Career growth reflection

Amazon uieA346
Dec 23, 2018 16 Comments

I just wanted to write this out because I have a bit of time…I’ve been self reflecting on what I achieved over the course of 4 years with regards to my software engineer career in the Bay Area.

2 years ago I was a software engineer at PayPal earning 96K TC straight out of college with B.S. in CS. I actually didn’t do well in college which is why I accepted such a shitty lowball offer of 86K no RSU or bonus (which eventually moved up 10K in 2 years). But I thought if I worked my ass off, I could move up fast. I did learn a lot on my own and worked pretty hard but nobody noticed. I got forcefully re-orged 4 times.
I worked under Bill Scott’s org. I hated my last team. Manager was super political and verbally abusive, but I couldn’t prove it. Fuck this guy. I wish I had a recorder on me at the time so I could’ve recorded all the BS he was spouting and send it off to HR. I got laid-off by him soon. I should’ve just quit in fashion looking back.

Since I didn’t really get to work on a lot of development at PayPal, my system design skills and raw coding suffered. I needed to work hard on algo+DS. Also my experience was in NodeJS. Java engineers were more sought after/versatile than NodeJS engineers. I couldn’t really aim for front-end because I didn’t know CSS and HTML. Since I was unemployed+inexperienced, many companies overlooked my resume.

In about a week after my layoff I joined a series A startup. They offered me a TC of 125K and barely interviewed me properly…which was a red flag in hindsight. But I accepted because I didn’t have a choice. I know I did the best of my abilities here because I shipped code and delivered. 2 months later I got randomly fired by my manager a day after our pre-Christmas holiday party. He said that he expected me to be more senior. He said I didn’t deserve my TC given my skillset.

I cried a lot that Christmas and spent a month thinking I should change careers. But I got really pissed and did not want to give up. I joined a coding organization. I spent the next 4 months working my ass off and I finally started going onsite to companies consistently. I got offers from, Uber, and Amazon AWS. I almost got FB via family friend referral but I messed up with 2 questions onsite (bullshit quick select question and divide without using division question). Unfortunately Google didn’t want to interview me and Netflix and Apple said no to my resume (It was really difficult to get companies to notice me at the time).

I chose Amazon in Bay Area. TC was 176K. In just 1 year and 3 months (last month) I got promoted to SDEII. TC is now 240K. People in my team highly respect me. SDE 3s even come to me for coding advice and help. Manager takes me to happy hour and sushi for lunch on occasion. And most importantly, I'm happy with my high impact work.

This is my journey of the last 4 years in the software industry. I feel incredibly grateful at my career today. Please don’t give up. Just work at it. My only advice is when something unjust happens, just step away immediately. Don’t compromise. Believe in yourself and just LeetCode+Hackerrank all the way towards your goals.


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TOP 16 Comments
  • Google / Eng come2daddy
    This is a story which proves crying is ok but complaining is not. Good job mate! Hope you go further.
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Product nomad9876
    Applaud your never give up attitude and sorry that you had to go through shitty managers. I am going through a rough phase at work too (not even close to what you went through but yeah a shity manager) and this post really motivated me to not give up and stay strong. Thank you! Hope you get more success in life!
    Dec 23, 2018 1
    • Amazon uieA346
      Thanks! Yeah it happens...the thing is that you have to truly understand that you're in this on your own. Try to document things. Even if shit happens, then just trust yourself and move forward.
      Dec 23, 2018
  • 👏👏 inspirational story, and at least we have one positive Amazon story on Blind 😂
    BTW, what was the "coding organization?" It seemed like that and the 4mo grinding there was the turning point.
    Dec 23, 2018 1
    • Amazon uieA346
      Thanks! Yeah it does feel like there's a lot of Amazon horror stories out here 🤔😂. But they don't compare to PayPal. I didn't go into detail the horrible things I experienced there.

      The coding org I joined is InterviewKickstart. This really helped my emotional/mental state and I improved in coding a lot. But really I'd just say doing Leetcode+EPI problems will get anyone far too.
      Dec 23, 2018
  • $$$++
    Went through something similar recently. I was a backend engineer(above average performer based on review) and took a job in a front end team because I wanted to learn. The TPM in the project said that you are not competent for some of the tasks. I stayed with the team because the manager had my back. However off late looked like the manager was playing games and giving me all the shitty work that no one else wanted. On top of that, if I pick up a task, TPM and the manager would doubt if I could do it or not. I have never left the work unfinished or never shipped a buggy code. It was an awful feeling. I tried to change their perception by meeting deadlines, working on things I didn't like but being a team player, giving input to design and testing (testing is considered really imp by the manager). After all that, it still looked like they were not going to give the work I like. So shitty work, horrible TPM, the manager who doesn't trust you; I sometimes felt I might get fired inspite of working hard. Finally, I found an opportunity in a sister team and the team's manager knew as she was one of my interviewers also I liked their work, have a good rapport with the team and manager so I took it. Not sure how wise was it but atleast I won't sulk after a long day. Agree with you if you are treated badly its better to move elsewhere and nothing is worth taking crap from managers.
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • Intuit ZeroSnark
    Thanks for sharing your struggles and pushing through it all. I’ve been frustrated recently and this post really helped. I saved it off to read again later
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • Microsoft dinai
    Really motivating, thanks for sharing. Btw, What was the coding organization you talked about in your post? Would be interested to know abt it.
    Dec 23, 2018 1
    • Amazon uieA346
      Hey thanks. I joined InterviewKickstart.
      Dec 23, 2018
  • Williams Lea Tag / Mktg GayDude
    Congrats OP ♥️♥️♥️ You are amazing 🤝🤝🤝✨
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • Amazon JJSU12idj
    Impressive and motivating! Thanks for sharing! 👍
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • Zinus / Other

    Zinus Other

    Thx for the story
    Dec 23, 2018 0
    Hard work payed you off . You gained a lot of life skills there.
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • New daring
    Cool story! Very good.
    Dec 23, 2018 0
  • Morgan Stanley

    Morgan Stanley

    Just bumped into this story now.
    Well done man, keep it up!
    Apr 9 0
  • New / Product qwaszxopkl
    thanks for sharing
    Mar 4 0


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