FB or AWS

Amazon / Eng inblind
Dec 14, 2017 51 Comments

New grad CS MS from East Coast, interned in AWS last summer.

Recently I get an offer from Facebook as a Data Engineer, and I am not sure which one should I choose. All advices are welcomed, thank you!

FB
pros:
Big name, in CA, better environment to work & live?
May have an opportunity to transfer to SDE in FB? (not sure, but I guess it will be easier?)

cons:
I haven't done any internship / full-time job as Data Engineer, not sure how will it looks like. I know it's about building the ETL pipeline and do the analysis, which includes ETL, SQL, python and even Hive.
The career path for this seems to be narrow, and need more knowledge for statistics? (I am not that good at Math, so not sure how will it influence my future career) And it may need more report / meeting / analyzing instead of just coding? (Not sure is that an easy thing for a non-native speaker)

AWS
pros
People in my team are pretty nice, focus on Java.
The diversity is good.
AWS is a pretty strong org, will benefit from it if jump to other companies later.
Seattle is cheaper in living & housing

cons:
Amazon sounds not as good as FB.
Do something not that interesting.

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TOP 51 Comments
  • Facebook CIA Spy
    I'd take SWE at AWS even if comp was similar.

    To give you some clarity, data engineers barely do any SQL / data analysis work at all. That's all data scientist. Data engineers' work is 90% coding, even more than most product SWEs. Building data pipelines, migrating existing ones to whatever the new fancy thing is, helping teams figure out what kind of data storage will give them an optimal experience while keeping costs in check and then building them, etc.

    It's fun if that's your thing but it basically eliminates all product work opportunity (if you're someone who'd like to try that).
    Dec 14, 2017 5
    • Amazon Hilldawg
      If it’s all coding why are they paid less?
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Facebook SmJB24
      Coding != Engineering
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you forthe explaination!
      i also want to know, if 90% is coding, why it will eliminate all product work opportunity?
      my team in AWS also has many operation tasks, which may be similar
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Facebook CIA Spy
      Product work = projects involving the UI (or a visible change in the user's experience). On the web side, product work involves XHP, JS and React. Most SWEs also do related infra work to support their teams' product work as well. On the native apps side, it's Java for Android, Objective C for IOS etc. (I don't even know if we use Objective C or Swift, pardon my ignorance).

      As a data engineer, you will do nothing that changes user experience. Instead you will work on mostly backed stuff that will help SWEs and DSes store and analyze the data they're interested in quickly and efficiently.

      Not doing product work isn't a big deal to many, but I've also seen a lot of people who enjoy and keep themselves motivated from doing product changes, so it largely depends on your personal preferences.
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you, u r being so helpful and i really appreciate that!
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Facebook / Eng Wh00dis
    AWS, would say FB if SWE but you have a DE offer
    Dec 14, 2017 3
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      does the DE seem to be a lower level engineer inside?
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng Wh00dis
      DE gets paid less and you will learn a ton as SWE on a good AWS team which will be much better for your career in long term.
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng dual
      Also you can transfer within a company in same role much easier than moving from DE to SDE.
      Dec 14, 2017
  • Amazon
    rohit,

    Amazon

    PRE
    Microsoft
    rohit,more
    Go for AWS, get some experience and when you ready try Facebook again for sde role
    Dec 14, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Capital One / Product showiestla
    Think long term. Don’t do something you don’t like just because it’s with Facebook. If you like the data engineer work, take Facebook offer. Your skill set matters more than where you work, and Amazon is still a big deal brand.
    Dec 14, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      Thank you. Well for the long term I have no idea as well 😂
      I've got CS degree for MS and serveral SDE internship before. Overall I am more familiar with the SDE jobs, but the task in AWS doesn't make me excited.
      Relatively I would say it is easier to get into Amazon than FB, but AWS is definitely the number one in the Cloud from my opinion.

      Since I am not good at Math and Statistics, I am not sure if it will be my limitation for the near future if do a Data Engineer job.
      Dec 14, 2017
  • Amazon / Eng poconos
    In this title conscious industry, SDE is the safest title you can have. Your transition to any role in the future is a lot easier if you start off as an SDE because you will learn a lot as an SDE. An SDE is given the freedom and opportunity to work on whatever he/she wants (unless in core research fields of course but a few SDE made it there too). Any other role, you are severely limited to it’s responsibilities. As an SDE, switching companies is a lot easier and you will have smoother transition into engineering management leadership roles as well. So don’t think about this too much. Choose AWS SDE for now. You can always switch to any role in FB later on.
    Dec 14, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      i agree with u that it is the safest choice lol
      and yes it is easier to switch later
      thank you so much!
      Dec 14, 2017
  • Oracle (xkdje#(9
    How did you get a data eng offer? Did you try swe first?
    Dec 14, 2017 5
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      Yep, I failed the SDE first, but get this later.
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Expedia boom_boom
      Were the interviews different?
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      huge difference i would say
      Dec 15, 2017
    • Expedia boom_boom
      What were somw of the diffs?
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      de ask.more sql thing and scenario analysis
      Dec 17, 2017
  • Amazon / Eng
    Hooliganss

    Amazon Eng

    BIO
    Engineer at AWS
    Hooliganssmore
    AWS as a brand is just as good as Facebook or Google I think. It’s a clear leader and is innovating at an insane clip. Amazon as a whole is definitely lower.
    Dec 17, 2017 4
    • Amazon Hilldawg
      What about Alexa?
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      I think it’s prestigious within amazon. But, I don’t think as much outside of amazon. As I understand, amazon is about equal with other AI tech, maybe slightly behind google.

      The differentiation for AWS is that it is literally light years ahead with service offerings, data centers/availability zones/regions and customer base.
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon Hilldawg
      I see, interesting. I’m joining Alexa and I’m interested in that sorta thing (really impressed during my internship) hopefully I can spin it for a better gig down the road.
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      I’ve heard good things about Alexa though. Hopefully it turns out good for ya!
      Dec 17, 2017
  • Amazon Hilldawg
    New grad data eng offer is pretty bad right? Like $130k tc?

    If so I’d take AWS.
    Dec 14, 2017 3
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      totally it should be 145k for new grad, including stock and signon
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Amazon Hilldawg
      That’s identical to amazon wtf
      Dec 14, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      yes, i think compensation it is same. but living in bay area cost more than seattle
      Dec 14, 2017
  • Facebook newgrad
    Listen to people's advices, go to AWS.
    Dec 15, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you for reply again lol, i will probably go AWS then
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Facebook FaecBook
    I think a lot of DEs join with an eventual goal of seeing if they can transfer to SWE. I haven’t been here long enough to say how many of them make the transfer, but given the high supply, I don’t think the rate is that high.

    I’d go to AWS and apply for a SWE role @ FB in 11 months
    Dec 15, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Facebook newgrad
    Take AWS, data engineers dont get treated well at FB. Airbnb is a good place for data engineers.
    Dec 14, 2017 0
  • Amazon / Eng
    AlexaSmart

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft, eBay
    AlexaSmartmore
    Please dont take the data engineer role at fb. Data engineers at fb work on regular etl stuff which is very boring. You will be stuck with it.
    Better go with aws sde, tonnes to learn here and then you can again apply to fb later anyways.
    Dec 15, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Google jghyrh
    I once interviewed someone who was leaving Facebook for Amazon. I asked about it, and he said he ended up in a data engineer role.

    Sde in AWS will be a much better learning experience for a new grad than data engineer anywhere. In a few years, you'll have built up awesome experience, and with a bit of practice, basically any tech company will be within your grasp.
    Dec 15, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thank you
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Amazon / Eng RCMMT
    Java is a pro? I too thought that fresh out of college and now that I have been using python for a few years, I never want to go back.

    There are pros and cons for each langauage depending on the job required. I wouldn't consider a language when choosing a job fresh out of college as learning a new one will vastly increase your understanding of how different ones allow you to tackle different problems.
    Dec 15, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      thats true
      i am just more familiar with java, and it is a pro when comparing with SQL
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Tableau Nervpete
    AWS, doing a tour at Amazon is good. You can take the good things you learned to other companies and leave the bad behind
    Dec 14, 2017 0
  • Symantec LLbv28
    Personally I will choose fb, coz of their perks and culture. As for work you can easily move around , not a big thing in either of the companies.
    Dec 14, 2017 3
    • Facebook seataco
      Not true. To go from DE to SWE at FB you need to re interview.
      Dec 15, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      do u know how hard is that?
      Dec 15, 2017
    • Facebook seataco
      It's a regular swe loop.
      Dec 17, 2017
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon / Eng inblind
      OP
      to be honest, my internship experience was pretty fine, so thats why i am struggling for a decision
      Dec 14, 2017
  • New FIxi
    So what did you decide?
    Jan 15, 2018 0
  • New Lejxbqk
    I’m making the same choice as a 20+ year experience PM. It’s a toss up for me. For you, being early in your career and the roles being different, it’s a no brainer to go AWS. If you end up loving the company, it will be a great place for the next 10 years. FB is amazing now; will be great for 2-3 years probably but I see a lot of risk long term. Of course, they said that about mobile transition being risky. I wouldn’t bet against Zuck either :) S
    Jan 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng inblind
    OP
    if u can provide any specific advise, that will be great and super helpful for me❤
    Dec 14, 2017 0

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