Offer from Amazon Seattle

PwC
plsfix

PwC

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Amazon
plsfixmore
Aug 11 87 Comments

I’ve only been working at PwC in a midwest city for less than a year doing technology implementations ( computer science grad)

i recently got an offer for sde1 at amazon. does it make sense for me to make the leap?
i would be relocating from a lcol city to seattle.

would there be any downside?

UPDATE:
current TC: 82k
offer tc: 155k
renegotiated offer tc: 163k [accepted]

breakdown: 125k base, 61k signing (2 years), 46 RSUs, 7k post tax relo

thanks everyone for your help! blind community really is amazing sometimes.

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TOP 87 Comments
  • Microsoft Vbsm66
    Do it for sure, get out of consulting ASAP. If you don't like Amazon just leave in a year for even more TC.
    Aug 11 7
    • Microsoft Vbsm66
      I have a few friends who are (or were) consultants. It's impossible for them to hang out with friends, one of them tried to maintain a relationship but ended up breaking up because of not having any time to spend with the SO. All of them thought it was ok as an early career thing but couldn't see themselves doing it long term. Plus, their tech friends (including me) make 2 to 3x more than them.
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      I don’t have any experience with product companies so my question is genuine: can you list any random example where something you do in Microsoft is more interesting than something someone does in consulting? I keep thinking about this question but I haven’t worked at a product company so I can’t know for sure if what I’m working on now is considered “boring”. It’s not “building a brighter future” work but at least it keeps me entertained for the duration of the project 🤷‍♀️
      Aug 11
    • Uber qSup71
      That's a dense question so I'll try and answer as much as I can.

      There's not any one specific thing that's better, it's completely different.

      In consulting after a while your projects start to all look the same. It's very easy to run similar play books project after project once you've been there a while. Any real career progression in consulting involves getting an mba and managing others. Very few will make it to partner where you then are a glorified sales person. And that's where the money finally is. If that's what you like then that works well for you.

      As a swe you'll end up getting a more diverse range of projects and they translate well across industries as well. So if cyber security isn't for you, you're not fucked. It's usually more challenging because there's not 1 specific run book to follow as well. Your career can grow either down the manager track or individual contributor and you can stay technical as long as you want without getting screwed TC wise.
      Aug 11
    • Uber qSup71
      Consulting you're doing things for the client.

      Product companies are the clients.

      Just skip the middle man, get paid more, be more creative, have a long term value in what you're building, and have broader skills since you're building things instead of power points. Not to mention the culture difference, no more business casual, flexible hours... not sure what the downside is...
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      Apt. Thanks.
      Aug 12
  • Slalom Consulting / Data morada
    TC or _____
    Aug 11 11
    • Slalom Consulting / Data morada
      I cited COL difference to counter the initial offer and got a 20k TC increase. But SDE1 has less room for negotiation. I would consider a good offer when it falls above median TC for the level in level.fyi.
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
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      OP
      @amazon however does the number make sense to you? I’m sorry if I sound like an idiot
      Aug 11
    • Amazon Dhlf30
      I relocated from the Midwest to Seattle- yes it’s more expensive, but you are also making a fuck of a lot more money as well
      Aug 11
    • Slalom Consulting / Data morada
      I find that the COL difference mainly manifested in housing. You probably need 2k per month extra for housing. All other expenses are largely similar. Considering no state and local income tax, 150k TC should cover that 2k/mo easily.
      Aug 11
    • Bank of America / Eng
      RLPK44

      Bank of America Eng

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      KPMG US
      RLPK44more
      Take it and bounce to Seattle.
      Aug 12
  • Amazon / Eng
    CGSY

    Amazon Eng

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    KLA-Tencor
    CGSYmore
    Disagree and commit
    Aug 11 10
    • Workday / Eng Rekt_
      Yeah. When I interviewed and got an offer, I had 2 examples for each LP by heart. 😂
      Aug 12
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
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      OP
      Wow that’s amazing. I know it’s common advice to do so, but I’m not good with reciting memorized stories so I just decided to go with the flow. I’m glad that it worked out for you!
      Aug 12
    • Amazon / Eng
      CGSY

      Amazon Eng

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      KLA-Tencor
      CGSYmore
      It is never to late to learn “disagree and commit”. That will be the day to day life after you join.
      Aug 12
    • PwC fatanu
      What’s LP. And disagree and commit LP
      Aug 12
    • Amazon / Eng
      CGSY

      Amazon Eng

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      KLA-Tencor
      CGSYmore
      Leadership principle. Amazon is taking it seriously. In intern review, peer review, standup etc. you have to explicitly mention which principle he/she follows/not follow.
      Aug 12
  • Verizon / Eng
    woot-woot

    Verizon Eng

    BIO
    woot woot :)
    woot-wootmore
    Depends on the offer. Does the pay increase cover the increase in col?
    Aug 11 5
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      Assuming yes. And assuming pay will be way better. I’m wondering if sticking around in consulting especially cybersecurity would pay off more than making the move into Seattle tech
      Aug 11
    • Verizon / Eng
      woot-woot

      Verizon Eng

      BIO
      woot woot :)
      woot-wootmore
      In that case, it depends on the team as well. If you feel your team is a high impact team at Amazon and you will learn a lot, then go ahead.
      Aug 11
    • New / Data
      ISXM10

      New Data

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      Microsoft, Google
      ISXM10more
      So from my experience (interviewing and getting offer) from two top tier consulting firms (cyber security positions) they simply do not pay as much as you would expect. I would definitely jump ship and get on board at Amazon.
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
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      OP
      Thanks for confirming my suspicion. I always thought so but everyone at B4 seemed so content and fulfilled to be here that I thought I must be missing the big picture...
      Aug 11
    • Deloitte osTz31
      Plus, if you realize you made the wrong decision a few years down the road, consulting firms will take you back in a heart beat with FAANG experience.
      Aug 12
  • BlackRock goethe
    You’d better leave pwc asap lest it be a scarlet letter on your swe career!
    Aug 11 4
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
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      OP
      Does it really? Sorry I’m not experienced enough to know if it is
      Aug 11
    • BlackRock goethe
      Yes really
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
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      OP
      Please elaborate. Actually worried about this. Thanks
      Aug 12
    • BlackRock goethe
      Pwc is not a technology firm and you will find that after few more years there, it will be exponentially difficult to transition out of pwc. Pwc is still and will be advisory firm, be it accounting, consulting etc and will not be processing any big data themselves like amazon. Amazob wont be your final stop but its got a better prospect for swe’s
      Aug 12
  • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
    Yes. Do it. I started my career in a highly selective boutique consultancy that was incredible to work for until it was acquired by a consulting giant (one of PwC's competitors), at which point most of our clients bailed and we went from a shop that essentially dictated terms to clients in exchange for a spot in the queue to an overstaffed "we'll do whatever the client wants" operation; not much better than an expensive body shop.

    Spent months at a time on the bench...and ironically, that was for the better because the interesting, high profile client work was replaced with staff aug bullshit, whereas on the bench I could run firm-funded projects that were much closer to developing real software. Either way, would've derailed my career if I had stayed too long; Amazon became my out and was actually a far better place to work (for career growth as a developer). 5 years later and I'm at FB making $400k+.

    P.S. not sure why people are asking about TC, because it doesn't matter. The SDE1 band is narrow and you'll probably be fired if you don't get promoted within ~3 years anyhow (at which point your TC goes to the bottom of the SDE2 band, regardless). You can live very comfortably on the standard SDE1 offer in Seattle, especially since most of your year 1-2 comp is base and monthly signing bonus installments so you're not waiting months for large payouts (a decent 1 BR in the city center runs around 2k/mth and there's no state income tax).
    Aug 12 4
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
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      OP
      This. Thank you so much, this makes a lot of sense. Anything you think would be worth discussing during negotiations for SDE1? Since everything is pretty much as you said set in stone
      Aug 12
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      You'll need competing offers for real leverage. SDE1 band tops out around 170k (TC) in SEA, so if they're offering you 150ish you're already approaching the limits of what they'll give you. Without a strong competing offer, Amazon typically just restructures the balance of the offer to give the candidate what they think they want (base vs. signing vs. RSUs; a lot of people push for the "cash is king" base increase) but leaves the actual TC more or less the same. EVERYTHING on paper counts towards the TC calculation at Amazon, by the way, including the signing bonus.

      If you try at all, I would just focus on the signing bonus, and/or the balance of signing bonus and RSUs (depending upon how long you think you might stay; RSUs are backloaded and the cash bonus is frontloaded). Amazon treats their RSUs like gold and it's not worth negotiating on base; as above, it won't matter when you get promoted. Newly promoted people have their bases set to the median for that level after promo regardless of where it was before (I made that mistake when I joined--traded away 50 (!) shares of AMZN at $300 for a 10k base increase that was invalidated less than a year later when I was promo'd).
      Aug 12
    • Apple bogle
      @Amazon, how long were you at your consulting company before leaving?
      Aug 13
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      18 months or so. Was acquired about 6 months after I joined.
      Aug 14
  • Amazon dowdow
    Yes product companies are way better than consulting. Also working at Amazon gets you more opportunities from similar tier companies
    Aug 11 1
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      OP
      That’s my thoughts exactly. I’m just weighing in the pros and cons before making the switch
      Aug 11
  • Definitely go to Amazon. Consulting firms TC is crap and they work you like crazy. Plus the travel and time away from family sucks. Go to Amazon! You won’t regret it
    Aug 11 1
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      That’s an extremely valid concern. I’m also worried about the hours at Amazon though, but I’ve heard it largely varies by team.
      Aug 11
  • PwC
    plsfix

    PwC

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    Amazon
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    OP
    I’m worried about the cost of living in Seattle compared to where I am now. (Chicago/Pittsburgh/Minneapolis tier city) everyone’s saying FANG TC should be enough to cover but I’m wondering if you guys have a ballpark of what I should expect to get to be able to afford it?
    Aug 11 11
    • Amazon Dhlf30
      Yeah, they won’t touch the base or RSU, if there is any wiggle room it’s in the signing bonus, but not much- maybe an extra $5k
      Aug 11
    • BYTON cJKu57
      Amazon. How accurate is levels.fyi when it comes to amazon sde1
      Aug 11
    • Amazon Dhlf30
      I will be blunt with you- don’t think you are going to get them to come up significantly from their initial offer- it’s basically take it or leave it. If that’s what you are expecting, you will be very disappointed.
      Aug 11
    • Uber qSup71
      For context, in sf I'm sharing a 2br and paying 1800/month for my share. You'll definitely be able to find something reasonable in Seattle
      Aug 11
    • Uber qSup71
      The rest of my expenses are normal, I don't go out of my way to save and eat out a few times a week so end up spending around 4K/month total including rent.

      At 150k you're looking at putting close to your current pre tax TC in the bank after expenses.
      Aug 11
  • @op, did they ask you design questions for sde1 ? How’s the interview?
    Aug 12 2
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      plsfixmore
      OP
      Yes. It was a really great interview idk what I was so stressed about. 3 Easy coding questions, 1 design question, and they take about 15 mins to ask 3 LP questions each, and 5 mins for you to ask them questions. It was a good time.
      Aug 12
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      Design question wise- I prepared by watching YouTube videos, but threw everything out the window when I was given the problem so I just winged it and explained my approach. They seemed to like it, even though i couldn’t give them any specifics at all but went with my gut instinct of what everything should be.
      Aug 12
  • Indeed Odd Job
    Maybe PWC is different, but my understanding is that cyber security in the Big-4 is basically auditing. If you want to be technical, I don’t see any downside in jumping.
    Aug 11 1
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      That’s half the truth, most Big4 have a consulting arm as opposed to assurance in cybersecurity where we deal with identity management, incidents and threats, strategy etc, while the assurance arm takes care of tech audit etc.

      Yeah that makes sense. Thank you.
      Aug 11
  • Amazon / Ops
    👀🍺✌🏻

    Amazon Ops

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    Microsoft
    👀🍺✌🏻more
    AWS also has a consulting organization and we often bring people over from the big 4. Cyber security and security assurance are two of the faster growing consulting specialities we are hiring this year and next. If you move into SDE1 and hate your org let me know. We are hiring SDEs as part of that team as well.
    Aug 12 0
  • BYTON cJKu57
    FTE at fang always better than consulting at a non-tech company.

    And I am sure tc will be way higher.

    Pwc might be a great place for accountants and finance types. But not for comp grad.
    Aug 11 0
  • Microsoft 🚀BTC🚀
    No brainer just do it.
    Aug 11 0
  • PwC
    plsfix

    PwC

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    Amazon
    plsfixmore
    OP
    Hey everyone, you’ve been an amazing help so far! I hope you guys can read this comment but I just got off the phone with the recruiter and my offer comes down to 122+30+43,
    Second year sign-on 24.

    Thoughts?
    Aug 12 6
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      Over 4 years. TC estimate 155.
      Aug 12
    • Amazon / Eng
      CGSY

      Amazon Eng

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      KLA-Tencor
      CGSYmore
      Try to get more sign on and stock. 43 is quite low. 70 will be realistic based on today’s share price.
      Aug 12
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      @CGSY would asking for both sign on and stock be a good strategy? I thought usually recruiters would only budge on one or the other?
      Aug 12
    • Amazon / Eng
      CGSY

      Amazon Eng

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      KLA-Tencor
      CGSYmore
      The first two years rely on sign on while the last two years rely on stock. They will try to make each year evenly distributed. That’s how the initial offer was made. You can ask for both but usually you will need a few competing offers to give you a better chance.
      Aug 12
    • BYTON cJKu57
      @PwC in general (not just for Amazon) it's better to negotiate all at once. I mean don't ask for one thing and when they say yes ask for the next. Ask for what u think is fair on all fronts at the same time. That has 2 big advantage: if they can't do one or other it gives them option. Also if they can get it approved you don't appear to be just asking for more and more inches one at a time.
      Aug 12
  • Amazon dowdow
    TC?
    Aug 11 4
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      plsfixmore
      OP
      What’s a decent comp for 1YOE sde?
      Aug 11
    • AT&T / Product GOFb61
      Levels.fyi
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      Amazon
      plsfixmore
      OP
      Is 150k accurate? Seems to be low end compared to other FAANG
      Aug 11
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      plsfixmore
      OP
      82k current tc
      Aug 11
  • Intel / Eng kiln
    How did you go about negotiating more if you don't mind me asking?
    Aug 19 1
    • PwC oFgg42
      Hey OP here. Just shot them an email :)
      Aug 29
  • Slalom Consulting / Data morada
    What are 30 and 43? 30k first year sign on? 43 is RSU?
    Aug 12 1
    • PwC
      plsfix

      PwC

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      plsfixmore
      OP
      Yeah.
      Aug 14