Team is like the wild west

Jan 20 80 Comments

So I joined MSFT recent as a senior engineer. Since then I have noticed things which I need a bit more help in understanding...

Team structure : I am the senior most person in the team, everyone else is either software engineer 2 or below. Manager is also senior engineering lead.

Observations: no one in the team seems to care about code reviews, they just approve each other code without looking at all, the mutual understanding seems to be that they trust each other completely. However, the PRe often have bugs, rather severe bugs. And the attitude seems to be, to send subsequent PRs to fix.

No one tests any code it goes straight from dev box to prod. Zero, unit tests, zero functional tests, zero Integration tests, zero flighting.

If I comment on a PR it is completely ignored, or the dev would tell me, they don't have the time to fix it in this PR, perhaps in the next one it will be fixed. Ofcourse it never is.

There seem to be no notion of 'team' here, all invividual warriors fighting their ways, like the wild wild west.

No one seems to care of design as well, just write code and if it doesn't work, then yank it out.

Now I don't want to play grandpa here, but I was hired telling me that I will be the senior guy in the team who will help with design guidance etc.

No one listens to me, and no one gives a fuck about design or quality.

Manager seems to actually play along with it all, hence I say I can't play grumpy grandpa and complain to him all the time.

To me, it looks like a disfunctional team, or is it so in all of FAANG?

I am leetcoding again need to get the fuck outta here.

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TOP 80 Comments
  • Amazon HdYQ81
    PM me. My teams working on some awesome shit and we’re looking for real seniors. Could probably get you a solid bump up in TC
    Jan 20 10
    • Amazon HdYQ81
      Of course I disagree but respect your opinion. Was just wondering why anyone would stick around with those thoughts. Wishing you the best of luck!
      Jan 20
    • We can agree to disagree. I know better because I was at a team of 20 in our org where there was a high bar for entry...in 2 years we quadrupled in size and now we have a lot of mediocre engineers, PMs, and business folks who are causing a lot of stress.

      I spoke to our PE who has been here for 15 years and he says it's part of the cycle. Any time a team scales at Amazon, a ton of stress and dysfunctionality come with that. He's been through several of these cycles.

      Switching teams simply delays the inevitable.
      Jan 20
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    Are they all from the same country?
    Jan 20 7
    • Broadcom Ltd. hbyh36
      Hardware or software?
      Jan 20
    • Microsoft / Eng tenida
      OP
      Software
      Jan 20
  • Cornerstone oLKV16
    Manager might promote you if you're willing to put your foot down stand up for testing. It's difficult, but not impossible to get these sorts of teams to take testing more seriously.

    Looks like a bunch of crappy developers managed to leetcode their way through the interview and land jobs at a Big N. It just goes to show how broken our interview process is that this kind of thing happens all the time.
    Jan 20 0
  • Qualcomm NqAf57
    Leave ASAP and learn to vet your potential new team better.
    Jan 20 6
    • Microsoft / Eng tenida
      OP
      Thank you. Since I am already focussing to move out, I will invest more on learning about this
      Jan 20
    • This reverse interview thing is amazing.
      Jan 20
  • Microsoft ayrbeu73$:
    Op - i wouldn’t bail, this is a great opportunity to learn to some leadership skills. I suggest following:

    1. Everyone on team needs to be behind you, so ignore some of the heavy-handed comments above.

    2. Put together some material (a ppt deck) that illustrates the problems - regressions introduced, pr comments ignored, non thorough reviews... Have some suggestions on how to address issues (eg, open bugs to track follow up on comments, add tasks to measure code coverage, introduce 1-page design docs and have reviews of them,...)

    3. Review above with your manager and see where his head is at. He needs to back you in this. Incorporate feedback.

    4. Review with your skip and see where his heads at.

    5. Review with the team informally 1:1. Incorporate feedback. Leave ppl feeling they’re part of solution. Try to find a couple of people that will support you.

    6. Roll out changes and hold people accountable.

    In my experience, if you have support of mgr and skip, then you can make this happen. Getting the jr folks on team to break bad habits may take a bit of time but you can get there.

    Sounds like this is the problem you were hired to solve so step up to the challenge!!
    Jan 20 4
    • It's nice in theory.
      In real world u get booted for rocking the boat.
      Jan 20
    • Amazon _Hokage_
      Who adds points for writing unit tests??? That's a given and I'm shocked that those MSFT devs haven't been chastised by senior devs for not writing tests.
      Jan 21
  • I was in a similar situation at a startup once.
    Sometimes people don't want regulations that make them work harder. Eventually they banded together and pushed me out. The manager supported it.
    I was hired to sort of tame the cats. But when I tried to impose the smallest things like a PR has to pass unit tests (most of which I had to write myself cuz I couldn't get PMs to include that as requirement in tickets) I was told we don't have time for code changes to pass unit tests cuz we have to deliver the feature. Guess I wasn't made to work at such startups.
    Jan 20 0
  • Microsoft 👋 was 🥰
    Which location ? Why don’t you talk to the manager and then the skip
    Jan 20 1
    • Microsoft / Eng tenida
      OP
      Redmond. Manager doesn't care, skip says he doesn't want to interfere, I should talk to the manager
      Jan 20
  • Redfin
    SgtGirth

    Redfin

    BIO
    s
    SgtGirthmore
    Welcome to being a senior engineer. Its not just about having the right answers. You need to figure out how to get your juniors to trust you. Lead by example and set a positive vision. Just complaining or telling people what to do isnt going to work. You can jump ship, but this is a challenge that you will likely encounter again at this level.
    Jan 20 0
  • Is this common at Microsoft? My impression was every dev was pretty much a SDET and tests were required.
    Jan 20 8
  • Oracle MlogN
    Ugh Very hard to actually to come in and change crappy well established habits when they even support each other. You'll have to put your foot down. Restrict merge permissions to you and some other senior most guys who care. Communicate and propose these changes in team meetings, to manager. Raise concerns so that atleast you have something to show for.

    This shit will hit the fan one fine day and ultimately you'll be most likely to take the blame because of being only senior dev.

    Ofcourse you'll get a lot of flak for changing things but that's why you are hired I guess.

    I was a part of such team and I am not senior either. It was a very new team in a established startup but the code was a mess and I had no authority having joined later than others. I left the company after two weeks.
    Jan 20 0

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