May 23 194 Comments
TOP 194 Comments
- Google AIMLOKmoreYou know it's politics when doing the right thing isn't the optimal thing.
- Politics is when your superiors get positive credit for shit they don't really know and when they don't get noticed for how little they really know.
- Intel / Eng CoryPIs there a lot of that at Google? I got the impression that overall the politics were pretty lighthearted compared to other companies.
- Google todamoonif you're lucky, you won't see much of it. if you're unlucky, you'll know what it is very quickly.
- Microsoft scarypandapolitics is a skill that you need to master if you want to grow in your career
- Sorry, but I don't agree.
It really depends on what individuals perceive "growing" as.
- power/position/title for some,
- money for the most,
- sense of accomplishment or learning for some (also harshly categorized as losers by bullies).
Without politics, many things can be achieved in life, but not everyone has liberty to do what they love.
- For power, position, title as LaCroix mentioned it helps you navigate and doing it with respect is paramount as it requires leadership ... but for money, accomplishment, etc ... fuck politics ... just do you (and maybe transfer to a company that values you more for being you — proper culture fit helps here)
There was another post somewhere about mission/product vs comp/culture in regards to Elon Musk. Gives you another perspective ...
- Do what is right for the job. Do not argue with people. Be nice with everybody. Do not spend time trying to catch attention of VP/Exec. Do not cheap talk or talk in the back of people. This is how you stay out of politics.
- Sometimes you have to be a vocal advocate for yourself, even to get fair credit. On the one hand, If you’re doing the right thing then you should also not shirk from standing up for yourself/ looking to safeguard your own work. OTOH Sadly this sometimes turns into a slippery slope.May 24 4
- Capital One NightMarch@mNueH or maybe you should be a decent human being who's life's value isn't validated by how much money they make and how much s***t they can talk on anonymous digital platforms. This disgusting sentiment is literally what is wrong with the world today and yeah... I work at a bank.May 24 8
- First level manages who don't write code. Get out if this applies to you.
- Agree with digitalocean, maybe the manger can do code reviews if he has enough time, but no point in sharing the coding burden, the point is he will always be distracted and pulled out of context, so his managerial code will be crap, but all others will be nice and play along, without pointing him to his mistakes (the manager will simply lack the time to understand all code base, so his code will be correct at small scale and wrong for long term and large scale)May 26 1
- A line manager who is newly promoted from IC and is filling the “technical lead manager” type role might be expected to code, but if they are progressing in their career, they should stop coding after 6 months - 1 year. If they are still coding, they are likely not focused on their managerial/leadership duties. Of course, this depends on the size of the company, the kind or product/service, the politics of the company, etc. but in my experience, managers who code tend not to be good managers. It’s even worse if they had an inexperienced leader tell them they had to code, so then they try to do both and can’t focus on their managerial responsibilities in a way that shelters their team and ensures that they are getting everything they need to succeed, including developing their skills and careers, org efficiency, recruiting/hiring, performance management, etc.May 29 1
- “First line managers that don't write code can't make ad-hoc techically decisions that shield their team.” First of all, first line managers shouldn’t be making ad-hoc technical decisions. Perhaps this makes sense in an org where great coders and architects get promoted to manager as part of a career path, but I think that companies like Salesforce have it right by differentiating managers and ICs. Your principal and very senior ICs should be making technical decisions that shield your team, while the manager should be navigating organizational processes in a way that shields the team, either by getting the resources they need, keeping them from doing more work than they can handle, or getting impediments out of the way. If that first line manager was an experienced engineer themselves, then they will need to learn to delegate and coach their reports on how to keep them up to date on what’s relevant for them to do their job and ensure the team’s success. That is the huge challenge at every level of management. And team members who see their manager as someone who (by nature of being technical) should absorb what they are doing by osmosis after being in meetings all day (not practical) should think about why org structure exists. They should learn about the different roles and responsibilities of each role and level that fits together to make an organization successful.May 29 3
- Navy Federal Credit Union / IT mastiCoding and managing are two different disciplines. Being a great coder should not be a prerequisite for being a manager. That being said a front line managers should understand what their people do. For a code team that means understanding programming. That does not mean that they should be expert coders or write code. You can’t effectively lead a team if you don’t understand what they do, you may be able compensate for your deficit in other ways or your team may be able to, but either way you will not be able to serve your team in an optimal fashion. As you move to more senior levels of management the coding skills do become less though.Jun 3 0
- Uber MandrakesI would avoid to an extreme to engage in gossip. Do not ask about it, don’t comment, don’t listen. Just keep doing what you think is right. Try to understand why people disagree with you. Speak the truth when asked, and try to be kind. You’ll be fine.
- Amazon / Eng bingmingHave you ever seen a project done in a very complicated manner then all of the sudden the engineer that led that project gets promoted? That’s corporate politics
- Politics is finding synergy across orgs and bringing awareness to those realities through the lens of the customer.
Then ruthlessly working to eliminate those who would rather have stagnant fiefdoms than work towards customer outcomes through leverage aligned with overall strategy.
- Happy to be wrong on the latter. Too many eng interview candidates lately that lack fundamentals :p (Python rules though).
Was just picking apart your incorrect word choice of option. Cynical humor begets cynical humor.
Good people do politics so others can do their job with minimal fuckery and fight against duplicate and/or lazy efforts around the company (if it is inside the same group or worse product then things are well fucked). People "failing upwards" is what causes so much political turmoil.
- Politics is when someone does the work and someone else takes the credit. Politics is when one deserves promotion but the other lazy one gets the promotion. Politics is when you are forced to follow your senior despite you having all evidences that your opinion is the right one. Politics is when the culture promotes people based on "who" you know rather than "what" you know. Politics reminds me of toxic Walmart environment in Bentonville Arkansas. It kills creativity, kills innovation, kills enthusiasm, and leaves your company with filthy political people good for nothing!
- I wish I knew. I became victim of politics and eventually just found a better place to work, where I'm more challenged, and more learned because of solving those tough problems. Honestly, you can't change the company culture. You can just do yourself a favor and find a new job!
- Google g4nduI cannot recommend this book enough to identify the most common "power play" politics and how you can protect against it. https://amzn.to/2HzsRIl
- In general, understand peoples wants needs goals motivations, do not assume they will be selfless and team oriented, and notice how their actions result in outcomes for themselves or particular others. Learn the rules of the game, and take whatever actions needed to keep yourself out of it (if you prefer to remain “clean”). Try to keep your soul alive though if you can — this means both not yielding to temptation and not getting into the habit of expecting/assuming ill intent on the part of others. Act as if everyone is honest but be prepared to defend yourself and your interests within the realms of integrity.
- Er what?
I meant the above to be practical advice for those inclined towards notions of idealism (like op appears to be, and like myself), not necessarily to reflect any personal trauma or bitterness :) I’ve had my share of shitty situations but not too hung up about any of it luckily.
- Politics is anything that doesn’t involve getting something done that clearly benefits the business. Scenarios that there are justification for but maybe you disagree with don’t count—politics is the stuff that you spot when nearly everyone who isn’t political looks at it and says, in disbelief, “what is this” or “why would we do that.”
Politics is empire building, reorgs that appear to have no meaningful business purpose, people getting promoted for things other than merit, people who get crapped on despite doing a good job, people who take credit for things they did not do, brown nosing superiors, intentional complexity when simplicity will suffice or be better, change for the sake of change, perpetuating or implementing bad processes, and making decisions that don’t put the company first.
Rise above the BS and do what you think is right. If doing that gets you in trouble, it’s time to move on to somewhere where there is less BS.
- I agree that people sometimes have to play that game even when they don’t want to and that having people protect their directs and chain of command below them is very helpful.
The best line of command is having two or three levels above you of people who know how to play the game if needed but operate in a “no BS” mode by default. I hate politics because it’s a monumental waste of my time but when people play it with me, I play as dirty but by the book as possible so they know not to even try next time.
- Amazon BigglesIf you think you are bad at politics, remain an IC, and get your promotions by switching jobs.
Also, don’t worry about your neighbors TC being higher than yours, just whether yours is enough.
90% of politics is now gone.
You’ll be happier that way.