Aurora self driving, what’s it like there?

Poynt xFeI04
May 26 24 Comments

Dear blind folks, considering a role at Aurora (self driving, https://aurora.tech) in the near future. Could anyone share some light on what it’s like to work there?

Thus far hard to not be very impressed by the leadership, engineering bar, progress, and funding sources. Things that are harder to get a read on, such as culture or WLB I’m curious about. Also interested to hear what it’s like at the Pittsburgh office if anyone would like to share.

Thanks!

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TOP 24 Comments
  • Apple buckbuck
    Great. Only if you were rejected from Waymo, Cruise Automation, Tesla, Kitty Hawk, Nvidea, Mobileye, Aptiv, Volvo.
    May 26 14
    • Apple buckbuck
      ubergoog- You're welcome to experience Aurora yourself. I am only trying to help the community. :)
      May 28
    • Facebook alion
      @buckbuck is your friend on the perception team in the Bay area or in Pittsburgh?
      May 28
    • Aurora SMC007
      Hmmmmmm we're growing large enough that I expect some are less happy than others, but most if not all folks I know are pretty bullish on our progress so far and our prospects.

      Like my friend above says, you're welcome to experience Aurora :) The self driving space is still hot and opportunities are abundant if things don't work out. I would add though that it has been quite rare for folks to have left Aurora for other places - acknowledging that it's only 2 years old.

      Not doubting that @buckbuck has a not so happy friend on the perception team, but just saying I have plenty of buddies on that team that are quite excited to be there.
      May 29
    • Poynt xFeI04
      OP
      After spending a few years in the AV space (previously) I can confirm almost all companies that I’ve experienced first hand and heard about second hand are in some shape or form hitting some pain points due to it being on the absolute cutting edge of tech, a fledgling industry with young leaders, a lot of uncertainty about the future and concern of a potential bubble. The key is find the right people that are energized by the chaos to a certain degree rather than fatigued by it. It takes a certain personality to thrive in this industry and not everyone is comfortable with the inherent uncertainties and risks.
      May 29
    • Uber ubergoog
      Hard to beat Aurora’s leadership team with Chris/Sterling/Drew, I personally have faith that they know what they’re doing.
      May 29
  • Aurora Thanos123
    I’ve also really enjoyed my time at Aurora. Working with great people, the company seems very positive as a whole, and work life balance is great for it being a startup. I don’t know of many people who have left (or want to leave), but like any company, there are always people who are frustrated at something. While the AV space has its risks, I believe this is the best privately owned option in the space. It’ll be hard to find a company with better upside at its size.
    Jun 17 2
    • Google Marsian
      Thanos, thank you for sharing your thoughts, would you be able to share a bit more of what upside looks like? I heard your current option strike price is about $27, what do you personally expect it to grow to in one year, two, three and four years? Are they trying to raise more money too? Thanks!
      Jun 20
    • Aurora Thanos123
      Hey Marsian, great questions. I can’t give specifics on the strike price, but if you’re interviewing it should be told to you around the time you get an offer. What I can say is that the strike price is wayyy off, it’s much much lower. As for the other question, I expect about 2x or 3x growth within a year and 10x growth in 5-7 years. Now there is a lot to why I believe in those multiples but that would be a rather lengthy conversation. Some high level things are that Aurora is operating in a huge TAM (a 5-10 trillion dollar potential industry according to projections), it has an amazing founding team and engineering team with a unique vision and approach, it has world class investing partners (who wouldn’t have invested if they didn’t believe in those kinds of multiples in a certain timeframe), and it’s still very early on in its growth as compared with direct competitors (meaning more upside when it comes to your equity). And then that leads to the follow up question - will the equity ever be liquid (I.e.- worth something)? I think there’s a number of scenarios in which Auroras equity will be liquid and favorable to employees (with differing degrees of return)- secondary markets, acquisition, IPO, etc. While nothing is guaranteed when you’re signing up with a startup, Aurora is as good of a bet on being valuable than any startup I’ve been too, especially at this stage. You’re joining a company with an amazing team, strong investors, an almost endless amount of funding, an astronomically large market, and a ton of public interest. While the success of a self driving product is still somewhat unknown, if Aurora is even remotely successful the company will be worth much more in 3..4..5yrs and getting in now would be extremely advantageous and profitable. No one in tech becomes truly wealthy on base salary/bonus alone, gotta take some risk at certain point. Additionally, the work here is amazingly fulfilling, and you’re working on something that could benefit humanity greatly - saving lives, helping the environment, giving time back to people, helping with accessibility, giving flexibility of working from farther distances, etc. Thats some real lasting social upside :) Anyways, hope that helps! More than happy to chat further offline if you’re ever interested as well. Cheers!
      Jun 20
  • Aurora SMC007
    I've had a wonderful time at Aurora. People are really friendly and leadership really cares about culture - the company actively incorporates feedback to make it a nicer place to work at. We've all made friends in offices at all locations as we're encouraged to travel back and forth. It's not uncommon to see folks vacation together either.

    Its a very motivated team working on some hard problems. I think you'll have a good time if you join!
    May 27 1
    • Poynt xFeI04
      OP
      Awesome to hear :) thanks mate.
      May 27
  • Snapchat / Eng SnakeSquad
    Met one of the co-founders once (Sterling Anderson) and he seemed like a cool dude
    May 26 0
  • New / Eng qPiX74
    To piggyback off this, does anyone know anything about their internship program?
    May 26 0
  • Amazon Robots!
    Whats so unique about aurora vs zoox vs waymo at the end of the day everyone needs to do one thing drive safe (zero accidents) . I view this as your algo against mine !.
    Jul 27 0
  • Cruise Automation bottomdown
    What role are you considering? What’s the interview like?
    May 26 0