG! Bad news: I’m coming in at the lowest level of software engineering despite being in my mid-30’s and nearly 10 years of non-FAANG experience.

    Given that it is my first Big Tech™ company, I understand being down-leveled, but I did not expect to be downleveled THIS much. I’m glad to have finally “hit the big leagues”, but I’m not thrilled that I’m on equal footing with a fresh college graduate. Hurt feelings aside, what is the best Soft Skills advice on how to catch up to the mid-30’s engineers who joined a FAANG fresh out of college? My plan is to tell my aspirations to my manager once I start and see how they can help me perform as well as possible in order to promote quickly, but I can see how that might come off as greedy or entitled. What do you think?

  2. Should I do anything about a lazy tech lead?

    Since covid and working from home, my tech lead went from a frantic micromanager to a lazy coaster.

    They seem to do 1-2 hours of work per day. They set their slack status to ‘away’ so you can’t tell if they are at their desk or not. They’ve stopped coding completely, but we have an excellent PM so there isn’t much else for them to do. Sometimes during stand-up you can clearly hear them driving their car. Even asking them for help/advice on slack can mean several hours waiting for a response.

    Management hasn’t noticed because we are a large team who all work really hard, so the feature output is still high.

    My dilemma: do I count myself lucky that they are no longer micromanaging and keep my mouth shut? Better the devil you know etc. Or, do I gather some evidence and tell their boss? I could be learning so much more from an engaged tech lead, and the team might feel less toxic.

    Final doozy: due to some incredible stock market gains I have some heavy golden handcuffs so #1 priority is keeping my own job and not creating an enemy that gets me fired.

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