How much ramp up time as AMZN L6?

New ip00
Dec 5, 2018 27 Comments

Received awesome call from recruiter for L6 Senior Applied Scientist this week. Have a choice of two teams to pick. Sorry no TC numbers, recruiter say I must choose team before I see numbers.

I know Amazon PIPS out 10% every year. I know Amazon is a meat grinder.

I'm coming from no name company, I'm big fish in small pond, but I want to swim in the ocean. I'm industry hire yes, but I do good work, and also have offer from MSFT at L63 for similar role as AMZN.

I'm also coming from research side, PhD+4yrs. Because of this, I'm not sure whether I can ramp up fast enough at the L6 level. Historically when starting new stuff, my initial phase is so-so but it becomes exponential with time. I'm very confident I will perform eventually but will AMZN give me time?

What's AMZN expectation at L6? How soon do they start PIPing? How soon do I need to deliver?

Maybe MSFT can chime in to? Deciding between the two companies....

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TOP 27 Comments
  • Amazon Northman
    An L6 AS is incredibly valuable at Amazon. This is a significant step up from an L63 role at MS in terms of scope and impact. You would not be getting the offer if you didn't meet the bar. I have confidence that you will step up to the role. And nobody is going to PIP a new L6 AS unless they sit on their thumb and do nothing for 6 months straight. Believe in yourself and roll with it.
    Dec 5, 2018 2
    • Amazon / Product Tolstoy
      Agree with this response. L6 AS is incredibly valuable and a key member of the project. You will have decision making capability from science perspective and will be expected to step up and deliver. It is significantly more responsibility than L63 at msft (worked there for a long time before joining Amazon). As long as you are ready to test your limits and learn lots, go for Amazon. The ride may be bumpy (in the sense, you might feel like you are not performing per expectations at times) but you will surely learn a lot. Be ready to navigate around management, politics and chaos. That’s what real, fast moving companies are like.
      Dec 5, 2018
    • New ip00
      OP
      Good advice. I do believe in myself. I haven't encountered a situation where I didn't make it in my life. But yes, in the past there's a few tough times and close misses, but with time I eventually get there. My real concern is getting enough time for me to show 200% contribution level!!!
      Dec 5, 2018
  • Amazon aCnX26
    l63 at MSFT is not on the same level as l6 applied scientist at Amazon. The package difference will be huge, most likely more than probably 200k!!!
    Dec 5, 2018 5
    • New ip00
      OP
      Ok... I know AMZN L6 is $250-350k and MSFT L63 is $180-280k. It's not quite $200k diff but I do get your point.
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon aCnX26
      Your information is way outdated... L6 APPLIED SCIENTIST is the highest paying job family, you are going to beat 350k very easily.
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon aCnX26
      Should start with 400k withou any negotiation.
      Dec 5, 2018
    • New ip00
      OP
      Hmm.... Will let you know once I have numbers this week.
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon aCnX26
      ok, let us know how much you get. I am sure you will have an easy descion to make, if the competing offer is just msft l63.
      Dec 5, 2018
  • Amazon aCnX26
    L6 AS should get a l65 or l66 at MSFT!
    Dec 5, 2018 0
  • Amazon aCnX26
    Cannot believe MSFT lowball you like this
    Dec 5, 2018 6
    • New ip00
      OP
      Yeah I agree. Responsibility level for L6 and L63 are similar from what I've been told. I'm basically subject matter expert that the team relies on, and I help/mentors other less experienced people. I've been told it's almost like a team lead role (but no formal management duties).
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon aCnX26
      The package differences will be around 200K!! Man. 200k difference is not a mapping at all. L63 at MSFT is never the same level and scope as L6 in AMAZON, though both has 'senior' in the title..
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon aCnX26
      Not the same scope. L6 is going to lead a team eventually, this is a direct mapping to principal MSFT. L63 msft will not get a team to lead.
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Microsoft Dr. Bayes
      @aCnX26 - that’s so untrue. L6 has a wide distribution of people and most of them do not lead teams. Some L64s at MS are people managers. What’s your level at Amazon?
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon / Data kKeY73
      I have seen people with principal title from MSFT joining Amazon as L5.
      Jan 6
  • Oracle Numbats
    If you start during Q4 or Q1, you usually will get a pass during the Q1 OLR. This assumes you didn’t royally fuck up or you did not misrepresent your capabilities during hiring.

    You will be thrown in the hopper starting Q3 OLR.
    Dec 5, 2018 2
    • New ip00
      OP
      OLR is some kind of performance review? So 3 mths to get your engine going, and if you're out if you don't deliver 100% after 9 mths?
      Dec 5, 2018
    • Amazon / Ops Greenteam
      The correct way to read this is by your second OLR, your performance will be compared to your peers. You can’t hide under the “new hire” umbrella in your second OLR. Whether you are operating at 100% or not is subjective.
      Dec 5, 2018
  • New / Eng MSFT_fte
    Did you interview only once and then matched to two teams?
    Dec 5, 2018 1
    • New ip00
      OP
      Yes.
      Dec 5, 2018
  • Amazon bluebadge1
    Amazon does expect you to contribute but realize that your contribution won’t be 100% during first year and people do cut you some slack. But that’s just my personal exp, been here for almost a year now as L6.
    Dec 5, 2018 1
    • New ip00
      OP
      Sounds almost humane... I thought they wanted 200% from month 3 onwards?
      Dec 5, 2018
  • Microsoft Dr. Bayes
    Congratulations! With offers from both companies, you will have a lot of leverage to negotiate. Applied scientists at Amazon generally get paid more than SWEs. Offer from MS will certainly be lower than what you get offered at Amazon. AS at Amazon will likely be a good fit for for you if you are interested in research and has a better career trajectory. You will have enough time to ramp up at both companies. I agree with the other poster that said you wouldn’t have received the offer if you didn’t meet the bar
    Dec 5, 2018 0
  • Amazon aCnX26
    You are going to get 450k with l6 AS vs 250K L63 with MS
    Dec 5, 2018 0
  • Amazon pshrbxhsb
    Damn, l6 senior applied scientist is hardcore. Congrats! In my old team we assumed a 6 month ramp up, with some actual deliverables after a year
    Dec 5, 2018 0