Down level myself?

New pgzqgm
Mar 21 10 Comments

Had on-site with a few high profile companies in the past 12 months (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, etc) and all got rejected (two for manager positions and others for IC roles). age near 40. have 13+ years of experience with the current title as an engineer manager (2 yoe). According to recruiters, I was all evaluated as a senior IC during interview. With all these rejections I started wondering if my technical skills are not on par with the senior roles in those big name companies. Especially I have relatively less experience on developing large scale distributed systems. Most of my past experience is in internal tools development or projects in smaller companies. Will that be weird if I tell recruiters that I would like to be considered for mid-level positions as well? Will FANG + unicorn company take a 40 years old developer in as a mid-level developer, or they see this as a sign the individual didn't grow fast enough?

I have done near 300 Leetcode (about 60% medium and 10% hard questions) and don't think I have issues with the behavior interviews (I'm an engr. manager after all). System design is relatively weak (I couldn't pass the engr. manager interviews due to this) but should still be better than a junior developer.

by the way I'm currently in a small-size public company. For some reason I need to use my side job email here or it's easy to be identified. Also, my TC is actually similar to the TC of mid-level positions in FANG + unicorns (200~250k).

Since I had no experience working in those big names, I really want to go after those companies, instead of a better position in relatively unknown companies.


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TOP 10 Comments
  • Cisco bitset
    System design does not have right or wrong answer. That being said interviewer has plenty of room to manipulate process and make it more crappy
    Mar 21 0
  • Amazon uggaly
    Do you look 40? I mean, if you
    come in with gray hair and a walker, look like you’re going to fall over and behave all crotchety, then you’re going to have problems. However if you’re energetic and can knock out the coding problems, then downleveling a 40yo-ish person to L5 at Amazon isn’t terribly unusual. IC, I mean. It’d be hard to get a manager position with no large-scale distributed system experience as an IC. So being an IC first and getting that experience and then applying to another company a couple
    of years later as manager might work. Trying to pull thAt off internally would be tough, though, regardless of what the recruiter might tell you.
    Mar 21 7
    • Amazon uggaly
      Ummmm... Like, we have SDE3 loop (L6) and anyone failing SDE3 loop, the conversation will always go straight into “ok should we consider SDE2?”. It’s sort of automatic at Amazon. It wouldn’t hurt to tell the recruiter you’d consider an SDE2 role if you don’t meet the SDE3 bar, but usually isn’t necessary.
      Mar 21
    • Amazon uggaly
      btw almost no one looks at your resume :)
      Mar 21
    • New pgzqgm
      Not sure if that the same case for FB and Uber, one says they won’t consider me for non-senior level as it’s for the graduates with a few years of experience, another said the position I applied is for senior level. I asked this after rejected which is why I figured I may need to mention it in advance.
      Mar 21
    • Amazon uggaly
      i suppose that depends on what they mean by “senior level”. FB E5 is roughly equivalent to Amazon L5, which is sde2, which is 3-99 yoe. L6 is sde3 is like 8-10+ yoe and crazy good at it and sde1 and 2’s will voluntarily follow you like you’re the pied piper. downleveling at fb and amazon is common and downleveling from sde3 to sde2 at amazon is more common than hiring sde3’s.
      Mar 21
    • Facebook giovani
      E5 is a long and wide band, so it has tons of folks who are close to E6 and comp range reflects that. My impression was SDE2 is more of an E4, maybe low E5 due to yoe
      Mar 22
  • Facebook giovani
    Hiring team already will consider possible levels in the decision. No reason to ask for lower level.
    Mar 22 0


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