Solution architect at Amazon

New SSmart
Jul 7, 2018 16 Comments

I’ve an offer for SA with the Alexa group… I am from a dev background but would like to transition into a PM type role eventually and see SA role as a stepping stone …

Some questions :
1. How are Solution Architects viewed within the company? I’d like to stay as technical as possible , based on how the role was described to me it sounds like I could choose to stay as technical as I want to … Is this true in practice? 

2. Is transitioning to PM a realistic path(assuming I pick up the relevant skillets)… I don’t have an MBA

3. How easy is it to change teams within Amazon? Is there a time limit in terms of how long one needs to be in a role before changing teams?  

4. The AVS group seems to be growing rapidly… Is this a good group to join in terms of future potential…  

5. How quickly does Amazon begin PERM processing after joining?

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Amazon gDVc56
    I think the best place to grow technically as an SA would be at AWS. You learn a lot more there and are expected to stay technical. You also gain useful skills like AWS certifications and what you learn there will help you develop your own cloud based products in the future.
    Alexa SAs are less hands on from what I can see. You either help partners build 'skills' for Alexa (ASK), or you help partners build and integrate Alexa into their hardware. (AVS). If I have to pick one I would pick AVS or smart home because at least you would learn more and do more technical things. But you probably won't be coding if that's what you are looking to do. You really should be a developer if that's what you want to do. SA roles are more about working with partners on helping them to build what they need to build with the latest product offerings from your group available.
    Jul 8, 2018 2
    • New SSmart
      OP
      Yeah, I looked at some AWS SA roles but I don't meet the job requirements... My background is mostly device/app development, not much cloud experience... I'm leaning towards accepting the AVS role for now and seeing how it goes... Hopefully I can transition into a PMT role in the future
      Jul 8, 2018
    • Amazon gDVc56
      Ah ok sure then it should be a great fit for you. You will probably need to find other avenues to pick up other PMT skills requirements as it is not usually a part of a normal SA's role, but other wise you should be good. Welcome to Amazon and Alexa!
      Jul 8, 2018
  • Amazon cayde-6
    Wish I could be of help. But have always been curious about SA salary. What was your offer? Do you know the band?
    Jul 11, 2018 3
    • New SSmart
      OP
      TC is 275k for L6 ... What do you think of the offer ? How does it compare with SDE and PMT at the same level
      Jul 14, 2018
    • For Bay Area or Seattle?
      Jul 14, 2018
    • New SSmart
      OP
      Bay area
      Jul 14, 2018
  • Amazon mmljw7d1
    1. Technical. Most SAs come from Dev background and have soft skills to build relationship with the customers (at least the ones I know). I think the org was built with the builder mentality.

    2. Yes, I've seen SAs come as PM-Technical for specific domains that they specialize under.

    3. I'd say about 1 year. You will have to prove your worth.

    4. No clue what's going on in the AVS side.

    5. Not familiar with it as I'm a US citizen.
    Jul 7, 2018 3
    • New SSmart
      OP
      Thanks mmljw7d1... This really helps... To clarify, by PM I meant Product mgr, i hope you meant product mgr too(not program mgr) ???
      Jul 8, 2018
    • Amazon mmljw7d1
      Amazon acronyms
      PMT == Product Manager-Technical
      TPM == Technical Program Manager

      MBA grads join as L6 PMT. SDEs transition to TPM (then some to SDMs).

      Salary wise, TPM > PMT at Amazon at the same level.
      Jul 8, 2018
    • New SSmart
      OP
      Got it ... What kind of stock refreshers can I expect for L6 SA ?
      Jul 8, 2018
  • Amazon eskB11
    Off-topic: Is "I've an offer" grammatically correct to say "I have an offer" ? Genuine question from a non-native English speaker who has seen a lot of people using this structure.
    Jul 7, 2018 3
    • Amazon / Eng L6SDE
      Yes, though I’ve seen it more in British English.
      Jul 7, 2018
    • North American Bancard / Eng
      KJxO56

      North American Bancard Eng

      BIO
      Engineering
      KJxO56more
      It's the same thing. Most non native speaker avoid contraction and pronounce and write everything in full
      Jul 8, 2018
    • Salesforce Guhter
      Nobody says that
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon / Biz Dev LE Gang
    AVS is full of young account managers that have a playbook of tasks to help vendors troubleshoot their account. It has a lot of flaws as the training was done by folks who have no clue what the prior vendor Manager roles included. As an SA not sure what you would do there but until they work out the kinks it may be a frustrating first team at Amazon.
    Jul 7, 2018 0