Amazon Alexa AI Team SDE 2 vs Microsoft Azure Level 60?

Oracle techlord12
Jun 20 55 Comments

Hi I have received an offer from Amazon AlexaAI team located in Seattle. The recruiter reached out asking me a salary I am expecting. I said I am expecting 250k (Have got competing offers).

Please help me out with your insights.

The current level they are offering is SDE 2, L5.

1. What is the expected pay I can ask for?
2. Currently the team is in Seattle, can I ask for an opportunity in Bay Area? (Family and Girlfriend are in Bay Area)
3. I see a lot of complains about WLB at Amazon and have also seen some of my friends complain about it. Does anyone here have any idea about how AlexaAI team is?

My other offer is:
Microsoft Azure Data & Intelligence team:
TC: 200k

YoE: 2

I know there’s no job safety in any company and we have to perform, saying that which among these two companies is stable. I see a lot of posts about PIPs at Amazon.

I am on F1 OPT visa and I have two more shots at H1B. Microsoft said they would send me to Canada if I don’t get H-1B. What would Amazon do?

Any insights are really appreciated. Puns are also welcome 🍿

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TOP 55 Comments
  • Amazon HAzq58
    Go with amazon offer. 60 is similar like a L4. I disagree with the comment above about switching team or org in amazon. It’s super easy. I know people who joined for. 1-3 month in amazon and switched team. Compensation and career wise, Amazon is better. It will take longer to go from 60 to 62.63. But easier to promote from 5 to 6 if you are in the right track . With l6, you can get 63-64 at Microsoft depend on yoe
    Jun 20 3
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      How easy is it to switch from Amazon Seattle to Amazon Bay Area? Do I have to go through the whole interview process again? Will my pay vary?

      Also I see about PIPs in many posts. Is it something to be scared of considering I am an international student and need H1B? I only have two more tries and anything wrong, I’ll be screwed.

      Also I hear about bad WLB at Amazon. Do you have any insights about my team? How much is the ideal pay I could ask for? I did mention I am expecting 250k.
      Jun 20
    • Amazon HAzq58
      250k is a reasonable ask for l5. But for 60, impossible. I don’t think you should worry about pip, that’s 5-10% if the org direct has >50 reports. Not all orgs have this quota. Although msft does not have stack rank, it does have manage out sometimes.

      You could probably use this offer to negotiate with msft ask for 61-62 and raise the pay. But I don’t think msft will match
      Jun 21
    • Amazon HAzq58
      Not sure about switching location, but I don’t think pay scale may change
      Jun 21
  • Amazon HjNW76
    Which team in Alexa ai?
    Jun 20 19
    • Amazon HjNW76
      DM me the team if you want.
      Jun 20
    • Amazon Unicornish
      Several very different Alexa AI groups in Seattle. This sounds like Intelligent Decisions, which has a great charter and some very good people. But also is a bit chaotic sometimes.
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      What do you mean chaotic? Could you describe it?
      Jun 20
    • Amazon Unicornish
      Some sr. manager departures and turnover, impacted positively and negatively by reorgs, and much behind schedule in a big part of their charter. By and large this wont effect you much as an L5 SDE.
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Also how easy is it to switch teams at Amazon from Seattle to Bay Area? I really want to work from Bay Area. I think my group is intelligent decisions. They work on ML and NLU. I tried to DM you but I can’t because I’ve used all my DMs. Could you please provide insights?
      Jun 20
  • Amazon hachi9
    Btw Alexa in general is pretty bad. I’ve met a couple people from Alexa AI. All of them are trying to leave within a year. Nevertheless, Alexa AI is pretty big, maybe you get a good team. Odds aren’t good though
    Jun 20 10
    • Amazon hachi9
      Yea as long as you can find a team willing to accept you in the Bay Area
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Oh I see. That won’t affect my current pay or relocation right? Also how easy is it to find HM and team in Bay Area from your experience?

      Also between Amazon’s and MS offer which one would you suggest I choose?
      Jun 20
    • Amazon hachi9
      It might affect your pay, possible relocation too..? I don’t have too much experience with Bay Area haha, I hate it there.

      If I were you, I’d go with Amazon, better opportunity to learn and much larger presence in the Bay if you were to relocate. I’d still try to talk to your recruiter to see if you can go to a team based in the Bay Area though.
      Jun 21
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      I’m thinking about Amazon as well. My recruiter isn’t connecting me with teams based in Bay Area. Could you please suggest what I could do? I really want to try for opportunities in Bay Area.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon hachi9
      I’m not super sure on what you should do here.. Find some HMs on LinkedIn that’s hiring perhaps? Or just go to your team and try to transfer later.
      Jun 21
  • Microsoft / Eng 🌆blood
    2 yoe 200k is awesome. Both MS and Amazon are pretty flexible when it comes to visa issues. You can always talk to manager and hr before accepting the offer about contingencies
    Jun 20 5
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Which one would you advice on choosing? And why? How easy is it to move to Bay Area in future in any of your choices?
      Jun 20
    • Microsoft / Eng 🌆blood
      I'd wait till Amazon offers. I have seen some cases where they haven't matched competing offers. I think it's easier to move to Bay area with Amazon than MS as internal transfer is easier comparatively in Amazon than MS and also lot more teams in Bay area
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      How early can I shift to Bay Area? Within 3 months? 6 months? And also do I have to pay back signon bonus or relocation if I switch?
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Yes I’m waiting for Amazon. If Amazon isn’t offering 240 then I’m not taking.
      Jun 20
    • New / IT hard work
      Do you mind breaking down your Microsoft offer TC
      Jun 21
  • Microsoft / Eng
    Gehjiddrt6

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    Gehjiddrt6more
    Go with Microsoft. When you are unhappy with comp in future, Go to amazon for some time and come back to Microsoft.
    Jun 20 5
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      But both Amazon and Microsoft are not currently giving offers in Bay Area. How easy is it to shift internally? Well why do you suggest Microsoft to Amazon and not Amazon to Microsoft?
      Jun 20
    • Amazon HAzq58
      What’s the compensation range for principle at Microsoft ?
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Hey that’s really informative. Considering I need to get my H1B, I am more biased towards a company that provides me better opportunities at it. Saying that, how easy is it to shift from Microsoft Redmond to Microsoft Bay Area different team? Also does Microsoft have annual performance hikes at level 60? The team I got in is Azure Data and Intelligence. The only thing is I want to stay close to my girlfriend and so I really want an opportunity in Bay Area. Amazon recruiters seem condescending. She outright said no without even trying when I asked for opportunities in Bay Area.
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Interesting insights. How hard is it to switch from Amazon to Microsoft if I may ask? And if I switch from Amazon to Microsoft after a year or two, would I be eligible for L61 or L62? Do you have any idea about Azure Data and Intelligence org?
      Jun 20
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Check DM.
      Jun 20
  • Amazon bezos,Jeff
    Is MS in Redmond or Bay Area?

    I would take amazon unless ms is willing to negotiate to sde2
    Jun 21 2
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      MS is in Redmond. I’ve tried negotiating with MS but that’s the max I could do. MS didn’t do anymore negotiation.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon bezos,Jeff
      What’s the breakdown of the offer? Didn’t realize sde1 offers at MS went to 200...
      Jun 24
  • Oracle not_larry
    Amazon, they will send you to Canada as well. What level at oracle?

    Props for welcoming puns.
    Jun 20 1
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      IC2 at Oracle but I don’t think Oracle gives positions fairly. I mean at least in my org.
      Jun 20
  • CVS Health Canada🇨🇦
    Family and Girlfriend? Doesn't make sense 🤔 ?
    Jun 20 1
    • Oracle techlord12
      OP
      Well both Family and Girlfriend are in Bay Area.
      Jun 20
  • eBay / Eng newww
    Please check your DM
    Jun 20 0