Having senior peers is not what prevent you from getting promoted posted on 06 May 2024

I occasionally hear engineers complaining about a new L(n)+1 hired engineer because they assume that they won’t have enough scope to get promoted to the next level (since their scope shrunk with the new team member). Most of the time, L5/L6 are the ones complaining about these situations. My take is that their assessment is plainly wrong.

If you are a L5+, reaching the next level (L6+) means you have a domain that you are responsible for. Yes, maybe your manager helped you define it, but the expectation is that you built your expertise/domain yourself – your manager isn’t going to tell you every project you should work on or how to solve every question, otherwise you would be a L5 at best where you mostly execute tasks/projects.

My experience at a high growth company/org is also that there’s always more scope than what’s already defined – e.g. at Databricks today if someone were to take over all my responsabilities, I would happily chase the long list of important things (for the company) that I’ve put on the side.

From there, having more senior peers taking over some large domains isn’t a problem – there’s more than enough scope for you to grab or define. If anything, having more senior peers is actually better for your promotion as it’s easier to get feedback from senior peers who can speak well about your work.

The same goes for L3/L4 since as long as you execute the projects well, you can reach the next level – and senior peers are just additional (positive) weight to your promo package.

TL;DR is that having senior peers is a good thing for your promo. Assuming they would slow down your growth is proof that you haven’t quite grasp what’s expected from you at the next level.

Thoughts? Were new senior peers a brake or an accelerator to your growth?

LinkedIn post