Choosing between Amazon and Microsoft.

Sep 27 46 Comments

YOE - 5 (1.5 in the US)
Master's + Bachelor's in CS
Amazon - 270k SDE2 Seattle
Microsoft - 255k L62 Redmond

Edit: Updating breakdown
Amazon: Base 155k, Bonus 105k + 85k, 100 RSUs (this was after negotiating my MS offer)
Microsoft: Base 150, Bonus 90k, Stocks 240k (stocks is what they mainly increased to match my ask)
Both companies they increased approx $40k after negotiations.

Based on several threads that I read here, I think MS has a higher effective TC (based on other benefits - 401k, Pro Club, ESPP, shuttle and cheaper food) but I'm not sure how your impact is assessed for yearly bonus.

My target was quarter of a mil and experimentation oriented heavy work.

Money is no more a factor because I got what I needed.

I just want to know where I can have a higher impact. Because both places have amazing engineers, but I want to standout.

Is it ok to go for MS? Can I switch to a different team easily there if I feel it's not running at the pace I need? (I've never worked at a large company. Current team size is 4. :p) I don't want to get complacent but I also want to spend time with my boyfriend, hangout with my friends afterwork for some random occasion and definitely on the weekends.(side eyes to on calls)

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TOP 46 Comments
  • Amazon 638ha2
    Which team is MS / Amazon
    Sep 27 6
    • Amazon 638ha2
      270k for SDE2 is a very good offer at Amazon.
      Sep 27
    • Microsoft / Eng Leet_God
      255k for L62 is extremely out of bands aswell. We barely scrape 220k at L62
      Sep 27
    • OP
      Amazon HR was saying there are also people who were asking 280k TC. He stopped short at saying if they agreed.
      Sep 27
    • Amazon / Eng
      alphaqu

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Zenefits, Qualcomm, Nvidia
      alphaqumore
      Retail isn’t very interesting, good wlb though, Azure is in good place right now ( just bagged 10bn pentagon deal). I would place my bet on Microsoft. Also I would say you have good approach for looking into offers, I would rather say take your own pick!
      Oct 25
    • OP
      Thanks. I decided to go with Microsoft.. :)
      Oct 25
  • Microsoft Hollla
    Microsoft.. Better WLB, Annual Bonus, Work is depend on the team.
    And they treat you like humans.
    Sep 27 2
    • OP
      Appreciate your input. Yes. I've worked in company where I worked 85 hours a week for 2 years. I learned a lot, but started getting grey hair at age 23 (until I finally left). As long as they respect you as a person, which I think MS does, I'll consider that as a benefit. :)
      Sep 28
    • Microsoft Hollla
      About switching team, it is easy. Just approach the hiring manager. There is no interview (or less interview in some case) policy if you switch within the same org. You can switch anytime you want. Also, there is an internal career fair kind of thing once a year which makes internal mobility easy.
      Sep 28
  • Microsoft WadeWatts
    Being able to do mega backdoor Roth at MS is a huge plus.
    Sep 27 4
    • OP
      the 401k? yeah. Apparently they give $9500. So you pay the other $9500. That's what I understand (haven't received the actual offer from MS yet for these details)
      Sep 27
    • Microsoft WadeWatts
      Nope, assuming you Max out pre-tax 401k, and get the $9500 match, mega backdoor allows you to contribute after tax dollars upwards of $27500 and they grow tax free.
      Sep 27
    • OP
      Oh wow. Never heard that. I thought maximum limit set by IRS was $19k.
      Sep 27
    • Microsoft iamletired
      Maximum pretax contribution from employee is $19k. There's an overall combined limit of $55k for all contribution sources. You have to contribute $19k to get the full $9.5k match. After that, you can contribute after tax dollars and do Roth conversion up to the $55k limit. It's a very nice benefit, though not exactly rare any more.
      Sep 28
  • Amazon tissuesplz
    Microsoft
    Sep 27 1
    • OP
      Thanks. WLB is definitely better in MS based on what I read.
      Sep 27
  • Qualtrics wudu
    Go to Amazon. I worked at both the places. Amazon has a high turnover and it is easy to create a position in team within a year that will help you create impact. In Microsoft, the managers have "Followers" that are following that manager for multiple years and creating a similar impact will take significantly more years. In Amazon, it is banned for managers to poach and they usually can't take followers when they move team.
    Sep 28 0
  • Google / Eng
    .:

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Samsung Electronics
    .:more
    Microsoft. You're also getting a lot more stocks. However, stocks are taxed at a higher rate.
    Sep 28 3
    • OP
      Even if I don't touch them for 2+ years?
      Sep 28
    • Google / Eng
      .:

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      .:more
      You pay tax when they're vested. Then off course there is this bullshit thing called capital gain tax. But I'm not talking about cap gain tax.
      Sep 28
    • Salesforce / Eng Honolulu🌞
      Aren't stocks taxed at your marginal rate? Is there a special rate for vested RSU (not counting capital gains)
      Oct 17
  • Microsoft iamletired
    $240k stock is REALLY high for L62. Good job negotiating. Caveat is there's basically no way you don't face a massive cliff in 4 years. You could avoid it by getting top rewards every year and hitting L64, but that's basically it. And you have maybe a 1% chance of doing that. WLB is VERY dependent on team and org. it is not universally good just as it isn't universally bad at Amazon. Also, is that $90k a sign on bonus? Just want to make sure you know your target bonus will be 10% with minimal annual stock.
    Sep 28 4
    • OP
      I think mainly it was because I had a competing offer. I'll need to be the top performer which I intend to be. Someone said, work in MS as if you're working at Amazon. :p

      WLB indeed is team dependent. But after I leave work I don't want to avoid on calls.

      Yes, that's a signing bonus. They started with 60k.

      But I realised after 2 years, I'll essentially be getting less TC ($45k less) because there won't be any bonus. Not sure how I'll cover that.

      Target bonus at most 10%? And new stocks in the range? (is that just based on performance?)
      Sep 28
    • Microsoft skeiwbdj
      FYI, there are on calls in msft as well.
      Sep 28
    • OP
      True.. But luckily not in the team I'm going to
      Sep 28
    • Microsoft iamletired
      target bonus is 10% but can go up to 20% (forget getting top rewards every year, won't happen). stock is around $11k annually vesting over 5 years.
      Sep 28
  • Microsoft
    shenierb d

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Google, Amazon, Facebook
    shenierb dmore
    I’ve worked at both. At Microsoft, your team could be working on something exactly same as some other. Years later some higher up will come in to clean up. And that means you could be reorg’d a million times. Better benefits for sure. At Amazon Almost 100% of the time you will be working on something that directly adds value to a customer (who is paying for it). And changing between teams at Amazon is trivial. At Microsoft you have go through almost a full loop again.

    And this is why I choose Amazon
    Sep 28 4
    • New agfm
      This 👆 and as far as wlb is concerned, it's completely team dependent. Both have good and crappy teams. And it's Seattle!!
      Sep 28
    • OP
      That's what I'm afraid of. I also didn't want to work on legacy code (in MS). But this team is brand new and goals are very futuristic. Which is why I'm leaning towards that.
      Sep 28
    • Microsoft
      shenierb d

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Google, Amazon, Facebook
      shenierb dmore
      I chose Amazon because I know my team is definitely making money or is on a path to make money. At Microsoft, even if I’m working on a brand new product, there’s more chances that it hasn’t been vetted out with real customers. And that means nobody would know what that product is outside of Microsoft.
      Sep 28
    • OP
      That's true.
      Sep 28
  • Google engg1
    Those numbers are quite high for L5 and 62. How are you calculating them?
    Sep 27 2
    • OP
      Updated on the post. I think my interview went pretty well. I do feel it's an outlier. But they might have liked my previous projects.
      Sep 27
    • Google / Eng
      .:

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      .:more
      MS and Amazon started to pay really well compared to G nowadays.
      Sep 28
  • EMC
    listArray

    EMC

    PRE
    500 Startups
    listArraymore
    Can you share the compensation breakdown and location.
    Sep 27 1
  • Microsoft notok
    This. Amazon has a cliff but if you make L6 in 4 years you’ll definitely boost that TC. At Microsoft you will need to make 64 with two promos. Not impossible either. I’d say the fear of being reorged at Msft is higher.
    Sep 28 0
  • Qualcomm / Eng ggnori
    Is this Seattle?
    Sep 28 1
  • New agfm
    What's your decision finally? I'd suggest Amazon considering higher impact
    Sep 28 1
    • OP
      Based on the fact that it's a new team and I'll have a higher impact at design and development, I am choosing Microsoft.
      Sep 30
  • Target horsepower
    OP: good choice that you selected MSFT. Which team at MSFT? I got an offer from MSFT today and its lower than what they offered you.
    4d 0
  • Amazon iUKQ36
    Just correcting something... amazon has shuttles too. 😋
    Sep 28 0
  • Microsoft 01020
    Good offer. That was my L63 numbers last yr.
    Sep 28 0
  • Amazon hgtnTd466
    If you are looking to stay somewhere for more than 2 years MS is a better option
    Sep 28 0

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