Slow growth; cynical

Amazon MoveFaster
Aug 22, 2018 6 Comments

I feel like my growth has been very slow at Amazon despite the high growth stories about the company. I have been working on my last project for 2+ years and without launching there is no data to support my growth.

I have thought hard about why we haven’t launched and also solicited feedback from peers, managers, senior engineers, and they all say that for business reasons these things happen all the time. For this reason I don’t think it is engineering competence holding the project back.

I am looking to grow both technically, as a leader, develop a strategic decision making mindset, and obviously get promoted. Feeling very cynical about broken promises, never ending dangling carrot.

Meanwhile I look all around me on other teams, orgs, other companies, and projects get launched and delivered in 3-6 months and people get promoted and placed in leadership positions much faster. Case in point; new grad to E5-E6 at Facebook in 5-6 years.

I’ve worked with many SDE3s and I feel like some got lucky delivering some smaller projects that were much easier wins than my current one. Some others were solid but it was about 50:50. I try to say this objectively as I reviewed design docs and their code. Obviously I don’t have the full picture but this is just my assessment based on 2 pizza team size, scope, complexity, depth of projects.

Am I just slow/not as talented as others or am I handicapping myself by working on someone else’s vision that has changed 3-4 times in the past year? I don’t think delivery of actual software is a problem for me or my team because I ask for feedback and I get told that by my manager and team mates including SDE3s. Feeling like I’m wasting some of the best years of my career building stuff for uninspiring leaders.

TC: 220k


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TOP 6 Comments
  • Amazon GrumpyDad
    You are not obligated to work for the team or company if it is not working out for you. The most Amazonian thing you can do is to look for challenges outside and see what offers you can get, then make an informed decision.
    Aug 22, 2018 2
    • Amazon MoveFaster
      Thanks for the advice. I believe this is the logical next step. It is still a bitter pill to swallow as I have been giving 110% on my current team and mission for so long.
      Aug 23, 2018
    • Amazon GrumpyDad
      Yeah.. it is like buying stock, will you continue investing in losing stock? What $$ you put in the past plays no part in your current decision unless you see an imminent opportunity with the current team that will pay dividends on your past contribution. Think longer term for your career.
      Aug 24, 2018
  • Bsquare KYha84
    If you want to progress in your career suggest to get mentors that you aspire to be like inside and outside of the company you are in and do everything you can regarding personal growth. Then make multi year plans to get to get
    Where you want and validate with your mentors. Wish you the best in your journey.
    Aug 22, 2018 0
  • T-Mobile Sqrd24
    What’s your current role?
    Aug 22, 2018 1
    • Amazon MoveFaster
      Software engineer
      Aug 23, 2018