Context switching nearly daily

New / Eng
TechLeed

New Eng

PRE
Amazon
TechLeedmore
Apr 4 21 Comments

I'm not sure if it's having two managers or the fact I've been employed for 2 months but haven't worked on the same thing for more than a week.

I'm almost at the breaking point because people expect me to ramp up to these projects every single week and be the miracle boi and fix all the problems.

Sometimes I feel it isn't worth living out here for the jobs. Can't get into any FANG companies and startups always underpay. Can maybe anyone take time to help me out? Or at least leave some comments about how to actually progress in this career?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 21 Comments
  • Aetna / Product J_4fun
    That is the real world for you, miracle boi
    Apr 4 11
    • Aetna / Product J_4fun
      I’m a PM, so I deal with the ever changing client requirements directly every single day, which is why I work my ass off to protect my dev from being exposed to turbulence. Sounds like your product person has some issues to figure out...
      Apr 4
    • Yeah you are a pm. The level of complexity is 100 time less. The work of a pm is very basic and doesn't go more in depth than talking to costumers and getting surface Level requirements. That's probably why you cannot understand how bad it is to change context all the time.

      I have been a manager, engineer and pm. And unfortunately I think that it's that bad because some bad managers//PMs don't realize how bad it is for technical engineers to switch, because they don't have the same issue in their basic management job.
      Apr 4
    • Aetna / Product J_4fun
      Lol good luck miracle boi.. you’ve been a PM doesn’t meant you were a good one, especially when you think PM work is “basic”
      Apr 4
    • You probably think yourself as a genius and as a leader of your field. Being a pm is stressful but the complexity of the job is very low. It's all comon sense
      Not very surprising since most PMs are ex engineers that couldn't take it or weren't good at it to start with.
      Apr 4
    • Aetna / Product J_4fun
      Thank god I don’t work with you.. maybe your attitude is why your PM treat you like shit..
      Apr 5
    • Maybe time for you to go back to your job and call your engineers miracle boi?
      Apr 5
    • Aetna / Product J_4fun
      Well, when I call my dev that I’ll mean it with zero sarcasm 🙃
      Apr 5
    • Tip from an old pm: they are NOT your devs, they don't report to you and don't owe you anything. There is that egocentric view for specific PMs that think they are the boss and everyone needs to do what they say. It ruins it for everyone
      Apr 5
    • Aetna / Product J_4fun
      Aww now you’re projecting your past incompetence on me.. but still, thanks the for lesson that I don’t need
      Apr 5
    • You need it based on how you talk. You are welcome
      Apr 5
  • Lyft wonkaa
    Be the miracle boi? This industry rewards people who are comfortable in ever changing situations. If you aren’t comfortable with a small startup join a T2 company and then transition to a FANG. Message people on LinkedIn, ask coworkers for recs and talk to people at other companies. Then us them for referrals, they’ll do it happily for the referral money.
    Apr 4 6
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      New Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      OP
      I understand ever changing. Maybe if I explain the scope of tasks.

      Come in on Monday and you start working on what you were doing Friday, the CTO messages you to change and check this other system and optimize it.

      Next the original owner of the thing you were working on tells you it's urgent to get this done by tomorrow. What needs to be done? You need to optimize a 300 line SQL query that has 50 database functions and triggers which all expect certain formats of data. You also need to check and fix all of our repos for your changes.

      Wait, the CTO comes back and says you're the only one available and you need to start working on this other major platform that handles encryption for all of the company. You need to harden and secure the entire project and make it scalable to handle our increasing load. This is top priority atm.

      Another product lead needs this event notification publish right now because we our users are complaining about getting too many emails. Disabling it is not an option says product (it is). You need to have this done by EOD.

      Oh the CTO noticed some graphs having large numbers and sends a link to you. Hey can you look into this? Our system is going to be hurting soon and our product is going to stop working and making money if you don't figure out what's going on.

      Wait again, the junior dev needs help maintaining this repo and the CTO said I needed to train him. Oh his code is awful.

      HR just assigned you some coding interviews to conduct which has had a 100% failure rate so far (low quality candidate). Just sprinkle those around.

      Did I mention you have a mandatory 20 minute standup every morning, and every week you have an hour mid-sprint planning and a 2 hour sprint planning every week? Oops the people team decided to book a nice big block of time during the week that you must attend for culture reasons.

      I think there is a limit of how often "changing situations" before it's so detrimental to actually make any progress. All repos are written by different people because of turnover, partial refactoring, partial rewrites. Split across clouds during migration rather than biting the bullet (can't find time because something else is important)
      Apr 4
    • Barclays PLC FAANGHNTER
      Your company has no process. We here run sprints and such adhoc requests come through JIRA and time is allotted. OR you are always firefighting because the team is understaffed.
      Apr 4
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      New Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      OP
      We're also understaffed and the engineers we have aren't the best of quality and our junior engineers are pretty 👎

      Basically anything that's too difficult goes to me or the lead and we're both busy trying to keep the company revenue up. If I could choose what to work on we'd already be in a better place.
      Apr 4
    • Why would Fang be the end goal dream company? Are you putting them again on a pedestal ?
      Apr 4
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

      BIO
      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      Tell the other managers that the CTO told you that X was your top priority, and to take it up with the CTO.
      Apr 4
    • Lyft wonkaa
      I’d echo the person from Barclays. Your team has no process. This is an opportunity to help establish some and bring sanity to your life.

      Explain what’s going on to the CTO, and come to him with a plan for how some processes being added will help streamline the work by protecting your time and ability to focus on a smaller set of projects at a time.

      The other option is to complain to the end of time and feel like you’re going to burn out in 2 months.
      Apr 5
  • Castlight Health whaaaaaat
    Congratulations, you're being forced to learn how to become an engineering manager. Not the people under you part, but the managing up, communication, process definition, and balancing part. Nobody likes learning this in a startup environment but it's valuable experience. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. (Based on your description of the work env, your company acts like a startup even if it isn't one)
    Apr 5 0
  • miracle boi...haha, reminds me of sk8er boi song.
    Apr 4 0