Coming into AMZN as an SDE1. How soon until SDE2?

Gap / Eng randUser
Jun 7 20 Comments

I have 2 YOE prior to Amazon and a bachelor's degree in computer engineering.

Could I make SDE2 in a year? Everywhere in blind I see people say 1.5 to 2 years, but I assumed that is for new grads. Was wondering if it's the same if I am coming in with experience.

And how frequent are promotions? Like can you be promoted every quarter? My company is apparently only once a year lol.

And any tips of how to hit the ground running to earn a promo?

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TOP 20 Comments
  • Facebook / Eng mturtle
    1 year is possible though rare.

    On the other hand 4 years is also possible.
    Jun 7 6
    • Facebook / Eng mturtle
      Yes. They don't look at your experience at other companies when making internal promation. Its what you did at amazon that matters. You might want to try interviewing at other companies.
      Jun 7
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      I did try :( Google leveled me at L3 too, passed the bar they said but no L3 headcount. Facebook told me they're only looking for people with 5+ YOE

      It's tough for those of us with my YOE lol. So I don't really mind joining amazon as an SDE1 until I hit that 5 YOE total mark that everyone is looking for
      Jun 7
    • Facebook / Eng mturtle
      What office for Facebook did you apply?
      Jun 7
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      Menlo Park but open to any
      Jun 7
    • Facebook / Eng mturtle
      DM me If you are interested Facebook seattle.
      Jun 7
  • Nvidia wagecuck
    Would not go to sde1 with 2 yoe better to wait a year and try for sde2. Even if you get promoted you will get bottom of band pay.
    Jun 7 4
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      Nervous to take that gamble bc worried about a lot of uncertainty with my current job. I've been doing well but they won't tell us where we will be come next January or if we will even have our job
      Jun 7
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      Also on this note, if I see an internal team with an SDE2 opening, couldn't I just interview for that? Would it be easier? And maybe even have external offers in hand while I do that
      Jun 7
    • Nvidia wagecuck
      You can’t get promotion from internal change. If your current job is not secure then take the sde1.
      Jun 7
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      Oh that's good to know!
      Jun 7
  • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
    You shouldn't count on it, but it's definitely possible to get it in 1 year or even less. Past experience and interview feedback CAN and WILL be used ("reasons to promote") in a promo doc. Have seen it done (successfully) before, and I myself am one such case of that (down-leveled on hire and promoted 10 months later).
    Jun 7 2
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      Makes sense, if you get an offer, would the recruiter be willing to provide interview feedback then? So you can gauge how much that will help?

      And yeah I'm not banking on it, would like to get there in two years make because I'll be 4 YOE total by then. Of course I'm going to have to work my ass off to earn it, I don't want it handed over either
      Jun 8
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      Recruiters are trained not to provide specific feedback (liability for the company), but some will if they're confident that it would be construed as positive or the candidate will take it well in general.

      I would phrase it by asking if they could provide detailed examples of specific strengths (or LPs) that might be at or near the L5 bar. While the official line is that all LPs matter, some are more important than others. For SDEs, there will be special attention paid to "invent and simplify," "dive deep," "ownership," and "learn and be curious," for example. "Think Big" for L6 or L7 roles. For ALL Amazonians, "customer obsession" is the most important LP (it's at the top of the published list for a reason).

      You may also want to set up a call with the SDM on the team you'd be joining, and ask the same thing; they tend to be less sensitive about sharing feedback. I wouldn't necessarily ask them if you can get promoted quickly, because most will just tell you what they think you want to hear (nobody can promise a promotion, period--too many factors outside of even your own manager's control).
      Jun 8
  • New __tro50
    What’s the bump in tc?
    Jun 7 2
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      OP
      I don't know yet, waiting for the offer

      Just curious for title's sake
      Jun 7
    • New __tro50
      Join the team, give your best, if you don’t like it interview elsewhere.
      Jun 7
  • Amazon MettBacker
    You will realize you are actually thinking in the wrong direction the day you get pip’ed. Good luck!
    Jun 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng batou
      philosophical. why it's a wrong direction?
      Jun 7

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