Google downlevel offer

Amazon / Eng cayde
Mar 7 76 Comments

Thanks to the googlers for their advice so far.
TC 190, almost 6 yoe.

Recruiter said an L4 offer would not happen, but they would extend an L3 offer.

Said they'd likely match current salary. But if I take this, I'll be gathering other offers first.

Problem is, I am getting amazing experience at AWS building scalable and popular services. Our design decisions MATTER in a very tangible way.

Recruiter said I'd probably not get sexy projects to start, but would likely be exceeds expectations first year and then get promoted before I would have gotten my next promotion at AWS (to L6 / SDE III). I am likely to hit that promo at AWS in about 2 years.

I feel like I'll probably stay because the education and experience is so good.

But would like to hear thoughts from Googlers who have accepted this path. Downsides? Upsides? What is comp change like if you are at higher level L3 and get promoted? Any newly minted L4s out there?

Was hoping to get in at around 240 at L4.
I mean, the nice thing would be that my L3 Google salary would probably be my L5 Amazon salary. And same with 4 and 6. Want to hit 300 TC within 5 years. That's the long term goal.

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TOP 76 Comments
  • Google / Eng gdjsg
    Don't do it. You would regret the lower level.
    Same with me, even with a high TC.
    Won't get enough refreshers just because initial Grant was high

    My manager is supportive of promo but there is an unsaid minimum tenure requirement for promo even if you are performing over and beyond.
    Mar 7 12
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      115k in stock/year!? At L3? What was your base?

      What would a refresher be for you now? Can you expand on that a bit? Or maybe show what your comp history looks like? Trying to understand refreshers. Why would someone who hasn't finished their initial 4 year even get a refresher?
      Mar 7
    • Oracle lHEA77
      >you don’t get a refresh if joining after Jan 1st of the year you’re in

      damn, guess I'd better make sure I join before Jan 1st of the year I'm in!
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Lol. I think what they mean is that refreshers are likely given in April or something, so if you joined 2 months prior, you'd get no refreshers.
      Mar 7
    • Intel heyhihey
      I think Google performance review happen in October
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Oh, got it!
      Mar 7
  • Uber
    on3p

    Uber

    PRE
    Google, Facebook
    on3pmore
    lmao don’t ever listen to recruiters when they try to promise fast promos
    Mar 7 2
    • Cisco ABGslayer
      Recruiters gonna be recruiters
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Yeah, there are no guarantees. He was pretty clear that it wasn't a guarantee, but also definitely trying to sell to me.
      Mar 7
  • Microsoft
    🐙M🐙

    Microsoft

    BIO
    🐙
    🐙M🐙more
    Worth it for the free food
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      It was actually pretty good! I liked that they had significant variety as well.
      Mar 7
  • Gap / Eng randUser
    What made you interview in the first place? Unhappy where you are or just want an increase in total comp?
    Mar 7 5
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Comp! The housing market is going to get crazy soon. I actually love my current project. Feel like I won the lottery of projects. Very challenging.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      But I also don't want to get priced out of the housing market in a year.
      Mar 7
    • Microsoft lc out
      Yo don't make life changing decisions just because you have some outlook on the housing market man. If you feel it's a down level, don't join. It's rare to be in a project you love, that too in AWS - something that's changed the world. If I were you I'd stay.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Agreed. Well put. I feel like until I got to AWS, I've been on projects that are good, but not GREAT. This project taught me that, holy shit, I could be working on something great.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Maybe I'll interview at L5 in 2 or 3 years instead.
      Mar 7
  • Microsoft svdsydu
    I would have tried L5 with 6 yoe. L3 is laughable. Are you saying you with 6 yoe and that new grad who just finished his undergrad are going to perform at the same level?
    Also, never trust recruiter or hiring manager’s words on future promotion; once you join the company it may depend on factors outside your control such as manager changing team/company, reorg, grunt work etc.
    Mar 7 2
    • Intel heyhihey
      I have seen 7 yoe joining at l3 with non CS background. But I agree that it's not this case with OP
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Great advice, thanks for responding!! It is pretty ridiculous.
      Mar 7
  • Microsoft joyfill
    Looks like Tom Kurian is trying to run GCP like he did in Oracle. Better to stay at AWS.
    Mar 8 9
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Hot damn! That's not bad at all!! Plus the parental leave is amazing, I hear. Would love more than 6 weeks at Amazon.
      Mar 12
    • Microsoft joyfull
      You are right. Parental leave is 3 months and people actually take it full. 4 of my friends took in full. two of them prepared interviews and moved to G and Oracle afterwards :)
      Mar 12
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Nice!! I should have prepared more for my G interview, but wasn't really intending to get in this year. Only did 15 LC as prep. Was surprised that they said an L3 offer might happen instead.
      Mar 12
    • Microsoft joyfull
      Impressive you got an offer from Google despite only solving a few.
      Mar 12
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Technically I don't have an official offer yet. I posed it in that light because I had to think about whether I'd even want an L3 offer. All I know is that L4 is off the table, but L3 is very possible. It's in HC right now.

      I guess I've prepped for interviews so much over the last 4 years that (a few team changes), that it takes less and less prep each time? Or I just got lucky with the questions, haha. I don't have a CS degree, but I know way more about trees and graphs now than I did 5 years ago, literally only because of prep.
      Mar 12
  • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
    6 YOE? Demand at least 250K plus signing bonus irrespective of levels.
    Mar 7 3
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Yeah, it feels a bit ridiculous. I have actual, real world experience at a very similar company and getting the same offer as a new grad with a few competing offers?
      Mar 7
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      You probably didn’t do very well in interviews and got downleveled. Some ppl in your situation might still take the offer so that’s why Google keeps doing this.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Gotcha!

      Yeah, I only prepped by doing 15 LCs over 4 weeks. I, uh, should have done more. But I'm also not SUPER motivated to leave. I'll try to get 200 LC done and understood before the next one if I wait a year.

      I thought I did great on design (given my interaction with the interviewer), great on some easy questions, and okay on hard questions. One hard question I definitely didn't hit an optimal solution, but got a suboptimal solution out. The other hard question, I got 95% of the algorithm correct, but the last piece just didn't come to me.
      Mar 7
  • New / Eng
    remus808

    New Eng

    PRE
    Google, Microsoft
    remus808more
    Don't accept a downlevel to L3 that's absurd, I was L4 at 22yo with 1YOE. Try to get a counter offer from Amazon instead
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Yeah, that's a GREAT analogy. Not only that, I have 6 years real world experience *at a very similar company* in terms of scale, projects, etc. I'm not interested in changing companies to do new-grad work.
      Mar 7
  • Amazon / Eng cayde
    OP
    Thanks all for your thoughts!! I am heavily leaning towards staying given that I have a meaty project that is challenging, fun, and is helping me to develop better distributed systems skill sets.

    But will still be mulling it over over the course of the weekend.
    Mar 7 7
    • Google topCon
      Yes, worth trying all that. But check out the last entries on this post. Close to 300k as L3. Not saying you'll get that but 250k might persuade you?

      [Blind] Check out this post! Is it possible to get 300+K TC from google for a L4 offer (Tech Lounge)
      https://us.teamblind.com/s/KipxO7xx
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      250 would be significant. That's SDE III level at Amazon. One thing I'd be worried about with entering L3 at 250 would be comp not changing much on promotion. Although, given that 300 is possibly at 3, 300 must be possible at 4. I'm glad I'm getting advice not just on the "stay" side. This gives me a lot to actually think about this weekend.

      Thanks once again, topCon! You always have great advice!
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      282!!! Hoooooly crap!
      Mar 7
    • Google topCon
      Don't forget about the yearly refreshers that stack up each year. And it's true - don't believe recruiter nonsense about promotions, but going from 3 to 4 is relatively easy, especially with few years experience already. All things to consider. Good luck.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Thank you so much! You've helped out a lot! A lot to think about this weekend.
      Mar 7
  • New / Eng
    BogoSort

    New Eng

    PRE
    Samsung Electronics
    BIO
    while (LC) { TC++; }
    BogoSortmore
    Sounds like it is not yet a good time for you to leave AWS.
    Mar 7 5
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Yup. That's what I'm heavily leaning toward. The experience I'm getting here is more valuable than cash. With zero guarantees that I'll get similar opportunity to develop these skills just because I got an interview question or two that I couldn't arrive at the optimal solution to in 55 minutes? Nah.

      I really want to work at Google someday just to give it a try. But lol, not like this.
      Mar 7
    • New / Eng
      BogoSort

      New Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      BIO
      while (LC) { TC++; }
      BogoSortmore
      Agreed. Every company has fun jobs and okay jobs. If you can do the fun ones, don't compromise for okay ones. Crash a Google interview next time and choose whichever team you want.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Yeah, I only ran through about 15 LC problems over 4 weeks. If I do 15 a month for a year, that would probably be better.
      Mar 7
    • New / Eng
      BogoSort

      New Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      BIO
      while (LC) { TC++; }
      BogoSortmore
      Yeah.
      I benefited from subscribing to dailycodingproblem.com for couple of months. I've paused it now, but will resume doing it after I'm done with relocation.
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Oh, nice! Thanks for the suggestion!! I'll check out that site, too! Only done LC before.
      Mar 7
  • Blend tKRb03
    your hire at google is google’s attempt at pulling away valuable engineers from whatever AWS is cooking up. stay 🙂
    Mar 8 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      I like that take! :)
      Mar 11
  • Google iSpj48
    Was in a similar position to you, doing very interesting and impactful work at my old company, and Google offered me higher TC than them. I would absolutely stay at Amazon if the best they can do is ‘match’ your current TC and your current work is interesting.

    You could wind up doing really boring work.
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      I moved across the country to get out of boring work at Amazon New York. So I'm very mindful of this potential downfall. I'd really have to have a very good impression at the team marching phase.

      Thanks for your response!!
      Mar 7
  • Fitbit hgDS54
    Do good work on projects that you’re psyched about and have an impact. The comp will follow.
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      While that hasn't been true for me in the past, I haven't worked on projects like this before and delivered results like this. Definitely interested in seeing if Amazon steps up their game.
      Mar 7
  • Google / Eng
    gooooogley

    Google Eng

    BIO
    Assistant swe
    gooooogleymore
    I'd stay where you are. Don't take promises of anything in future over something you have now!
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Thanks!! Definitely leaning towards that. If TC isn't going to change (or only change a bit) it's low to no cost to try again for L4 next year. Get a bit more distributed systems work under my belt. Definitely not bored here.
      Mar 7
  • Amazon / Eng Scsjiixxjw
    Same situation here. Realizing google HC is a joke. They are wasting money on old-days hiring.
    Sep 25 0
  • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
    Stay where you are, interview later again for the right level. They will keep calling you :)
    Mar 7 3
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Thanks!! I really want to work at Google someday. Maybe someday!
      Mar 7
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      Once you have an offer it’s easy to get interview again later on, sometimes you may have a reduced interview loop when you interview again.
      Mar 8
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Oh, interesting!! I decided to at least hear out Hiring Managers before I say no completely.
      Mar 11
  • AQR 18Gx71
    Does the 190k include signing and/or 15% annual bonus?

    Also, i assume this is for seattle?
    Mar 11 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Yeah I think it would be total comp. And technically I don't have the offer yet, so I'm not sure how much more it could go up (for Seattle), but I do know that 230 is possible. And above, someone (likely MTV) got 282 for L3, so if I grab a few more offers, maybe I could push it up to 230-240. Not sure the diff between MTV and SEA.
      Mar 11
  • Oracle tamatar
    Stay back and rock it!
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      Thanks!! \m/
      Mar 7
  • Intel heyhihey
    OP, ask recruiter if you can give additional interviews to reconsider for l4 ...
    Mar 7 1
    • Amazon / Eng cayde
      OP
      That's a good idea! I'm not hard up for a job change, so I don't think I'll try this right now. If I was in serious need, I'd try this. What's weird is that I thought my design interview went very well based on our interaction. That's typically the separator between levels.
      Mar 7