One day, my manager asked me: "Qingsong, why you can get good review result when you are in SDET II level". At SDET II stage, I don't have deep testing knowledge and don't have big impact on the team. So I wonder what make me having a good review result and the answer is doing things differently.

One way to thinking about this question is that how you can difference you with others. What I found is that when I was assigned some tasks, I did a couple of things in additional to what I should do, and which make me difference with otheres, and it is the main reason I made bigger impact and grew my career. Here is some example of what I did in the past:
  • When we plan to add Date and Time support in SQL Server. I spent lot of time research on Date/Time and Time Zone support in Windows, Linux, .Net and Win32 API. I was actively involved in project direction and design. This made me in a better position when we testing the feature. In additional, I took more responsibility during the execution of the feature, including managing the build, managing the lab run, review books online and help others to write test cases, It grew my knowledge and also help me making big impact.
  • After we implemented Sparse Column feature in SQL Server 2008, I did not stop after our feature RIed. I was actively finding ways of using our feature internally. Finally, I found our team's VSTS system can be used for this feature, and I work with the support team to deploy the feature into the system. In this way, I help the org's business and also better understand the user scenario of our feature. As the result, I identify a couple of missing functionality of the feature.
Finally, I hope you get the idea of doing things differently. It will help you a lot for your career if you build such ability.