SDM Role in Amazon

Barclays PLC / Eng
LreX88

Barclays PLC Eng

PRE
JPMorgan Chase, Amazon
LreX88more
Jul 22, 2018 6 Comments

Recently been offered SDM role at Amazon. Is SDM role very tech heavy? I heard different versions during the interview, 2 directors seemed to have different opinions as I asked about their views on SDM roles. They agreed on non-tech part, but one of them thought coding was required and expected while other director didnt think coding was required and SDM's role was limited to design. I am not averse to coding, however the tech stack is very different compared to my previous experience and I am much more comfortable with design and architecture.

Do SDMs really dive deep into code? Does Amazon allow some time to pick up technical skills? The hiring manager is aware based on my resume, but not sure what the expectations are. Sorry if I am overthinking this, but I want to check all the tickboxes when I start this job.

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TOP 6 Comments
  • Amazon Jabberwook
    Do you mean your coding skills are rusty because you have been managing people for a long time? Or you don't have a CS background or experience in a job where you had to write code? SDMs have to build teams, and fresh SDEs will need guidance. You should be able to CR code and catch obvious bugs. I have often done deep dives with my SDEs through other team's code when we take a dependency on a package. When your team is small you might need to write some code in a jiffy but if you are taking over an existing team this might not be an issue. Generally an L6 SDM on a mature team is not writing code though.
    Jul 22, 2018 2
    • Barclays PLC / Eng
      LreX88

      Barclays PLC Eng

      PRE
      JPMorgan Chase, Amazon
      LreX88more
      OP
      I have a coding background. With change in role, don't have enough time for coding but I do fair amount code reviews lately, but more than that I haven't worked on some technologies that the team is using so it will be steeper learning curve if I have to code. Given that I will be responsible for a big team (close to 9-10 engg), not sure how much time will I have to pick the new skills.
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Amazon Jabberwook
      Got it. I think you will be fine. I would spend some time picking up basics of the team's tech stack. But you have a solid existing team there, they should be OK. You will need to rely on your experienced SDE2s though. And SDE3 if you have one.
      Jul 22, 2018
  • Microsoft bmwx5
    My manager never code when i was there. Retail side though
    Jul 22, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng amaboy
    Coding is NOT required. Good technical judgement is
    Jul 22, 2018 0
  • Amazon hLED85
    Go with the lower tech expectations of the two. It’s more realistic.
    Jul 22, 2018 0

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