Google L3/SDE-1 vs Amazon L5/SDE-2

Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
May 9 33 Comments

I have 2 offers lined up-
1. Google | Mountain View | L3 (SDE-1 I am guessing?)
2. Amazon | Seattle | L5 (SDE 2)

I am yet to negotiate offers with them. Just wanted to get some clarity on the below questions. Thanks in advance!

1. Which do I pick?
2. If Amazon, what is a reasonable compensation?
3. If Google, what is a reasonable compensation?

PS: My qualifications: MS in CS | 2y work experience as a backend engineer

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TOP 33 Comments
  • Amazon alsnd
    I'd go with Google. Much less drama and manager issues than Amazon. Plus Google pays much better (with refreshers and so). Culture is also better and the environment is much healthier.
    May 9 2
    • Amazon
      seattle'd

      Amazon

      PRE
      Amazon, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, Apple
      seattle'dmore
      Try talking to the team manager over 30 mins chat to know more about the team, levels, wlb, ops vs development time, and pain points, tech stack, role responsibility and expectations on onboarding and deliveries. It may help OP in more informed decision making.
      May 9
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      @alsnd, that really helps. Thanks!
      @seattle'd, just to add more context. From speaking to the managers about all those you mentioned, I see that the tech stacks are pretty similar, although the DEV culture, and expectations in Google seems far better and realistic. Will mostly stick to Google although they might not beat Amazon's offer. Work >>> Pay (if TC is decent).
      May 9
  • New / Eng going2g
    It's hard to tell you which one to pick without numbers! My guess is that the Amazon offer may compete with or be better than your Google offer due to the higher level. Also, since Amazon is in Seattle with lower taxes and cost of living, you'll have to take 15-20% off of the Google offer to compare them fairly.

    In Google's defense, better perks, WLB, prestige (if you care), and culture. I'll also assume you would enjoy living in the bay area more than Seattle.

    So it comes down to how much more you value TC. Although given Google's refresher policy, and that you could get promoted in 2 or 3 years to L4, you might end up making more at Google even if your Amazon offer is higher.

    I say go Google.
    May 9 2
    • Amazon
      seattle'd

      Amazon

      PRE
      Amazon, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, Apple
      seattle'dmore
      Yea, when you reach at L4 after ~ 3 years, because of Google's refresher policy, you may be making more at Google.
      May 9
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      @going2g That's a neat way of putting it. I think at the end of the day, I want to be in a room where I am the dumbest, surrounded by learning opportunities and good culture. I think Google is better suited for me. Thanks!
      May 9
  • Nvidia wagecuck
    All the people saying google are truly clueless. You can go to google later at higher level. Why would you take a demotion?
    May 9 3
    • Exactly what I was thinking
      May 9
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      I partly agree with you that going to Amazon is a level up. But, with the same comes responsibilities and expectations, which from majority of what I've heard is unrealistic at Amazon. So, I'd rather pick Google, where I'm certain that the same level engineers are far more smarter than my current peers, which helps me grow and eventually deservingly become a Google L4. I somehow feel I personally need a little more time before I consider myself as a worthy L5 at Amazon/L4 at Google. Amazon offers such as this make people take it and they don't realize that you've to start delivering from possibly week 2 and the money sort of masks this fact. And I prefer to not work in such a stressful work environment.

      Is it just me thinking this or does it make sense? :)
      May 10
    • Impostor syndrome is normal. I feel that you think you're a "false positive" in Amazon recruiting. I've heard Amazon's bar is low for SDE 1 but not so much for SDE 2. The pip rate also reflects this. If they end up giving you a very strong offer for SDE 2 then that means they we're strongly convinced that you're good. You "raised the bar". Meaning you are better than 50% of SDE 2s at Amazon. Then you "deserve" SDE 2. But it you're not comfortable with taking on the responsibilities then I understand. Btw Amazon gives you 3-6 month grace period for training so don't worry about having to deliver on day 1. Google is known to down-level/low-ball, don't let that effect your self confidence. That said, do what you feel is right, but be confident that you deserve both offers.
      May 10
  • New / IT Fun22Tango
    Definitely Google.
    May 9 0
  • Amazon
    seattle'd

    Amazon

    PRE
    Amazon, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, Apple
    seattle'dmore
    I was in the same situation. However, levels.fyi shows L4@G ~ L5@A in terms of role responsibilities and comp range.
    May 9 0
  • Citrix Systems / Eng peda
    What did you tell recruiters for such frequent job hops ??
    May 9 5
    • Citrix Systems / Eng peda
      Wtf !! Like 3 jobs in 2 years ?
      May 9
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      MS is Masters, haha. Not a company.
      May 9
    • Citrix Systems / Eng peda
      Was Cisco is USA ? Why did you do masters ?
      May 9
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      No, Cisco was in India. Did MS since I wanted to specialize in a field.
      May 9
    • Wayfair WNEm45
      I'd check with your potential direct supervisor and managing chain to make sure you would get along well together. Just like at Wayfair, there's certain orgs to avoid at Google and Amazon.
      May 9
  • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
    OP
    Okay guys, another update and I really need your help. :)
    Google came back with a competing offer of 256K total compensation, which includes a 50K joining bonus. To me, this looks like definitely reasonable although this is the first offer Google has made concretely.

    My friends/peers are suggesting I negotiate before accepting their initial offer. Is that reasonable? Should I be negotiating for may be 75K joining bonus?
    May 14 2
    • Daimler pajsob
      Amazon 215k YOY vs Google 206 YOY compensation? You might want to normalize the sign on for google over 4 years to have a more equal comparison since Amazon inflates the first two years with their high sign on
      May 14
    • New / Eng going2g
      You should always negotiate. Worst case, you keep the offer you have. But you normally always get something.

      What's the breakdown of the Amazon offer, and the Google offer? Like the comment above suggested, you don't want to inflate Google's offer by adding the entire signing bonus to the TC.
      May 14
  • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
    OP
    Okay guys, update. Amazon offered me a TC of 215K. I personally feel that's reasonable. What do you guys think?
    May 13 2
    • Amazon alshhsk
      How much is Google's offer?
      Believe me you'll regret favoring Amazon over Google. Aside from the main TC, their perks and general benefits, and their annual refreshers go higher than Amazon's TC.
      May 13
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      Oh, no I didn't mean I would be favoring Amazon over Google. I just meant that I feel like that TC is reasonable in general. I am still awaiting Google's match for that offer. Hopefully they match/beat it. Will be picking Google mostly no matter what though! :)
      May 13
  • Amazon / Ops doodah1122
    I have recently moved from Amazon to Google and I would’t go back to Amazon even if they promoted me to the next level. After your annual refreshers, it’s likely that you will be better off in Google anyways.
    May 13 1
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      Okay, this is more than reassuring. Thanks! :D
      May 14
  • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
    OP
    So, the offers are as below.

    Amazon (L5 | Seattle)
    Base: 150K
    Signing: 105K (Split as 60 + 45 for 2y and paid monthly along with the base pay) 
    Equity: 125K. Split as 5/15/40/40 percentages over 4 years)
    Total compensation-
    Year-1: 150 + 60 + (0.05*125) = 210 + 6.25 = 217.25K 
    Year-2: 150 + 45 + (0.15*125) = 195 + 18.75 = 213.75K

    Google (L3 | Montain view)
    Base: 140K
    Signing: 50K
    Annual bonus: 15% of base
    Equity: 180k split as 45k per year over 4y
    Total compensation-
    Year-1: 140+45+50+21=256K
    Year-2: 256-50=206K

    I somehow feel like I must negotiate with Google to either boost my signing to 75 or equity to 200k. What do you people think?
    May 15 4
    • Amazon alshhsk
      Yes, you should. You can see even from here that Google pays more (at their lower level they still pay almost the same as the higher level of Amazon. That's how terrible and frugal Amazon is).
      By the way, how many questions did you have at Google per interview? (1 or 2?) And what was the level? LC hard or medium?
      May 15
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      Okay I shall try to speak to my recruiter. I had 5 rounds, 1 question per round. 3 were medium and 2 were medium-hard.
      May 15
    • Amazon alshhsk
      That's assuring! Thanks and good luck with the negotiation.
      May 15
    • Wayfair / Eng cplusplus1
      OP
      Thank you!
      May 15
  • This is an no brainier. You're getting a promotion if you take SDE2 at Amazon. You can then apply and get L4 at Google. You're used to switching companies often anyway
    May 9 0
  • Nvidia wagecuck
    Which ever one has higher TC.
    May 9 0