Google vs Amazon

Amazon BfRx68
Jan 25 47 Comments

Okay, I am sure that there are tons of these. But I wanted to try and understand why Google is almost always considered to be better than Amazon, and Amazon is generally considered to be sucky. But looking at a Google offer and here are some things:

1. Google does not seem to pay more than Amazon. Even looking at online salary data, the numbers are similar for a given yoe.
2. One key complaint about Google is that getting promoted can be quite hard. My personal experience and also anecdotally based on observing people around me, promos at Amazon (at least up to SDE3) are quite predictable.
3. Team switching seems to be easier at Amazon. No 1 year requirement and I have seen people change teams within months. Also, Amazon has tons more tech projects and variety.
4. Vacation policy is better at Amazon. It’s 10 days in your first year and 15 days in your second. Plus 6 days PTO and 3 days sick leave. At Google, it’s 15 days first year and 21 days 3rd year onwards. No PTO and unlimited sick leave. Ignoring sick leave, seems like with Amazon you get 21 days year 2 onwards.
5. Most teams I have seen at Amazon have good WLB, move quickly and individuals can have huge impact. Glassdoor ratings for SDE is at 4.0/5.0. Google is 4.4/5.0. Better but not by much. At google, people seem to have a problem with the pace of things being slow.

So what gives? Why does Amazon get so much heat while google is seen as the best place to work? Does free food make so much of a difference? Or is there more to it?

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TOP 47 Comments
  • Lol....Amazon ???
    Shitty culture where they PIP anyone
    No perks...no food.
    Shitty 401k...no bonus
    Base cap so effectively even after a promo u don't see anything for 1-2 years.
    5 or so holidays every year. I am sure u were at work this last Monday.
    U only get 5% of stocks in first yr and 15% in 2nd and most leave by 2nd year.

    Also Google can almost everytime beat Amazon comp even at a lower level.
    Jan 25 12
    • Amazon Northman
      Amazon L6 SDE comp band in Bay Area goes up to 410k in Bay Area. This is top ~5% for Google L5, so nearly rangemax for external offers. Bottom of Google L5 band is lower than bottom of Amazon L6 band. Source: Google ultimate comp post on Blind. So the only way Google L4 comp is higher than Amazon L6 is you are conparing a top of band or exception Google external hire offer with a recent internal promo to L6 at Amazon.
      Jan 25
    • Amazon jIJk10
      People just look at numbers. Why don’t you people normalize for location? Bay Area is more expensive than Seattle
      Jan 25
    • Amazon BfRx68
      OP
      I looked at levels.fyi and filtered by location. Google does offer higher comp for the same levels for the most part.
      Jan 25
    • Lyft trex102
      Google/FB and a bunch of other companies offer the same in Bay area and Seattle
      Jan 25
    • Amazon BfRx68
      OP
      That’s not true. Filtering by location in any one of the comp sites (including levels) will show you a difference for those companies. Seattle is always 20-30k lower.
      Jan 25
  • Rubrik injunujni
    The free food in Google is less salty than the paid food in Amazon
    Jan 25 0
  • Amazon / Eng dnswj
    Amazon has toxic culture. Managers always try to manipulate you.
    Nobody cares about your interests. Everybody cares about promotion only, since technically majority of projects is a joke.

    Stock vesting is shit. Don’t expect to receive all your stocks, because after 2 years you will be pissed off from the company and try to move.

    Promotion to SDE3 is a political game.
    Jan 25 3
    • Morgan Stanley jumpornot
      Out of curiosity how manager in AMZN manipulate employee?
      Jan 25
    • Amazon / Eng dnswj
      For example,
      1) constantly giving false promising, while you understand that it never happens.

      2) threatening you by Pip to make you worked on the project which he needs to deliver and nobody wants to take it because it is crap.

      3) Constantly putting fake deadline to make you worked just harder without any reason.
      Jan 25
    • Amazon / Eng DeepObsess
      This is exactly my experience, Amazon have the worst managers I could ever imagined. I'm an external hired Sde 3 and trying to het out. Clueless manager making decisions that's only geared towards their own promotions while screwing up the engineer promotion, again being clueless on the technical side
      Apr 26
  • Google mahasi
    I'm from Amazon, my experience at Google is miles ahead of my time at Amazon. Pay is much higher if you get a competing offer. Also most of the recent high comp at Amazon is due to stock appreciation. Another thing to consider, during my 3 years at Amazon I never saw anyone from Google there, but at least 8 people from my org moved to Google.
    Jan 25 1
    • Amazon / Eng dnswj
      This. I had a colleague from Google who run from Amazon after 6 months.
      Jan 25
  • Amazon BfRx68
    OP
    Dude why do you still work at Amazon? If your experience is soo bad you should at least consider switching teams? AWS has been pretty solid for me, would definitely recommend.
    Jan 25 10
    • Amazon Northman
      FB and Amazon both do aggressive performance management. FB has far more young, inexperienced managers than Amazon so expect worse luck on that side. But FB comp is generally higher... as long as stock doesn't keep cratering.
      Jan 25
    • Amazon / Eng dhxej
      Nobody returns back from FB to Amazon.
      Jan 25
    • Amazon Northman
      I have a former FBer on my team. Though he hadn't worked at Amazon previously so he hasn't returned back (I don't really know many boomerangs period, just a couple from startups).
      Jan 25
    • Amazon / Eng dhxej
      I assume it depends on location. In my location Amazon doesn’t offer interesting positions. If i worked in Seattle, i would probably stay in Amazon
      Jan 25
    • Morgan Stanley jumpornot
      dhxej, what’s your location?
      Jan 25
  • New
    nfs

    New

    PRE
    Booking.com
    nfsmore
    Probably because of the work culture and not the "technical" Benfits.
    The common heat I've seen amazon gets is about how it treats her employees. Overly competitive, every person to themselves approach, blame culture and no room for mistakes.
    It could be that the rants are overly inflated but as a person who regularly interview people both from Amazon and Google to the company I work in, the stories why people leave are very different between these two.
    I'm sure there are bad and good teams in both companies (like any other company), but it seems the culture issues are leaning more towards Amazon than Google.
    Jan 25 0
  • Booking.com b.urntout
    OMG you consider 10 days in your first year GOOD? Is the US just really bad because that sucks. We start people in europe around 24 days and it often expands the longer you stay. Probably helps that its all legally defined by the government.
    Jan 25 3
    • Amazon cjaP02
      Probably also why you get paid half as much
      Jan 25
    • Booking.com b.urntout
      True but the cost of living is also significantly less here too (and the work environment is pretty chill for the most part as well)
      Jan 25
    • Amazon TRuc81
      Lmao most people just use “wfh” as a holiday anyways, we should push for more state wide holidays for others who cannot enjoy such a luxury
      Jan 25
  • Salesforce mkjgddghcs
    Who gives a shit .. both companies have candidates vying to join them
    Jan 25 0
  • Amazon BfRx68
    OP
    Lol very true. I have seen 2-3 folks leave for Google. Never met someone who previously worked at Google over at Amazon.
    Jan 25 2
    • Amazon Northman
      My team has several former FBers and Googlers.
      Jan 25
    • Amazon BfRx68
      OP
      Right and thinking about it a bit more, this is not a fair comparison. Of course more people move from Amazon to Google in Seattle. Seattle has 10s of thousands of engineers most of them got their first jobs at Amazon and moved here, they will eventually look elsewhere and Google will be high on their list. Google has much fewer employees to switch out in the first place. Relocation is likely a barrier so the number of people willing to move from MVC to Seattle is small.
      Jan 25
  • Microsoft Star3Star
    As per my observation: The folks in troubles in MSFT ultimately went to Amazon, but who were doing great joined Google
    Jan 25 1
    • Amazon NothinToLo
      Seen a lot of unqualified engineers moving to MSFT
      Jan 25
  • Google topCon
    Op, it's mostly because Google can pay much more and treats you much better. It comes down to TC and prestige first and foremost, and perks to a lesser extent. Amazon lacks in all 3 categories.

    Other points to consider with Amazon:
    - stock growth will work against you with refreshers
    - back loaded vesting schedule will mean you need to commit long term, 3-4 years
    - refreshers that vest 2 years later
    - espouse frugality as a leadership principal
    - give you only bananas as a perk
    - has no annual bonuses
    - has 3 year vesting for 401k. Money will be clawed back once you leave
    Jan 27 0
  • Google / Eng yogi bear
    if it makes you feel happy then sure Amazon is the best company in the world. :)
    Jan 25 0
  • Amazon / Eng oEJT14
    Refresh is definitely not as good as Google I think.
    WLB is better in Google in general. Some teams in Amazon have too many operations/on-call
    Amazon also has less holidays
    401k is bad as well😔
    Jan 25 0
  • Google kNPb54
    Amazon is really shitty for women whereas Google is very inclusive. Amazon does not encourage respectful culture .
    Feb 2 0
  • Cornerstone emea0099
    That’s pretty much what are you working with find what excites you you’re just
    Jan 26 0