I’ve always found levels at Microsoft as a very confusing to outsiders. So let me tell you one or two things. Don’t ever accept an L59 offer unless you’re a new college hire with no industry internship experience. It’s a scam. The expectations at L59 are can you clone a repo; can you check in code which doesn’t cause a service to go down. As a pm can you follow instructions and communicate things without sounding like a bumbling idiot.
Hiring folks with 2-3 years work experience at 59 is shameful and disgusting. Many returning interns come in at 60. Handful really amazing and incredible interns who have been at Microsoft for 2-3 summers come in at even L61.
Another point: you can get promoted every 6 months at Lower levels (below 63). If anyone tells you otherwise they’re lying. (I know folks who’ve done this.)
You can get promoted a level Year even at higher levels. People go from 65-68 in 3 years. Granted this is very very hard and you need to seek projects that have the scope. (I know folks who have done this.) I’m caving in and adding timelines of cases where it’s not 0.001%. Folks get to Partner in 12-15 years. (10 years is a very very rare). Folks spend 6-8 years trying to get from 65-68. (3 years is a point on the graph you’ll remove to get a curve). Now 6-8 years to L65 is not very unheard of. (Very few have done this in 4)
If you have worked at product firm anywhere in the world and someone tells you I don’t account for non usa work ex tell them to shove it. Really shameful and disgusting again. (Know folks who told them to shove it and came in at a level higher)
Feel free to ask me questions around leveling. Happy to help.
So, by your logic, everyone should be VP by 10 yoe. Am I right?