Principles for growth as an engineer

  • Understand how your work is valuable to your company and make decisions that support quality, feature-richness, and speed.
  • If you find your path blocked, find a way forward by persuasion, escalation or technical creativity.
  • Think about what needs doing beyond your immediate task. Advocate for what the company or team mission can benefit from.
  • Write crisply and concisely to not just inform, but persuade and teach.
  • Understand dependencies, ensure key components have owners, summarize plans and status, and proactively inform stakeholders of progress (including obstacles).
  • Own your education and pursue constant growth. Make learning a daily task.
  • Master your tools: Mastering the editor, debugger, compiler, IDE, database, network tools, and Unix commands increases your development speed.
  • Communicate proactively, regularly and in an organized way to earn collaborators’ confidence and goodwill.
  • Find opportunities to collaborate, especially on cross-functional projects, to grow in terms of visibility and skills.
  • Be professional and reliable: come to meetings prepared and on time, and pay attention. Deliver what you promise or proactively communicate if things go wrong. Disagree respectfully and show your colleagues appreciation. Avoid complaining and help people stay upbeat.

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