Evaluate offer - Senior Engineer at Nordstrom

Amazon change()
May 21, 2018 30 Comments

Not LE. On H1B. STEM Masters from a reputed US school, Non CS background.
Currently pursuing an MS CS part time which will complete sometime next year.
About 5 years dev/data science experience prior to Amazon in a little known company.

Currently SDE1 at Amazon/AWS for about 2 years now, 117 Base 85 RSU 40K sign on. Might get promoted in 6 months. Like working here (oncall sucks though).
Move to Amazon was basically a career change for me into an official SDE role.

Nordstrom offer: Senior Engineer 145K base, 25% Bonus target, 62.5% bonus cap.

AWS pro - it's AWS!
AWS con - Non CS entry level software engineer = prime target for H1B RFE (and possibly denial) next year when my visa will need to be renewed. GC will be under EB3 if visa extension is approved. I already have an EB2 I140 from my previous employer under a non software but STEM position. However, if my MS CS degree completes before my visa filing next year, I might not be in that bad a position immigration-wise.

Nordstrom pro - the title is Senior Engineer (no software in title), position is more aligned with my education (I will be writing software, but domain specific) + base is much higher, so immigration paperwork is easier (afaik, USCIS looks at base, not TC). My H1B transfer to Nordstrom took about a week in premium processing, no RFE. Wife's H4 also took a week. Got her EAD extended too. Looking at these timelines, immigration for my profile seems more promising at Nordstrom. GC processing can be resumed next year in EB2 since it's a senior engineer position (as Nordstrom immigration team informed me).
Nordstrom con - it's not AWS!

For AWS, if my visa is denied next year, I can be relocated to other Amazon locations (depending on openings), but I'll prefer to stay here as I have a US Citizen toddler who is on Autism Spectrum (high functioning) and has had adjustment problems in India (during our visits). Canada is an alternative, but not sure how they will be hiring 1 year from now.

Any advice? Stay with AWS? Leave?

I like Amazon and would love to stick around and kick ass, but immigration and stability are also important for us. Just looking for some advice/guidance.

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TOP 30 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng L6SDE
    Nordstrom’s tech talent is a joke if that matters to you. As an SDE 2 they offered me a principal position, and some of my interviewers did not understand the problems they asked me. Sounds like it might be worth it for your family though.
    May 21, 2018 2
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      Their titles are indeed inflated compared to FAANG, but not so much compared to other companies - in other words, FAANG downlevel aggressively. Again, a title is just that, a title; however in my case it helps my immigration paperwork, so I can't complain. Plus, they do seem to have a few good engineers (based on my interaction during interviews and LinkedIn searches) who are essentially leading the effort towards modernization.
      May 21, 2018
    • Microsoft UdsH08
      I saw a SDE2 from Google get Sr. Principal too
      May 21, 2018
  • Amazon numsSize
    All I can say is do what works for H1B
    May 21, 2018 1
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      This is exactly what I (and my wife) have been thinking.
      May 21, 2018
  • Apple AriG
    Go with Nordstrom.
    May 21, 2018 0
  • Nordstrom / Product tdGJ35
    You are in a very “special” situation because of your visa. Having said that, and putting that aside:

    1. Nordstrom’s health insurance is sub-par. If you have a kid with a given medical condition; it can be very expensive between deductibles and co-pays.
    2. Your career growth opportunities post-Nordstrom might be limited; in great part because you will lack Senior Engineers that can help you grow dev-wise.
    3. The flip side to the above is that you will have better work-life balance; with the exception of maybe Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale & Holiday preparation periods.

    May I ask. What team is this at Nordstrom?
    Jun 13, 2018 6
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      Stormy2020

      Nordstrom Eng

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      Amazon, Intel, Getty Images
      Stormy2020more
      Strongly agree with #2 - brand name matters
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Nordstrom / Product tdGJ35
      Generally speaking, that team has been struggling a little. So keep that in mind.
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      Struggling as in? Incomplete projects, or no projects?
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Nordstrom / Product tdGJ35
      Engineering practices are not the greatest. And they have projects; but technology-wise they are behind the average at Nordstrom.

      Also, many people with Sr titles; because they were internal transfers who negotiated a promotion as part of the move (which was the reason to move in the first place. Most end up leaving after 6-9 months.
      Jun 14, 2018
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      Stormy2020

      Nordstrom Eng

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      Amazon, Intel, Getty Images
      Stormy2020more
      Op search in here " shit tier Seattle "- comprehensive list of rankings
      Jun 15, 2018
  • Microsoft Lololo101
    Go to Msft, if you didn’t try yet.
    May 21, 2018 3
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      I did. I synced for a senior RSDE position in an MSR AI team and was super excited about it. Hiring manager and other interviewers wanted to hire me, one senior member said no (per the feedback from the recruiter). She asked me to ping her again after my masters is done (so next year). I do want to work in AI and my part time MS CS is focussing on AI. Microsoft was my first choice due to faster commute (I live in the Eastside), good team, and better WLB. Plus they have good support for families with children on ASD. Will try again.
      May 21, 2018
    • Microsoft Lololo101
      Can you try a different team, or there is the 1 year wait bc you were a no hire? You can move around after you get into msft.
      May 21, 2018
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      Microsoft would have been ideal and my intent to join Microsoft was bordering on desperation😋 but could not make it work. Not sure if there is a cool off period of one year. I will ping another recruiter and see if I can get some attention.
      May 21, 2018
  • What sort of software engineering is there to do at Nordstrom? Do they offer any stock? How’s the insurance etc?
    May 21, 2018 2
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      Insurance seemed comparable to what we have here, although slightly more expensive. Stocks are offered starting at the next level (senior engineer 2 and principal). From what I gathered during my interviews, there is a massive effort in progress to modernize their software/systems and move things to AWS. Heard bits and pieces about more exciting work (route/pricing optimization, some applications of natural language understanding, etc.) but those are fewer.
      May 21, 2018
    • Very interesting. I keep getting LinkedIn spam from them. I assumed it was some boring job but they seem to offer decent TC which leads me to believe they are looking for skilled engineers.
      May 21, 2018
  • Nordstrom / Eng
    Sunysea

    Nordstrom Eng

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    Amazon, Intel, Getty Images
    Sunyseamore
    Amazons insurance is way better than the insurance here . Dependents would cost around $500 a month. But you need to check the deets
    May 24, 2018 3
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      I pay about $350 now at Amazon for the insurance I have elected. Although, generally I agree, insurance at Amazon is cheaper and better.
      May 24, 2018
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      Sunysea

      Nordstrom Eng

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      Amazon, Intel, Getty Images
      Sunyseamore
      And amazons Premera plan is much better in terms coverage .
      May 24, 2018
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      Thanks. Sent you a PM with some questions.
      May 24, 2018
  • Nordstrom dyel
    Espp. No stock at Sr engineer level. I think it's VP+
    Aug 15, 2018 1
    • Nordstrom Geekhero
      Stock starts with Principal level. They removed from Sr 2 and increased the base package at Sr 2.
      Aug 25, 2018
  • Research Now / Eng Hooohaaa
    How is Nordstrom doing these days? I heard that Brick and Mortar Mall based chains are loosing money big time thanks to Amazon.
    May 21, 2018 1
    • Amazon change()
      OP
      Read a few seeking alpha articles and projections looked ok, mainly because 1) Nordstrom caters to more fashion conscious clientele - people who would rather buy thier clothes and accessories at a physical upscale store, and 2) their efforts to improve their e-retail services, so far which has yielded good results.
      May 21, 2018
  • Nordstrom Geekhero
    At the end, OP- What did you do? Did you join Nordstrom or any other company or still in Amazon?
    Jun 22, 2018 0
  • Microsoft / Eng Sinbad
    My spouse is there as a Senior Software Engineer 2 and the target is 30%, bonus cap is 60%. For Senior Software Engineer 1 it’s actually 25% and 50% I thought?
    Jun 12, 2018 0