AWS learning steep vs work-life balance vs pay dilemma

Amazon hehe_haha
Aug 12 6 Comments

Working at AWS since 1.5 years and absolutely loving the nature of the problems that I'm solving. However, it is coming with it's own set of problems.

Pros:

- Get to work with highly organized, smart, and a balance of experienced and young engineers.

- Opportunities to grow faster. I went from L4 to L5 SDE in 1 year. There are enough projects to get visibility and create an impact.

- AWS has a "do-it-all"culture. You own the entire lifecycle of a project from design, development, testing, documentation and communication with stakeholders. Though it may become over loaded for an engineer, you'd get pretty darn good at everything if you stick here for 4-5 years.

- Flexibility in work timings and holidays. Though we have only 2 weeks worth of paid vacations a year, people generally take much more and the management doesn't care. Well, they actually should not given the hours everyone invests in work on a regular basis.

Cons:

- People are not as empathetic as I'd have liked. There seems a constant urge for disagreeing with others and trying to be the better guy.

- Ops + feature delivery + tech debt can take a toll on your life. You cannot just work on one aspect at a time as you'd feel slow compared to others. Working on all of them is giving a minimum of 55 hrs a week.

- The notion of "levels" and leadership principles are taken too seriously. L6 and above live on a different world than the others.

- Pay isn't the best that's out there; my TC is 185k which was bumped up from 150k after promo.

I've been in a dilemma to "stick and learn more" versus "get the hell outa here and get a better paying job with good work life balance."

Anyone else been in my situation before? Would love to hear your story.

TC: 185k
Level: SDE II / L5
YOE: 1.5 years in US. [I did work for 2 years in India before I came for a MS here in the US. I generally don't include that in my YOE].

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TOP 6 Comments
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon hehe_haha
      OP
      Thanks dude! That helps :)
      Aug 12
  • Amazon / Eng
    weeeeeeee

    Amazon Eng

    BIO
    AWS
    weeeeeeeemore
    Also in AWS for ~1.5 years.

    Agree that there’s a lot of really smart people and the ability to learn is the best I’ve had (was previously at Microsoft and Google). Also agree that there is no such thing as WLB. You own every aspect of a product, and that includes all of the oncall.

    If you’re young, I’d definitely stay, if you’re older, then maybe move somewhere that is more WLB oriented and better comp.
    Aug 12 1
    • Amazon Waze
      What made you switch from Google to AWS? I usually see people move the other way.
      Aug 12
  • Amazon Atinlаy2
    What org?
    Aug 12 2
    • Amazon hehe_haha
      OP
      I'd rather not disclose that as other details are pretty specific and I know a bunch of colleagues who are on Blind :)
      Aug 12
    • Amazon а
      Can you dm me? I’m looking for a good org/team.
      Aug 12

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