Wait 1 year for Sr. SDE or leave?

Amazon / Eng rando-sde
Jul 30 17 Comments

I work at AWS on a popular service. AWS has a great reputation for getting to Senior SDE. I'm on a great project, and I see a clear path to promotion. I think within a year, it is likely given our work.

Problem is, at 5 yoe, 180 TC is hardly market value. I am thinking about jumping ship because I think I could easily get 250 (Seattle). I believe promotion will get me to 250, but that will only take effect in 2021 given a 2020 promotion due to the nature of stock grants.

I'm a bit conflicted because AWS is really good experience. And Amazon Senior SDE could help me jump to even higher levels of comp outside of Amazon if I wait for promo and leave after a year or two after that.

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TOP 17 Comments
  • Amazon TDKU11
    I stayed at a lower paying job for 5 years to get experience and it was the best for my career. I learned a lot and 10 years later, I still get hired because of the knowledge I learned specifically from the lower paying job.

    Sometimes experience and patience is worth it
    Jul 30 3
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      Glad to hear this could be a good move. Leaning in this direction. Even from a TC point of view, it could even out in 5 years. Say I stay a bit as a Sr, then leave. Could be getting higher than 250.
      Jul 30
    • Amazon TDKU11
      Exactly and focus more on what you are learning and projects you are on. The TC will come.
      Jul 30
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      This is a good approach. Thanks!
      Jul 30
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    "AWS L6". Stay and nail it. L6 is 6yoe is pretty good. It's like a globally respected credential.
    Jul 30 4
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      Thanks for tye advice! I'm leaning in this direction because a year, or so isn't that bad.
      Jul 30
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      I'm not too different from you in yoe, but the two best jobs I had/have were ones that were not the highest TC offers I had. Totally worth it.
      Jul 30
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      Glad to hear it! I'll keep this in mind. One thing I learned in coming to AWS is that what you do at work totally matters. For example, I had never worked with microservices/distributed systems before joining AWS. Now it's everywhere.
      Jul 30
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Amen
      Jul 30
  • Microsoft 🌲fiddy
    These hypotheticals are pointless. What's stopping you from interviewing, seeing what your actual value is, and then make a decision?
    Jul 30 1
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      It takes time to prep. I don't use DFS to solve problems at work, or graphs, or BSTs, or dynamic programming. FAANG interviews have cool offs. I want to use my time wisely, and use my "once per year" interview wisely as well.

      I also know someone who got 250 from Microsoft for a Sr. role and he was an L5 at Amazon. So I know it's possible. Not hypothetical.
      Jul 30
  • Amazon PMBs25
    What respect? As far as any other FAANG cares is your interview performance - don't waste your time at Amazon - jump to FB/G for immediate bump to your TC. Don't work for peanuts.
    Jul 30 1
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      Yeah, but experience can be a big decider for interviews as well (in the long run). Having a trove of interesting and complex problems solved can make me more valuable in the long run. Although, for sure, they only care about interview performance. Might be good for future growth, though.
      Jul 30
  • Amazon / Eng TC100kYoE0
    Yeah, get L6 first. You'll essentially be resetting your promotion meter by moving.
    Jul 30 3
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      Yeah, if I wanted to boomerang, would be much easier to get L6 first.
      Jul 30
    • Amazon / Eng TC100kYoE0
      And even if you don't boomerang, the L6 on your resume helps you find a better position at the next company.
      Jul 30
    • Amazon / Eng rando-sde
      OP
      Agreed. That'll be big.
      Jul 30