Experienced Engineers: Did I make a bad call?

Apr 23 30 Comments

I'm still a student graduating this semester and can't stop thinking about the full-time job decision I made last semester. After receiving a few offers, I filtered them down to 2 I was really interested in:

Facebook, NYC: $110k base/ 10%+ bonus/ $160k/4 years stock/ $85k sign on/ ~$160k TC
Two Sigma, NYC: $145k base/ $40k bonus/ $55k Sign On/ ~$185k TC

TS had some really compelling advantages in my mind:
1. Higher TC (and higher TC growth?)
2. I have no interest in living in the Bay/Seattle so with TS being headquartered in NYC, perhaps the advancement opportunities would be better
3. I have a huge interest in the financial markets and would love to work on and learn about trading algorithms
4. I was offered to work on some really interesting ML/ quantitative engineering work that is right up my ally in terms of interest
5. I like how much smaller the firm is than FB and the environment that that creates

I ended up choosing Facebook for the following reasons:
1. I was really pleased to be put in the NYC office
2. I believe that the open culture with regards to knowledge sharing provides a good environment for me to grow as an engineer
3. There are some ML teams in the NYC office that I'd be really interested in (FAIR, Instagram ML, etc) that if I could land on one of those teams- I could satisfy my interests in ML although this isn't guaranteed because I need to go through bootcamp (so this is a negative compared to TS where it would've been guaranteed)
4. I didn't have much time to interview after my internship, so I wanted to give myself time to do my research on the various financial firms and if found another opportunity I was interested in after my first job, TS's non-compete could block me from pursuing that
5. I aspire to one day reach the director ranks and I've heard online that TS prioritizes external hires for high level positions over internal promotion- while I don't get the impression that this is the case at FB

It was the hardest decision I've ever made and it still burns in my mind so I'm looking to hear from someone older and wiser than me on how to frame it and think about it. I've even considered asking TS if they could put this offer back on the table and reneging on FB if they could, even though I know this likely is the wrong path. Just want to gain some outside perspective on the situation.

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TOP 30 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng bananalove
    I recently turned down a low TC offer from Google to pick Uber for it's TC + type of work. I wonder sometimes if I made the right call.

    Tbh, I don't think anyone has the answer. Opportunities will come and go. Next time you're looking for a job, FB and TS may not be even on your shortlist. Things change, preferences change, companies change.

    Take FB, enjoy every moment. You'll most likely love it, most people who i know work there do! What's the absolute worst that could happen in the grand scheme of things?
    Apr 23 3
    • OP
      Thanks for note, you’re right that in the grander scheme of things the absolute worst isn’t so bad
      Apr 23
    • Amazon / Eng bananalove
      Btw, it's worth noting that probably the only reason your mind is running wild is because you haven't started at FB. Once you start, you'll wonder why you were ever worried. So don't expect this paranoia to go away til then 😂
      Apr 23
    • OP
      True, I have nothing but time now to ponder over everything
      Apr 23
  • Amazon new_ew
    Actually having Facebook on your resume, especially for the first couple of years would turn out to be good for you. There will likely be more companies happy to interview you in the future
    Apr 23 3
    • OP
      While obviously FB is a good name, TS has just as strong (if not stronger) reputation I would think?
      Apr 23
    • Amazon new_ew
      Well.. not in my experience at least.
      Apr 23
    • Facebook / Eng plus_ultra
      TS is more selective than FB, but both are good choices. You should be proud to have such a difficult decision to make :)
      Apr 23
  • Rally Health FuPayMe$$$
    You fucked up big time. Two sigma will pay way higher than fb at equivalent levels at all stages of your career.
    Apr 23 0
  • Amazon 63784747
    You can always go back to TS after 1-2 years if they make a compelling offer. You might get a higher level offer if you interview again with FB experience.

    No choice is end of the world. Very few SWE work for long time in the same company.

    Was your FB position for SWE?
    Apr 23 1
  • Facebook e999
    You made the right call. Everyone knows Facebook and it will look amazing on your resume.

    I haven’t heard of two sigma and I’m an industry veteran.
    Apr 23 0
  • Facebook shitposts
    Two Sigma is marginally better pay at lower levels and then tables turn at E6 onwards. TS will push you into management role to keep growing your comp and does not have enough room for pure senior ICs. So depends on your goals.
    Apr 24 9
    • OP
      What makes you say that:

      1. Have you heard Facebook pays better at the staff+ levels?

      2. I would’ve thought that at FB you’d get pushed into management more than at TS because of its much larger size and more opportunities to manage people?

      Thanks for the input btw
      Apr 24
    • Facebook shitposts
      1) have coworkers who came from there
      2) interviewed with them in the past and spoke with various groups and leadership

      FB does not push into management. Comp bands are same for IC and management and generally one can switch back and forth
      Apr 24
    • Facebook shitposts
      TS struggles to pay north of 500k for IC’s at least based on all the points I have gathered and discussions with recruiting. If they struggle to do that with hires, I would imagine they would also struggle with internal promos to come to that comp
      Apr 24
    • OP
      Interesting, thanks for the note
      Apr 24
    • OP
      From your understanding then does that mean that at TS TC taps out at around $500k generally or is that only in the case that you want to remain an IC?
      Apr 24
    • Facebook shitposts
      I don’t know what the upper limit is. The consistent narrative I got from them is you have to take on management responsibility if you want more comp at that level. They seem to have a decent amount of engineers who also have headcount and continue to try doing both things. Not ideal model in my opinion where engineers are also trying to he managers.
      Apr 24
    • New / Eng |l|l||l|l|
      OP dude, you're just graduating this semester and thinking of which company to join, but you're talking about staff level stuff. Are you planning to stick with the first company you join for your entire life or something? More likely than not you won't.
      Apr 24
    • OP
      More than likely I won’t that’s true, I’m just the type to think way ahead
      Apr 24
    • New / Eng |l|l||l|l|
      And that is fine, but it's not possible to know how today's companies will be like in the future or what new companies will appear before then.

      Maybe you should be focusing on how you want to develop rather than which company will be good 20 years from now. Companies change and come and go, but you're stuck with yourself till the end.
      Apr 24
  • Two Sigma oreo yum
    Good luck!
    Apr 23 1
    • OP
      Thanks! Best to you as well 👍
      Apr 23
  • New / Eng |l|l||l|l|
    You're thinking too far ahead. Hakuna mattata
    Apr 23 0
  • Nvidia bdei51
    In 4 years from now, you will realize it was just a decision where there is no right or wrong and you can go anywhere if you want to
    Apr 23 0
  • Facebook Solais
    Yes you made the right call. We have awesome free food while TS doesn't have any. 😁
    Apr 23 2
    • IBM / Eng namastayyy
      Wrong. They have cereal. I saw a line for the Cheerios on my way out after I failed my onsite
      Apr 23
    • Facebook Solais
      LOL. I'm referring to actual meals cooked on-site. We have Breakfast, lunch, dinner everyday

      A line for the Cheerios is concerning
      Apr 23
  • BBDO sxYo02
    I wouldn't recommend reaching out to TS as you'll just look indecisive and flaky. Because if you were TS, wouldn't you then think you'll just leave them when something better comes along?

    At least give FB a year. If at that point you really dislike it, reach out to TS. It'll show you at least tried and learned it wasn't for you. It shows that you're loyal to a point and will try and see things through.
    May 11 0

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