Amazon Verbal Offer SDM L5...

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Sep 1 11 Comments

Interviewed at Amazon for SDM Role in san francisco bay area, onsite was two weeks ago.

5 business days after onsite, received a call from recruiter saying this was a “special” and “interesting” situation. From what I understood, the bar raiser and hiring panel liked my responses to the behavioral and technical Qs in the 5hr interview loop as a management candidate, but felt my experience was not enough to offer me the particular job I applied for on that team, which was “SDM L6”, which I understand is the typical manager.
The recruiter said that the panel felt I was qualified for a position which is less common “SDM L5 “ (which i understand to be an entry level management position, maybe managing new grads or small scale projects) and that he would reach out to other bay area teams which may be open to hiring an L5 manager. It has been 3 business days and he has said things like “still looking” and “reaching out to more teams today”.

What I’d like to ask you all is:
- How likely is it that he actually finds a team willing to hire an L5 manager? How long would it take? (I’ve got one other management offer at a smaller company, and another one at a big company pending, but Amazon is my top choice due to much I would learn. I like the idea of learning to swim from the deep end)

- Has anybody here known or been an L5 manager? what’s that like? What kind of projects did you manage? (from other posts I see people hypothesizing its stressful and hard to make impact/gain respect etc, but it seems like nobody knows anybody IRL who has been L5 SDM)

background:
I’m 25 with 5 total yoe ~1 as fulltime software eng at a research lab then ~2 years at apple as ML software eng on a high impct product. 2 years management experience as startup founder. (I know this background is probably less experience than typical SDM, but I was able to share startup stories which answered all their “tell me a time when...” questions. )

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TOP 11 Comments
  • Amazon amazons
    Sure, L6 would be a lot better, but honestly there’s zero chance you’d get an L6 SDM offer with just 2 years of management experience. We usually require at least 5, but 10 is far more typical. I’d take the offer if they find a team match because very few top companies have SDM roles available with your level of experience. If you do a good job you should be able to reach L6 within 2-3 years.
    Sep 1 0
  • Amazon OMwD10
    I am an L5 SDE with 3 Yoe at Amazon. I don't recommend joining as L5 SDM, join at least as L6. L5 needs a lot of support to function effectively in an org that you are new to. Politics will make you hate it.

    (This is my personal opinion)
    Sep 1 1
    • New / Mgmt
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      OP
      I hear this “politics will make you hate it” opinion from engineer peers all the time, seems like just general aversion to leadership aka, preference to stay on high paying IC track instead, and it’s an opinion I take seriously coming from a software eng background myself.

      What are examples of bad politics here?
      Sep 1
  • Amazon xhbxhs
    Don't take the low ball offer.
    Sep 1 2
    • New / Mgmt
      evejobs

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      OP
      Thing is there’s no offer #s until they find a team... what would a fair offer look like here?
      What do you think would be a lowball they would throw out?
      Sep 1
    • Cerner cerner98
      L5 sdm should align with l5 sde offer. 180k-250k for non-sf-nyc locations.
      Sep 1
  • Amazon nononosql
    I feel inclined towards the Amazon assessment. You should rather be setup for success than a big title failure. L5 Sdm will get you the needed help and support to be a performant L6, and internally organizations like to push L5 sdms to L6. L6 scope is big and needs a lot of drinking from the fire hose. With L5, you'll be protected under a L6. As far as they getting back - they'll guarantee get back. It adds to the recuiter's hire count and therefore he/she will not let it go waste. Amazon. Is very big and the chances of finding a fitting role somewhere else are much higher.
    Sep 1 0
  • Amazon / Eng Somebdy
    L5 SDMs is common thing in Amazon. Go for it!
    Sep 1 0
  • Lyft !lyft
    I have 2 friends whom I know became L5 SDM Amazon Seattle. It's not uncommon. Go for it.
    Sep 1 0
  • Google SdrPikachu
    TC?
    Sep 1 0
  • Salesforce knsbwvsb
    I know someone like this and then there was no l5 sdm in Bay Area and offered Seattle position. It is your choice but look at overall comp and potential before decline anything. Amazon will increase your market value
    Sep 1 0

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