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I started working in a FAANG company about 7 months ago as a software engineer II, and my team of 5 (including the manager who is also a tech lead) is onboarding a feature that requires engaging with other teams. Each person in my team is working with a separate team that does completely different things so we have to work individually in a silo.

Basically this setup:

OP -> teams that managed service A
colleague #1 -> teams that manage service B
colleague #2 -> teams that manage service C
colleague #3 -> teams that manage service D
manager -> knows very little about everything but does his best

I am already struggling with the project I am assigned to because I have to work independently and the Teams that manage service A are not very helpful nor responsive. For example, they see my message on Teams and I can see they saw my message but they don't reply. Last week colleague #3 quit the company abruptly (24h notice) so I and colleague #1 are asked to fill the gap. This means I have to learn about a different giant application and work on the stuff I am currently doing.

Before this job, I used to work in a collaborative environment with a team of 7-10 people who divided work and each project was about 6 months to a year. Am I being set up for failure? How can I help myself? Or is the situation beyond my ability. Working in a FAANG was my dream but I am not sure I like to stay in this environment or whether it's normal.

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    @JoeStrazzere: When I read that question with "whether it's normal", I think OP is asking if just finding a new job won't change anything because it's an industry norm so the next place will be just as problematic. Dec 3, 2021 at 19:08
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    @JoeStrazzere you sound so out of touch. It is not so easy to switch jobs and find a better job without having a bad mark on the resume. I appreciate your help.
    – Node.JS
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:09
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    @Node.JS how is the comment out of touch? You were the one who brought up that you aren't sure if you want to stay in the environment, so leaving is already a consideration. While you're correct that consistently trying to hop from job to job can be a bad mark on the resume, it is not at all uncommon for people to have one or two jobs with a short span on their records, especially if they can be explained as being a bad fit. Dec 3, 2021 at 19:46
  • @Joe wjy would they set somebody up for failure? Google " Unregretted Attrition Rate". The quotas are real.
    – user38290
    Dec 4, 2021 at 10:41
  • No. I'm not on pip
    – Node.JS
    Dec 4, 2021 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

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This sounds a lot like my experience when I worked at a FAANG (emphasis on the one that I worked for; there are 2 of them so it's ambiguous as to which one it was, but I think you can figure it out), and so I would say that it is normal for a FAANG, but not normal in general. The particular one that I worked for is notorious for overworking its employees, often with little guidance, and having very bad internal documentation so it takes forever to do anything unless you have been doing it for a while; the learning curve is upsettingly difficult and the assistance is woefully lacking.

If this was a normal company, I would say it is your manager's responsibility to give you the resources you need to do the job you need to do. That is what it means to manage. You should be able to go to your boss and say, "hey, I know we need to pick up Joe's slack since they left the company, but also I'm swamped with the stuff I'm already doing" and leave it to the boss to figure out the best way to go about figuring out that problem. That said, at this company in particular, I'm not sure if that's a practicable answer without making a really bad impression and possibly getting yourself fired or put on a PIP (as was my experience when I tried something similar at this company).

My advice is, if you're working for the same FAANG I was, is to quit and find a different job, perhaps at a different FAANG, if you want that experience.

EDIT: Addendum after OP confirmed it was the same company: Whether or not you had 24 hours notice that your coworker was leaving, doesn't mean your boss did. When I was terminated from this company (I did not leave by choice, and certainly not 5 days before my stock options would be coming due! Yes, they did that!), my coworkers had no idea what was going on; I was on a PIP for abut a month before I was terminated, so my boss well and truly knew what was going on for a while, although my coworkers did not. Just because you were blindsided by your coworker's departure does not mean in any way that your manager was (and likely means the opposite), so take that into account when planning your next steps.

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  • yes. I am in the same FAANG company.
    – Node.JS
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:49
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    @Node.JS Best of luck! I was terminated from that company 3 years ago for a similar situation (having difficulty with the learning curve and receiving no guidance or support from my manager), and I'm still feeling the repercussions of it today. I'd like to take it off my resume so people stop asking me about it, but also the name recognition gets me interviews so I leave it there. That company sucks, there are lots of better ones out there, including better FAANGs, don't take this if you don't have to, it's not worth it.
    – Ertai87
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:52
  • @Node.JS I would advise you to simply ignore your duties at your job and keep things at minimum while looking for a new job. Hopefully you can bail out before getting fired and having a mark on your record. It might not be a bad idea to turn in your notice now ahead of an eventual firing.
    – Dan
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:29
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Your colleague probably couldn't take the pressure of Pivot, the Performance Improvement Plan: she/he either quit altogether, or accepted the package with a few weeks of pay and a clean cut. It's not easy to be fired in the first 12 months, but it happens. Go on Inside and find out the KPIs for your role and level. The only thing that matters is hitting those KPIs. More than any other company in that group, KPIs are fundamental, and come before LPs. You can breach any and all LPs, but your KPIs are the bottom line. New project? Map it against those KPIs. And NO, you are not missing out by leaving that company for another. Your experience is typical.

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