Startup versus amazon L5

New NUWQ18
Jan 20, 2018 38 Comments

Hi I have around 15+ years of experience in several MNC in storage and database and startup. Have two offers : Amazon L5 offer at 280k TC and another at series B machine learning startup much lower TC but big percentage of the company. Don’t feel like negotiating with the Amazon offer: am not interested in talking when some does so much of low leveling. The AI startup going big is a matter of luck but chances are there. Also don’t have to deal with hierarchy of managers in Amazon. What do people feel?

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TOP 38 Comments
  • Blend gJyL46
    Startup, especially if you’ve got a good enough rain fund. Amazon seems extremely low for a engineer of your tenure.
    Jan 20, 2018 1
    • Ring / Eng j5rC9)
      When you say that, "good enough rain fund" , what number comes to mind??
      Jan 21, 2018
  • New NUWQ18
    OP
    I have also heard that in the name of scalability the work is mostly bug fixing in AWS. And the Palo alto versus Seattle work assignments is another angle. Managers over commit and engineer have to meet the unrealistic schedules. Machine learning at lower pay was adding a different angle to my resume.
    Jan 21, 2018 1
    • Amazon Drhsdg
      Your mind seems made up at this point so why are you asking? Every comment you’ve made is just an attack on amazon.
      Jan 21, 2018
  • New NUWQ18
    OP
    I was making better than that from the place I am moving out . The work factor was the issue. So they ha for match . Base is 185, 78k+68k and then 200 RSU
    Jan 20, 2018 1
    • Amazon iAlexa
      Good one!
      You certainly are an exception to general L5 who are hired!
      Certainly you can get an L6 (which will be awesome) within an year!
      Jan 21, 2018
  • Amazon sires
    280K is too high for L5...pretty much overlapping with start of L6. IMO, experience is one parameter for level but can’t be solely treated as directly proportional to level. L6 bar at Amazon is pretty good and I’ve seen folks ranging from 3-20yrs working as L5. You would probably rock here considering your experience and salary range offered...should be able to move to L6 in 1-2 years considering things goes well and you got good projects.
    Jan 20, 2018 1
    • Amazon LaserCatEi
      Move to L6 require a lot of proof and projects that you have delivered. Hard to do in two years coming from outside . First you have to build enough trust to get assigned projects with a large enough scope and impact.
      Jan 21, 2018
  • Apple / Mgmt ktmG64
    FWIW I got an Amazon L6 SDM in Seattle for $344 TC first year. How does that stack up with what folks are seeing for L6?
    Jan 21, 2018 5
    • Amazon iAlexa
      Average
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Apple Unchained
      below average
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Apple / Mgmt ktmG64
      @Unchained - what's the normal range?
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Apple Unchained
      650 k min. EZ
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Amazon n!
      650 is bs
      Feb 10, 2018
  • Microsoft InterviewK
    Startup seems like a no brainer to me. You'll most likely see faster career growth and a chance to shoot for L7 at Amazon in a much shorter time
    Jan 21, 2018 0
  • New NUWQ18
    OP
    The offer letter says senior sde. I was not aware of the L5 and L6 stuff. In asking back got this answer. Interviews are in my opinion not reasonable way to judge people: especially the of the kind promoted by most younger generation kids who almost know the 400 questions from leetcode etc in memory in four different languages. And unfortunately many people who get through these interviews many a Times also have other manipulative skills to grow up i their career. In my opinion member of technical staff is the most respected position for the technical ladder. I was not worried about the level. But in bigger companies the compensation levels are capped by these levels . And then big companies have their own rules for a good reason. Somehow I feel if they had offered me a decent salary for my experience I would have joined or at least talked to them even if the work was not something new. But it was a nonstarter . I just wanted to know how is the work environment considering the fact so many people have spread news about amazon work culture
    Jan 21, 2018 7
    • VMware HUFDW
      Work culture wise, you get creamed pretty quickly if you don't perform at your level.
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Amazon sires
      If title is snr sde then your level would be l6. For l6 hire this salary is lowballed! Ask 350k+ atleast.

      Work culture highly varies among teams. Considering you worked in startups already...you would pretty much do fine. Worst case, there is no limit on internal transfers here...you can pick your team as you like once joined.
      Jan 21, 2018
    • New NUWQ18
      OP
      I know beau we I asked back once I came to know of the L5/l6 stuff.
      Jan 21, 2018
    • Amazon LaserCatEi
      Work environment is bad now. Top grading and stack ranking amount to a very poisonous environment.
      Jan 21, 2018
    • VMware HUFDW
      Did you already decline Amazon offer ??
      Jan 21, 2018
  • VMware HUFDW
    What's a good comp offer for Amazon L6 QA in SF Bay Area?
    Jan 20, 2018 2
    • Ring / Eng j5rC9)
      $120k
      Jan 21, 2018
    • VMware HUFDW
      Nope. That’s toooo low
      Jan 21, 2018
  • VMware HUFDW
    What's a good comp offer for Amazon L6 QA in SF Bay Area?
    Jan 21, 2018 1
    • Amazon sires
      In my knowledge, Anything above 240K should be really good. Check paysa.com for more data. I believe someone did posted salaries data on blind in some thread...search it out.
      Jan 21, 2018
  • New NUWQ18
    OP
    Ok yes. Especially since I had built distributed storage systems for a startup and a mnc over 6-7 years. Ie relevant experience. I guess the HR folks simply have a generic rule to low level. Big company stuff.
    Jan 21, 2018 1
    • Amazon sires
      HR doesn’t decide level here and pretty much at FANG. HM and bar raiser decides that based on loop feedback. Either you were wrongly setup for L5 loop by recruiter or you’re not considered at l6 level based on interview performance.

      I would highly advice talking to recruiter since they are hiring you on L6 salary, they would definitely address your concern with valid reasons if any.

      Best of luck!
      Jan 21, 2018
  • New NUWQ18
    OP
    Yeah. It was useless to talk when someone starts with such numbers. Btw I don’t think amazon brand does not matter for my experience level. I already have a few brands other than FAANG companies. The startup culture is also is also interesting and learning is better
    Jan 20, 2018 1
    • Amazon sires
      Are you not happy with numbers or level or both? I’m pretty sure at L5 this is way above ceiling. You should tell recruiter to setup for L6 loop rather than L5. They should be able to re-interview if you rocked your L5 interviews. I’ve seen such case here.
      Jan 21, 2018
  • New 536184
    Go with the startup. You sound like someone who has skills and wants to make shit happen. You’ll be frustrated in a large org, especially if you’re coming in at the wrong level. Also: amazon very much operates from the basis of an oligopolist, which it is in Seattle. And for a long time it was (probably still is) the hottest ticket in town. Its labor practices and employee-unfriendly attitude don’t translate well to the Bay Area, which you’re experiencing. Of course — it depends on the startup — in the Bay Area the market is more transparent / liquid so your skills matter more. If you’re picking up truly valuable skills (not just running ML models but at scale, etc) then the startup sounds attractive.
    Jan 21, 2018 0
  • Twitch d5yOHF0CZ5
    Your TC is higher for L5 level...I have never seen L5 engineer at Amazon getting what you are offered..
    Jan 21, 2018 0
  • Uber / Eng
    Rqwx5o

    Uber Eng

    PRE
    Google
    Rqwx5omore
    Tell Amazon you are not interested in anything less than 400k TC. Let them deal with how to make that happen (or not)
    Jan 21, 2018 0
  • Amazon iAlexa
    So one guy in my team joined as a L5 after 15 years of industry experience as well.
    Certainly he is seen as a future L6 since Day 1 and he delivers on it as well
    Jan 21, 2018 0
  • Microsoft MIta60
    L5 is too low for 15 years experience
    Jan 21, 2018 0
  • VMware HUFDW
    Can you please give me a breakdown of your compensation offer at Amazon; base ? sign on ? RSU total ?

    Is this for AWS?
    Jan 20, 2018 0