After joining FANG at a huge salary bump (from a non FANG company), how many of you felt the imposter syndrome? I am constantly wondering why they are paying me so much compared to my earlier job, while the work is similar. Am I really worth 2-3x more than what I was 3 months ago?
- The FANG companies and others that copy their interview techniques created an artificial shortage of engineers. By raising the bar on hiring with ridiculous, mostly-irrelevant LEETcoding and other high-pressure interviewing, they’ve weeded out 80% of the potential applicants who would’ve been hired if that type of interviewing were replaced by job-specific screening.
So it’s no wonder that with supply restricted, a given level of demand pushed the price (total-comp) way up.
These companies brought higher costs on themselves. We engineers, instead of feeling “imposter syndrome”, are laughing all the way to the bank.May 137
- New / OtherKjfg25You're doing the same job, but the work you produce now has a bigger impact and earns the company more money. You're just getting a cut of the that money
- Google DulungaLook, none of us “deserves” these salaries, ok? It’s just the economics of our industry that allow this. Because the companies we work for own cash cows, and the output of our work scales to so many users. And we get a cut if we do a good job, and some even if they do a mediocre job.
This is never true for, say, a barber. A barber can only produce output for 1 person at a time. Sure, there are a handful of stars in every industry that can make more.
So don’t feel bad, you worked your way up. But also don’t look down on others who were born with the wrong talents.
- Amazon / OtherKeveyhOk if the question is about pay, there is a very easy answer which is, how much you get paid has almost nothing to do with your skills.
Suppose you have company A (a faang) and company B (a small stable tech co).
Company B makes $3M in revenue with a healthy margin and pays their tech people 70k/year on average. They have about 20 tech people and hire an average of 3-4 people a year due to attrition and slow+steady expansion. Sure, most people who are really good will go make a lot more than that somewhere else, but there are enough high quality people who value the small office vibe, the really convenient commute, etc that they can fill 3-4 roles with adequate people every year no problem. And if those people do a good job, the CEO gets to buy a second boat and a new Mercedes in a couple of years. Life is good.
Company A has hundreds of business units pursuing thousands of technical projects. Every year 5% of the company quits to work for a competitor, and to keep the stock price growing they expand and hire thousands of new people in addition to backfilling the people leaving. Every month that a headcount slot stays open they’re losing hundreds of thousands in potential revenue and are a little closer to not meeting their projected quarterly results because their projects are late. At the same time, they know they cannot afford to just hire anyone off the street. When they find someone who meets their hiring bar, they pay that person $210k a year because a) they can easily afford it while staying profitable and b) that’s what it takes to get a high enough % of accepted offers. Now, because this company’s products are wildly successful in the market, the CEO has more money than he can count and you get paid 3x what you were paid in company B. Life is better.
So to answer your question: are you personally three times better than the person working at the smaller company? No. But the work you’re doing, in aggregate with everyone else and as a whole, is worth more than enough for the company to pay you this much.
In closing, you don’t need to be 3x better than someone else from a skills perspective to make 3x what they make. You just need to do work that can generate more revenue. And that’s what you’re doing.
- Google IAeI22Google was my first job out of school, I’ve had imposter syndrome forever and didn’t know it had a name until people talked about it at work. I think it’s a good thing though, motivated me. More people have it there more than any other place I’ve been I think.
Was floored by the salary, it was more than my parents made and way more than I needed. I felt weird with so many friends mired in debt with shitty jobs, making $20-30k and working longer hours. I bought a new laptop and was excited when it arrived, then I overheard my friends saying it was “so shitty” I could afford nice things like that 🙁
- lol, I'm in the opposite position. Many of my friends are in other industries making more than me (medical or financial mostly) or working in prestigious roles in gov't or non profit sector, but still making damn good money. So I'm like, well I'm making more than 90% but all my good damn friends are in the 95% somehow, so it's still a keeping up with the Joneses exercise.
Everyone's got problems, and even if we don't, we're all human, so we'll make up some fucked up ones to worry about that only we care about.May 113
- Amazon / OtherShsyehbfbI thought I was gonna feel imposter syndrome but then I started and quickly realized my peers were just regular people like me - some smarter, some less, some same, but all just humans. I came from the type of company/role where I’m used to working directly with seasoned executives and I actually feel that my leadership now is less seasoned or perhaps just more narrowly skilled than the people I worked with before. So, honestly, no I never got imposter syndrome.
- F: advertising
A: online shopping/cloud compute
N: video streaming
What exactly are you referring to by software automation in the above industries? Are these industries replacing jobs? Amazon is probably the heaviest on software automation given the efficiencies of AWS but even then not so much.
What you are probably referring to is scale. Their products can reach more customers at a sub-linear increase in cost. But they could fire nearly everyone now and still do that.. Most employees are working on growth related stuff that will most likely get thrown out. That growth is fueled primarily by the stock market gains generating them capital to pour back into the business.May 132
- Cloudera ditspoaaLearn to look at historical trends in centuries instead of decades.
200 years ago 80% of people were doing farming. Today <40%. Did it lead to 40% unemployment rate?
100 years ago industrial workers were working 16 hrs shifts. Today 8hrs. Did it bring down unemployment to 0?
Labor force is pretty resilient as per economists. It adapts, retrains, wrestles away new laws, new forms of governance etc. to maintain a healthy state. It will stay that way :) So, chill and be adaptable!!May 142
- Amazon / EngDude58Before I got into a FANG company what I saw was that Engineers were highly undervalued and certain managers and salespeople were way overvalued.
Somehow the salespeople and the useless managers were seen as producers and the engineers were seen as an expense to be minimized. While sales people got huge rewards in commissions and managers got huge bonuses, engineers were paid the minimum the market would bear and hired and fired as needed.
I feel that the secret of the FANG companies and their predecessors, the early HP, Intel, Fairchild before them, is that they recognized that their success in the marketplace was closely tied to the quality of their engineering talent. They decided to invest and attract the best engineering talent with bonuses and high salaries instead of seeing engineering talent as a commodity to be cost-minimized.
It always astounded me when I worked at other companies, in Portland or in the Midwest, their obsession with minimizing the cost of engineering instead of working on the quality. It would have cost very little extra, maybe a 15% premium or bonus, to have won over the best talent in the area to their company, but instead they all seemed very concerned about not starting a bidding war for engineering talent. They were, and are, taking extreme measures to keep the compensation artificially low. They are price-fixing. One mechanism for this is the so-called job fair.
Remember that about 50 or 60 years ago engineers out-earned both doctors and lawyers routinely across the country. Whatever happened to that? Today that only happens at the FANG companies.
Don't feel guilty about your high total compensation. Instead wonder why the hell it is unique to FANG companies.
- Microsoft rlyn50Oh FFS, don’t compare FANG companies to HP, Intel and Fairchild of old. That was a time where companies and employees had a mutual commitment to helping each other grow - lifetime employment. Plus, many of those companies had disciplines crossing many areas of technology.
None of the FANG companies have the depth of technical culture that those early ones did.
Apple could, but it’s a closed system and engineering is silo’d into their little niches.
Google and FB? Advertising and personal information sellers.May 123
- EA XmmeucuThink about the Hollywood celebrities. Do you think they deserve what they are earning? No. They are just in a position in an industry that’s set up that way and people are willing to pay for it
- Amazon cUYC00I had to stop and laugh when my manager referred to someone on my team, “he’s got a PhD from Oxford, he can figure this out.” I’m from a small town in the middle of nowhere. It’s nuts that I’m here now.
- I think big tech is hoarding and hedging their risk. It's cheaper to hire 10000 devs than to buy 10 competing startups that might happen if these 10000 were not hired and left to "pursue their dreams".
- Zillow Group sofakingGive it a few months. By the end of summer you’ll be like every other entitled prick in here complaining about how you’re underpaid at 500 TC
- No of course you're not worth 2x-3x more, how much you make doesn't determine your worth as a person! Gandi, MLK, and Jesus all made less than you does that mean they are less worthy humans? Certainly not!
- My pay is now 81% higher than it was a year ago - same position, not much experience difference, same city, same me.
I'm starting to feel the tinges of it. It feels like everyone else at the company knows what they're doing more so than I do.... 😐
- Better technical direction and more net profit per capita makes ics more valuable to highly profitable companies. Finance is still the best though (financially for top contributors/true hyper productive geniuses) because there's no middle man and no extraneous useless staff. Just your ideas, capital and the book of quotes
- NetApp junkieImposter syndrome is a big deal
I felt that to some degree moving from a poorly paid college environment to a well paid high tech environment. I kept asking myself “why is this so easy?”. It took me about two years to tell it wasn’t me but the environment and I needed to adjust my expectations and standards.
The real challenge is with how effective your management is with relaying perceptions and mistakes in a timely manner.
I worked for one newbie manager who couldn’t give negative feedback. In hindsight, I failed to manage my manager.
As an engineer, you are responsible for upward, downward and side ways communication. It sucks for the introverts but that is life.