Empathy at FAANG and other big companies

New xyz-one
Nov 10 29 Comments

I am curious to hear how you guys feel about the culture at big companies. Do you feel like your leaders and co-workers have empathy? Do you take a interest in thier personal life and vice versa? Do you offer help if they are un-well or going through some issues at home/work? I am new to working at a FANG company and I am finding the culture to be lacking empathy. I am not talking about having workplace parties or team bonding exercises, but general human things like wishing someone to get better or asking them to take rest if they are un-well.
It seems that most people just come in do thier job and leave. Is this a common thing? Or is this more common among SDEs? Or more team dependent? Yes we are working on technology, computers, robots and AI. But we are human first, we don't have to be robots to make them!
How are things in your team? Do you celebrate each other? Does your manager care about your overall well being?

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TOP 29 Comments
  • New / Eng
    AmazonEng

    New Eng

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    Facebook, Amazon
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    Facebook, Amazon Software Engineering.
    AmazonEngmore
    (From Amazon)

    Yes some coworkers have truly become friends and we all show empathy to each other when we see burnout or overworking (at least in my department). We encourage each other to get the well-deserved rest after a big project or a long day. We don’t go too deep into personal life, some opted out of discussing them. But for those who did, like the people that are taking paternity/maternity breaks we celebrate with a gift, card signed by all co-workers and some nice donuts.

    Amazonians in my teams truly care about each other’s well being. We celebrate each other. In fact we have a new internal tool called “Accolades” where we send each other publicly announced complements based on LPs. Pretty cute and much appreciated.

    You can get a bad manager and some manager won’t care. But when you get a good one that genuinely cares about your personal development, you hit the jackpot and you are on a better track to promotion as your manager fights harder for you.
    Nov 10 8
    • Qualcomm NqAf57
      AmazonEng, that's nice to hear, but isn't that a complete antithesis to the frugality LP?
      Nov 10
    • Amazon thule
      @Qualcomm doesn't sound like you Dove Deep enough on Hiring and Developing the Best ;)
      Nov 10
    • Qualcomm NqAf57
      I'm aware of those, but the whole TCT system and paying most of the TC in restricted stock smacks of simply being cheap, so I wonder how orgs in Amazon can get away with spending money that could be considered frivolous in that kind of environment. Granted, I've not worked for Amazon before, so I'm just going by what friends who've worked for Amazon have told me.
      Nov 10
    • Amazon thule
      I mean I'd take RSUs over Qualcomm TC any day of the week ;) but to bring up the differences I've encountered with the frugality LP vs other companies is that we have no catered lunches, we have significantly less swag giveaways, we don't get free or heavily discounted Amazon hardware/services (though we do get a bunch of misc discounts), and we're stingier about comping orders for things like office chairs, useful accessories, software licenses, etc.

      My parking is fully comped, I have regular team lunches, never have spent a dime while traveling, have beer, 🍌, and other snacks in the kitchen, using the newest MacBook pro... So I never personally felt like we shoot ourselves in the foot on this LP, and am pretty satisfied with how much I get from that.

      TCT/RSU weighted TC has never been an issue for me or the people that I know - in fact, I know several who preferred the RSU weighted TC because of the stock growth. Additionally, your first 2 years are usually weighted more with bonuses than RSUs so you can hop ship after that if your RSUs aren't as valuable as you like.

      I do know that there's commonly poor handling of refreshers after the 4 year vesting period - though my org seems to be better at that.
      Nov 11
    • Qualcomm NqAf57
      Thanks for the comprehensive post! It sounds like there's some good teams in Amazon.
      Nov 11
  • Northrop Grumman / Eng A12Fusion
    Not FANG rn.

    I was super empathetic at first after high school..maybe too much and got taken advantage of. As time went on I started seeing through corporate trash and a lot of people just seemed fake to me. Small talk usually leads to nothing, and most* other people don’t truly care about you. They just care about themselves.

    So now I just do my work and leave. Actually the older I get the less emotion I seem to feel, sad because 3 years ago had so much energy.
    Nov 10 2
    • Apple
      Down4Tech

      Apple

      BIO
      Stronger and more jacked than you 💪🏾💪🏾
      Down4Techmore
      Definitely agree! ✊🏾
      Nov 10
    • American Express pgMrc13
      Have a energy for you, your goals, your aspirations not for others... never shut the light down on yourself because soon others will shut it down on you. Find a fulfilling place that will revive your energy buddy
      Nov 10
  • Apple
    Down4Tech

    Apple

    BIO
    Stronger and more jacked than you 💪🏾💪🏾
    Down4Techmore
    Some people care but In the end it’s business. We are all in the rat race together and humans can be treacherous when it comes to survival (keeping their job or taking yours). I have met some that genuinely do express empathy but I definitely do not expect it.
    Nov 10 0
  • New / Eng
    AmazonEng

    New Eng

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    AmazonEngmore
    Whether or not empathy is present, be kind to people, always.
    Nov 10 1
  • Amazon / Eng OlAl28
    Tbh I feel like the shitty management at Amazon tends to make the engineers more tight knit. It's a bit like being in the trenches together lol
    Nov 10 3
    • New / Eng
      AmazonEng

      New Eng

      PRE
      Facebook, Amazon
      BIO
      Facebook, Amazon Software Engineering.
      AmazonEngmore
      Stockholm Syndrome?

      Sorry to hear your SDMs aren’t treating your teams well. It’s literally a lottery when you join Amazon for the good managers. But there are great fantastic managers.
      Nov 10
    • Amazon thule
      @OIAI28 lol interested in switching teams and possibly locations to an org with less shitty managers?
      Nov 10
    • American Express pgMrc13
      It is not a total lottery. You get the chance to meet your future boss at least once and have multiple calls before you sign in. Due diligence is important here.
      Nov 10
  • Apple %<~}?,~|
    I’ve been with my manager for more tha 5 years now. Best one I’ve ever had. He’s patient, supportive, and helpful. Coworkers are professional. No blame games. Smart programmers, decent humans.
    Nov 10 2
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng A12Fusion
      Well anyone would be happy working with Craig Federighi
      Nov 10
    • Apple %<~}?,~|
      I’m in Eddys org.
      Nov 10
  • Microsoft / Eng xnu
    Most personalities I've interacted with in this industry seem to fall into the "robot" bucket, i.e. dead stares, not displaying any emotion/enthusiasm/interest/hell, even anger/annoyance, etc; poor communication skills (especially written).

    I try to avoid these teams now as I've come to realize that working with people who are capable of displaying emotions is important to me.

    The next largest bucket I'd say is very toxic personalities. People who'll throw you under the bus as soon as they've made the decision that they don't like you for whatever reason. Most people I've dealt with in this category don't exactly have the mindset of questioning why they feel this way or if it's warranted. Been burned enough times in my career by thinking I can try to improve relations with people like this.

    Maybe my personal experiences make me an outlier but these experiences have motivated me to build up a nest egg/reach FI so that I don't have to work at tech companies and deal with this behavior.
    Nov 10 2
    • State Farm sweeeeee
      Your team hiring?
      Nov 10
    • Microsoft / Eng xnu
      I'm leaving my team because of the above reasons...
      Nov 10
  • Hulu TrNf5340
    Nope. Most places don't. You might find a few good people who do but majority don't. Also in bigger companies people don't want to be friends with coworkers because they see them as competition and usually end up backstabbing each other.
    Nov 10 0
  • Symantec / Eng neshama
    No empathy in MSFt
    Nov 10 2
    • New xyz-one
      OP
      Interesting, I thought Satya Nadella valued empathy a lot.
      Nov 14
    • Symantec / Eng neshama
      He talks about itbut it isn't easy to turn a Titanic around
      Nov 14

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