SDE salaries Amazon vs Microsoft

Amazon ComeHome
Apr 25, 2018 14 Comments

This is for a bet with a friend

Guy A joined Amazon as a new grad SDE1 4 years ago and guy B joined Microsoft at the same time as a new grad SDE. Who would have made more money over the 4 year time frame (including base, signing bonuses, annual bonus and vested stocks)

Assuming equal opportunities for growth and the location being Seattle


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TOP 14 Comments
  • Microsoft Oops1991
    In four years, Guy A would have seriously good money and a lifetime membership at West Seattle Psychiatric Hospital.

    Guy B would have lesser money than Guy A or probably even as much, and better perks at work, but sadly no lifetime membership at West Seattle Psychiatric Hospital :(
    Apr 25, 2018 2
    • Microsoft / Eng qPqq55
      And no hope in life, no expectations, he probably doesn't even remember what actually working is like. He might be damaged forever.... Although he's sane and healthy, so a lot o better
      Apr 25, 2018
    • Microsoft Exity
      We are all in the same egg
      Apr 25, 2018
  • Microsoft krane
    I started 2 years back, I had offers from both in 2016. I decided to go with Microsoft. Here is the comparison of offers I received and growth in Microsoft-

    RSU/53k/60k (better vesting 25/25/25/25 in 3.5yrs)
    Joining bonus/49k/35k(split in 2yrs)

    My base changed almost every 6 months since joining 106k -> 114 -> 119k -> 129k.
    And got 18k cash bonus, 8k stocks in 2017. Expecting good numbers this year too.

    Can someone from Amazon who joined 2 years back as new grad confirm their compensation and stocks received so far?
    Apr 25, 2018 7
    • Microsoft / Eng blksd
      I believe so, given you will be high performer probably at Amazon too.
      Apr 25, 2018
    • Amazon RBMY63
      This will be extra fun. Numbers are great.
      I’m going to interpret a bit because you weren’t specific on your cash bonuses, but maybe it doesn’t matter that much. Maybe we can just break down to-date and next two years.

      Year one base: 100k
      Year two base: 102k
      Year one + two starting bonus: 49k
      Year one vest 5% of 90 shares, call it 5 shares at $934: 4.5k
      Year two vest 15% of 90 shares, call it 14 shares at $1460: 20.5k
      Total for first two years: $276k

      Base 8 mo at 106: 71k
      Base 8 mo at 114: 76k
      Base 8 mo at 119: 78k
      Assuming salary bumps were closer to 8 mo and last one was very recent, but this could be off a few k.
      Joining bonus for years one and two: 35k
      2017 cash bonus: 18k
      25% vest of 1200 shares at 6 mo Mark, 300 shares at $58: 17.5k
      18 mo Mark, 300 shares at $83: 25k
      No idea when the extra 8k in stocks are vesting, so not counting that in the first two years
      Total for first two years: $320k

      So now we see you’ve cleared an extra 45k or so at Microsoft, nice. You stated the vesting schedule is better, and I might disagree on that. Let’s look at future comp the next two years:

      Amazon, with promo to SDE2
      Year 3 base: 125k
      Year 4 base: 128k

      Remaining 71 shares vest, at current price of $1460: 103k
      Using amazon math for appreciation: 110k
      Total: $356-363k

      8 mo at 129k: 86k
      8 mo at 135k: 90k
      8 mo at 140k (making numbers up, your base grows a lot): 92k
      Cash Bonus: 18k
      New stock vesting (2/5 of 8k): 3k
      Original stock vest, 600 shares at:
      Current price $92: 55k
      Some growth, call it 25% (more than AMZN math), 300 at $92, 300 at $125: 65k
      Total: $344-354

      So amazon edges Microsoft because of backloaded stock with a lot of growth.
      4 year total Amazon: 640k
      4 year total Microsoft: 674k

      Comes out at about 5% more for MSFT. Fast promotion with significant base changes and cash bonuses seem to be outstripping Amazon’s stock growth. Year 5 would be interesting because of new grant at SDE2 level at Amazon, and I have no idea how it works at Microsoft.
      Apr 25, 2018
    • Microsoft SweatyBoy
      Keep in mind, this is only about cash. If you add in Microsoft's more generous ESPP and 401k plans, Microsoft beats handily.
      Apr 26, 2018
    • Microsoft krane
      Amazon’s stock vesting is only for retention, and normalizing CTC, as joining bonus is significant in first two years. But if both A and B doesn’t sell any vested stocks till end of 4th year then which TC turns out to be better? How many shares Amazon guy will get in 3rd and 4th year at level 5 as good performer as annual hike?
      Apr 26, 2018
    • Amazon RBMY63
      Amazon guy will get NO new stock. With Amazon math all amazon stock would be $174k with this example. The Microsoft stock, going 90*1.15*1.15 to scale the same as amazon would be $143. If amazon outperformed, or ms did, obviously numbers change. But from the example the cash from MS would be greater than $31k difference.
      Apr 26, 2018
  • Amazon Geth
    Amazon guy would have cleaned up.
    Apr 25, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Other Bhshsbssv
    I would go with Microsoft and would second to what people said above.
    Apr 25, 2018 0


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