What does it take to be a tech leader very senior engineer at Google?

Splunk mbf4
Oct 21, 2018 5 Comments

I've read over the years about the promotion process at Google and the higher expectations between levels.

I also understand that it's more senior-level that it takes more than just raw technical talent but instead has some other soft components. I think I might have an idea what they are but they're pretty abstract. I have had terrible terrible mentorship in my career and at Splunk all I really do is fix bugs and I keep trying to fix that and do more but it never seems to go anywhere.

So what non Tech things are very senior tech leads expected to do? How does one get a head? What are the expectations? Could you give me more concrete examples?


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TOP 5 Comments
  • Facebook Bladyblahb
    For a start, start doing something beyond fixing bugs. Think about what the business needs and contribute. Exceed expectations or redefine expectations.

    When someone files the tenth bug of "this complicated function still returns an incorrect value in some cases," understand the business case and, if possible, decommission the need for the value entirely.

    When someone comes to you with "this ten year old million loc app is too slow, please make it faster," find the case where the entire codebase can be thrown say and replaced with a more modern off the shelf app/library/whatever.

    Present a poc for a new product or system that, if invested in, could save money or increase revenue significantly. Figure out how to pitch it in a way that senior people want what you've proposed and are willing to allocate more resources to what you've proposed. Make sure it's aligned with high level company goals.

    Be influential. Express sensible technical views in ways that make everyone want your input before proceeding on a project.

    Mentor junior developers. Get involved in hiring. Introduce best practices. Review everyone's code. Continue to learn new things so you have ideas to contribute.
    Oct 21, 2018 0
  • Disney dietbuddha
    Take the opportunity to think more deeply about why the defect exists. What could have been done different from a development, design, deployment and process perspective? It is this broadly proactive posture and view of the big picture that makes for good leads and leaders.
    Oct 21, 2018 0
  • New inbed
    Check out http://levels.fyi, a lot of the time it’s a good amount of experience coupled with leadership, proactiveness
    Oct 22, 2018 0
  • Google loveyoumom
    Be a product manager
    Oct 21, 2018 0
  • New Hayran
    If you have just fixed bugs then you probably don’t know enough. You only learn good development when you design and develop a large product from scratch.

    My suggestion is that you try and get into management ASAP.
    Oct 21, 2018 0