Stay at Google or switch to hedge fund SWE?

Google / Eng ruminate
Aug 12, 2018 26 Comments

I’m currently an L5 UX Engineer (similar to front-end SWE). My base is 170k and total comp this year will be around 340k. In a year I might be able to get to L6 and work remotely. I’ve been at Google almost 8 years. I’m comfortable, but sometimes frustrated.

I have an offer from a privately equity firm in NYC that specializes in hedge funds. Comp would be 225k base with a bonus of up to 375k. Title would be VP, but that is common in finance. Bonus isn’t guaranteed and could be much lower. No remote work. Should I switch?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 26 Comments
  • Amazon tvhttugdru
    No
    Aug 12, 2018 3
    • Amazon tvhttugdru
      I will elaborate (ex-Investment banking SWE)
      1) SWEs are cost, not profit pool. You are second-class citizen.
      2) Regulations: you can’t freely trade. Every transaction needs compliance pre-approval and subject to 30-day holding period
      3) Some groups will treat you as contractors
      4) Infrastructure is from last decade with sick “security “ restrictions. I measured: things which would take me ~40 min in AWS, will take 1 month to get done (like few weeks for firewall ports opening) with few layers of incompetent implementors in process.
      5) Talent: the bar is much lower
      Aug 12, 2018
    • New / Eng Jedii
      Talent bar is lower in IB divisions of banks and traditional fintech companies. But many hedge funds have had the reputation of hiring super smart developers and paying them in the top.bracket. Two Sigma, Jane Street, DE Shaw to name a few. I think the talent here is at par with FAANG. A simple evaluation is learning more about their interviewing experiences
      Aug 12, 2018
    • ^agree completely. Unless you move to one of very select Quant Hedge Funds, Prop Trading shops (like those mentioned above), would be significant step down. And even if you goto a good HF/Prop shop, I’d guess you’re likely going to be lower on the total pole than quants. Just some things to consider.
      Aug 12, 2018
  • Facebook sum41pwd
    L6 plus remote work sounds like a sweet deal. You can live in a 0 state tax place with low housing.

    If 375k max bonus is the hook, consider that “max bonus” at FB for E6 would in theory be 120+k cash bonus and a 600k stock refresher grant. I’m assuming the numbers at Google will be close, but the likelihood of that happening is extremely slim. Ask the recruiter about the likelihood of getting the max bonus and what a normal “meets expectations” bonus looks like.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • Facebook n00b102
    Only 10% rise, that is even not guaranteed!

    Stick to G, unless the offer is 550k+ (assuming you hit L6 in a year or so)!
    Aug 12, 2018 3
    • New / Eng Jedii
      I think OP meant max bonus is 375k and not TC. Base is an additional 225k.
      Aug 12, 2018
    • Google / Eng ruminate
      OP
      Exactly, total comp could be up to 600k. Couldn’t get the recruiter to tell me the likelihood of earning the max or what the average would be (meets expectations). Though have a friend who works at the hedge fund and he’s been able to get close to the max bonus.
      Aug 12, 2018
    • New / Eng Jedii
      I believe you should go for it.
      Aug 12, 2018
  • Valorem WFQJ57
    You’re a front end dude, I’ve never worked at a hedge fund, but based on what I know, if I was going in with your title, i would expect to be treated like crap. Unless you’re backend, Analytics, Bi/ML, anything having to do with actually making the company money I would not take the risk. Google, and the rest of the fangs value UI more than most companies, try to move somewhere where they value UI if you’re trying to branch out, if it’s for money then, thread lightly.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • Google tempo
    Don't do that unless you absolutely need the raise. Otherwise try to change within Google or at least within tech. You'll be way less respected in the banking industry, even with a vp title.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • Two Sigma / Eng
    GsvD78

    Two Sigma Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    BIO
    No stalking
    GsvD78more
    What does private equity firm specializing in hedge funds even mean? Are you going to be doing front end work at a HF?
    Aug 12, 2018 1
    • Lazard fin/tech
      yeah wtf does OP mean
      Aug 13, 2018
  • Microsoft Scaredd
    Dude definitely not. Friend of mine went to citadel and came back in a year.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • McKinsey Moonface
    Hell no. You’ll be worked to death and treated like second class citizen in HF. Stick with your cushy ass life at Google.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • Cerner halooooooo
    Hedge fund is another world compared to tech industry
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • New / Eng Painkiller
    Don’t be a bitch, take the smarter offer dummy...
    Aug 12, 2018 1
    • The smart thing would be to really look under the covers about what she/he would be getting into. The dumb thing would be to blindly chase $$$. Personally, I think OP is doing right thing by posting this
      type of question here.
      Aug 12, 2018
  • Valorem WFQJ57
    I thought google didn’t allow you to work Remote or is this changing? If so I might need to do some leet code!!
    Aug 12, 2018 1
    • Google / Eng ruminate
      OP
      It hasn’t changed. remote work is discouraged, but it is allowed in very rare and unique circumstances for people with a good track record. I still would have at least 25% travel, so I wouldn’t be totally remote.
      Aug 12, 2018
  • Amazon wooshboo
    L6 and remote work go together at Google or is specific for you?
    Aug 12, 2018 1
    • Google / Eng ruminate
      OP
      Team is distributed in multiple offices, so manager is ok with remote work and traveling. Unusual for Google, and specific for my situation and team.
      Aug 12, 2018
  • Microsoft Abstract32
    Is the company name - two sigma
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • Airbnb jim.hodlen
    why not make the switch and find out for yourself? at worst, you can come back to google.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • Apple / Eng
    brownrice

    Apple Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    brownricemore
    If this is a change in location, then with everything else being almost equal, the location should be the deciding factor. Would you like NYC? the commute, the lifestyle, weather, schooling for your kids if you have any. You might like the east coast better if you grew up there.
    Aug 12, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Facevalue
    Toss a coin
    Aug 12, 2018 0