Amazon -> Google = double TC (my story at Amazon, last day)

Amazon alavdk
Sep 17 33 Comments

I loved Amazon because I learned a lot and my experience over there was the reason I was able to easily pass (and exceed the expectations in) the design/behavioral interviews.
I hate Amazon because of 2 things:
1. Extreme frugality in every aspect (from cold cheese sandwiches for candidates as their lunch, to not giving refreshers and extremely low base increase).
2. Lots of (and I mean LOTS OF) terrible managers. I've had 6 managers at Amazon: One of them was amazing (who then moved to Fb a year later) and one ok and 3 terrible ones and one monster.
The last one couldn't even understand the technical aspects, was extremely micromanaging the whole team, was very biased against females (I honestly felt bad for them and reported him to the HR, and no result. He continued the same way).
This was my last team and the previous manager who hired me left the team 2 months after I joined, and this monster became my new manager. Long story short, he put me on the dev plan (although I was the one who delivered 3 org-impacting pojects in a year all the way to production and the rest of the team delivered one.)
Frankly it was really hard to practice and prepare for the interviews having that much of pressure at work and not being appreciated at all, but I did it.

TC at Amazon: 180k (L5, hit the cliff and they didn't give me anything because of the dev plan)
TC at G: 350k (T5)
Yoe: 4+ (all at Amazon) plus a no-thesis master's degree from an unknown university.

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TOP 33 Comments
  • Pixar / Eng CTM
    Were tagged Google LC questions enough to pass the coding rounds? Also, how did you prepare?
    Sep 17 4
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      Forced myself to practice at least 2 hours every night for 3 months excluding the weekends. I kept the weekends to have fun as a reward to myself. Originally even some of the easy ones would take an hour, but eventually I was able to solve medium ones in like 15 minutes and hard ones in like 30 minutes. This consistency helped a lot.
      And yes mostly Google tagged or most liked ones.
      Sep 17
    • Pixar / Eng CTM
      Gotcha. How many LC questions did you solve in total before you felt ready to interview?
      Sep 17
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      Around 120 total
      Sep 17
    • Pixar / Eng CTM
      Cool, thanks for the info! Good luck at G!
      Sep 17
  • New sumName
    Congratulations, you have done amazingly well for yourself. Were you brought in for an L5 or did you ask for it?
    Sep 17 6
    • New sumName
      That’s awesome, I wish I had read this comment before my process began
      Sep 17
    • Amazon pmmmm
      Congrats. Did they re-level you without additional interviews? What negotiations tactics did you use?
      Sep 17
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      One extra behavioral interview/call was what they asked for, but I did tell them upfront (before the onsite ones) that I want to be evaluated/interviewed for T5. So they had the data already, but they just wanted to try leveling down first (as they do with most people). Negotiation tactic was offers from Fb and Uber.
      Sep 17
    • Amazon pmmmm
      Cool. Did they ask for written offers from FB and Uber?
      Sep 17
    • New sumName
      That sounds like an excruciatingly long time. How you guys manage to line up offers on top of all this, will always amaze me.
      Sep 18
  • Microsoft / Eng kwodk
    u are amazingly good. 4 YOE knocked the t5 door at google
    Sep 17 1
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      I've worked on huge systems and highly impactful projects at Amazon. That helped me a lot. I'm thankful to Amazon for that. If it wasn't for that, I would have gone crazy with what my last manager did to me. I just mentioned a bit of the story, but what he did to me was so much worse that I got headaches almost all day long the last 3 months (and I've never had headaches in my life).
      Sep 17
  • Facebook / Eng mturtle
    You got T5 from google with 4 yoe? I thought I would walk the earth for a thousand lives of men before I would see that.

    You are crushing it. Congrats!
    Sep 17 1
    • Rackspace gITI21
      Women live longer.
      Sep 17
  • Amazon Beff-Jezos
    4 YOE to secure T5 at G? Are you PhD?
    Sep 17 1
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      My design interviews went extremely great (I could tell while I was there) and thanks to my Amazon experience for that. But they had lots of behavioral questions which I think went pretty well too.
      For coding, thanks to LC.
      No PhD, just masters
      Sep 17
  • Bloomberg / Eng hjhfdfvvb
    Awesome man
    Sep 17 0
  • Amazon loooong
    Agreed... Horrible managers at Amazon
    Sep 17 0
  • Rackspace gITI21
    Damn! Congratulations!
    Sep 17 1
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      Thanks!
      Sep 17
  • Google / Eng p-hound
    congrats op
    Sep 17 0
  • New djFd65
    Very cool man. I didn't have as good experience as yours so I think I won't negotiate my level. But it's refreshing to see someone could fight for their own justice.
    I have friends at Amazon and the only reason they remain there is the kind of problems they solve daily.

    Have a great career at Google!
    Sep 17 0
  • AT&T MsdR32
    Good job, congrats and thanks for sharing!
    Sep 17 0
  • Rackspace gITI21
    I am hoping you leaving the important project(s) at Amazon at least caused some dents 😁 and put the manager in their place.
    Do they try to retain you? Or is putting on dev plan pretty much a hint asking you to leave?
    Sep 17 3
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      Asking to leave I guess. The first team really liked me and I liked them too, but the second team was a mess. I didn't like the team overall and the manager was horrible, so I didn't ask to stay.
      Sep 17
    • Apple bogle
      what was so bad about the manager and why did he put you on dev plan?
      Sep 17
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      He really didn't have management skills. Never knew how to resolve a conflict, lied a lot (in people's face shamelessly), false promises that he knew he couldn't keep, not having technical knowledge, not smart enough to learn the technicalities fast, not having broad vision, not trusting engineers at all, etc.
      Sep 18
  • IBM / Eng ieatcode
    do you have any thoughts on using EPI to prepare? Or do you think grinding out LC (as you did) is enough to prepare?
    Sep 18 2
    • Amazon alavdk
      OP
      For me LC was enough to practice (not to learn) for the coding interviews. But for the design/behavioral ones my experience at Amazon helped a lot.
      Sep 18
    • AT&T MsdR32
      Any advice about design interviews for the rest of us?
      Sep 18
  • Deloitte / Product
    V.Y

    Deloitte Product

    BIO
    Hi There! How can I help?
    V.Ymore
    Congratulations! Mind if I drop you a DM?
    Sep 17 0