Amazon L4

Deloitte masterJP
Apr 27 37 Comments

A friend of mine who is a SDE got a L4 offer from Seattle Amazon with 2.5 YOE from a close to tier-1 company.
Base 127k
Signing 40k (first year) 32K(second year)
RSU 44 shares (5/15/40/40)
Relocation 7k

Good offer?

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TOP 37 Comments
  • Amazon cmonBruh
    That's top of band for SDE1
    Apr 27 0
  • Amazon / Eng OlAl28
    Slightly higher than my TC (couple g's) and I was a TT L4 this year.
    Apr 27 8
    • Amazon / Eng OlAl28
      LE means you'll be put on a dev plan, HV means you're average, TT means top. They're broken by percentages I believe. Idk what the percentages are exactly. Might be something like top 10% is TT, bottom 10% is LE, the rest are HV. None of it is public. In fact even your manager doesn't explicitly tell you your rating, you infer it from your compensation bump for the year.
      Apr 27
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      LE dev plan, is that like improve-or-out?? So for top performer, whats the usual salary raise RSU refresher???
      Apr 27
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      LE ("least effective") means you get no base adjustment or additional shares and will go onto a development plan, which is the precursor to a formal PIP. It's difficult to recover from--it remains on your record in perpetuity (making near-term transfers much more difficult) and the temporary (but potentially large) drop in compensation can be very demotivating, by design. If you leave the company while on a dev plan, you are permanently ineligible for rehire (at least under the current policy).

      Actual ratio is 20% TT, 70% HV, 10% LE. HV has additional sub-buckets (that aren't formal ratings but do factor into the compensation formula): "with additional investment" or "no additional investment," the latter meaning no raise or additional shares--usually means you're borderline LE, but in some cases could also mean you're so far above band for one reason or another that they decided to move the money to somebody else.

      Refreshers are weird here: basically, your rating determines your position in the total compensation band for your level/role when base adjustments and RSU refreshers are granted, but only temporarily (for two years, I think). Technically, everybody is targeted (if not actually paid) at the bottom of the band except for TT.
      Apr 27
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      Nice to get some insight. Thanks man. Hows the performance being done though. Snapshots from people work with? Or just from direct manager? And how often does it happen?
      Apr 27
    • Amazon / Eng OlAl28
      Direct manager but they have to have data and anecdotes from people you work with to back it up. Happens once a year
      Apr 27
  • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
    What everybody else is telling you is correct: you can't really go any higher as an SDE1. That's about 10k short of the bottom of the SDE2 band, in fact (and there is no overlap).

    The only thing you can negotiate on here is the structure of the offer (e.g. base vs. RSUs), but it will all add up to the same number regardless.
    Apr 27 3
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      Thanks for the response. How long would on take to get raised from L4 to L5? I mean if you are already on the top band of L4, does that mean you are super closed to L5?
      Apr 27
    • Amazon ww2ko6
      Your comp has nothing to do with how fast you get promoted. You should just perform at the L5 level earlier and that'd speed things up
      Apr 27
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      ^^ This. A lot of recent outside hires are near top of band for one reason or another, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're likely to be promoted soon.

      On the other hand, if you're tenured and get TT several years in a row (the only other way to be high in band), there will be questions about why you haven't been promoted to the next level--but that's more on the manager than the employee.
      Apr 28
  • Amazon YYHb67
    Base is high so it seems good to me
    Apr 27 0
  • Amazon ww2ko6
    That's top of the band for sde1, if your friend wants to negotiate, just reinterview for sde2
    Apr 27 5
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      How does the re-interview process work?? Can you interview again for L5 for the same team???
      Apr 27
    • Amazon ww2ko6
      You should start the conversation with the recruiter you are working with.
      Apr 27
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      This will depend upon the level your friend was originally targeted for. If originally looped for L5 (i.e. whatever level the hiring req was set to) and down-leveled, re-interviewing for the next ~6 months won't be possible. This is probably what happened: most industry hires reqs are L5 to begin with, and 2.5 YoE is enough to be considered for that level.

      Otherwise, they may do it--it would likely be an abbreviated loop (another bar raiser plus possibly one other and design/leadership-focused, probably).
      Apr 27
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      I think 2.5 is prob boarderline for L5? As its considered senior at some other company??? I think the lesson learnt here is know which level you are interviewing for before the process started.
      Apr 27
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      You can be considered for L5 with as little as 1.5 YoE, but it depends on the quality and apparent relevance (e.g. worked at a peer-level company and/or similar tech stack/domain to the team in question) of that experience. 2.5 is about where it starts to become automatic, since that's the average amount of time it takes a college hire SDE1 to get promoted to SDE2 (if I were on the loop and a 3+ YoE candidate failed to meet the L5 bar, I'd be pushing for a no-hire instead of a downlevel).
      Apr 28
  • That’s a SDE1 offer
    Apr 27 1
    • Amazon / Eng fHUg57
      You apply for sde1 positions you get offers for sde1 positions
      Apr 28
  • Microsoft €£dz3@"&5s
    Offer in Seattle?
    Apr 27 0
  • Amazon Vaporeon
    Pretty solid for SDE i
    Apr 27 0
  • Dropbox 73vu
    Seems low. Keep in mind that there is no bonus or refresher
    Apr 27 5
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      Theres signing bonus and RSU
      Apr 27
    • Dropbox 73vu
      I mean annual bonus and annual refresher
      Apr 27
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      Hmm are they usually discussed in the initial offer?
      Apr 27
    • Dropbox 73vu
      They are mentioned by recruiters. But I meant, Amazon doesn't have them.
      Apr 28
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      Wait so nooo bonus and no refresher at Amazon. Hmm that's interesting...
      Apr 28
  • Amazon LAxL08
    My friend got a slight higher offer with less YOE from non FANG company for Seattle in an AWS team. I think it’s still top of band for sde I. Though you can try negotiating more if you have competing offer. My friend did.
    Apr 27 4
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      He had presented two other offers to Amazon prior to Amazon's written offer. Tactically, how to handle/is there room for negotiation?
      Apr 27
    • Amazon LAxL08
      I really depends on the recruiter working with your friend. Some recruiters can be asses. My friend’s negotiation wasn’t really even negotiation. The recruiter just moved numbers around. He had a choice between more cash or more stocks. His recruiter won’t budge when he asked for more cash or stock after his first offer revision.

      I joined about two months back. The recruiter I worked with was super nice. Didn’t even need to have any tactics for negotiating. I straight up told her I’m considering another offer but was super interested in the team I was matched to. Didn’t have to tell her details of my other offer. She called me back 4 hours later with a bump for my base, sign on, and RSU. Though, I’m in the Bay Area and the demand is a lot higher here. My team is also trying to hire A LOT of people, so that could also be why they’re willing to bump my offer by a lot to get me to join. My YOE was 1.5.
      Apr 27
    • Deloitte masterJP
      OP
      Thanks for the detailed reaponse its really help to get more context on you experience. Will you be able to share info your offer before after the negotiation.
      Apr 27
    • Amazon LAxL08
      PMed you
      Apr 27
  • Deloitte masterJP
    OP
    Yes in Seattle? Any difference?
    Apr 27 0