Why so many Engineers

ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
Jun 10 28 Comments

Student here.
Just curious to know what the many engineers at big companies like Intel, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Nvidia and similar hardware and software companies do at work on a daily bases. Are they designing that many different products at the same time all year round? Are they maintaining them? Improving old products?

I am asking because these companies have hundreds of engineering positions open all year round, from college grad to higher levels.

Educate me please.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 28 Comments
  • Amazon broke&dumb
    We honestly do nothing.
    At Amazon retail, you can fire my entire org of around 200 people and there will be zero or maybe even positive impact on the company, and my friends in other retail org have similar feelings. And everybody in the management chain knows this too, but why would anyone raise a voice and shoot themselves in the foot.
    Jun 10 11
    • Amazon broke&dumb
      @fraang
      It's not specific to Amazon, it's actually very common in so many other big companies.
      Jun 10
    • Microsoft TrumpWins
      A common theme in tech is carving out a space for yourself where you can claim ownership and show impact/growth. An example many engineers do is even though they might encounter a problem where using such and such library will solve their issues quickly and with little work, they will instead take the time to write their own tools to solve it and claim ownership of those tools to make themselves look good for promos.

      As a side note you should do everything possible to help whoever is right above you get promoted because that leaves a space open for you to potentially move up into that role.
      Jun 10
    • Pinger / Eng create💻
      @Amazon I thought this was specifically called out in Amazon's "be frugal" leadership principle!? :(
      Jun 10
    • Amazon broke&dumb
      Yes yes we write those in our promotion support documents. Everyone's more frugal than all others
      Jun 10
    • Amazon broke&dumb
      The software in most cases is solid robust scalable and high quality, which is the only good thing. But it's absolutely pointless.
      Jun 11
  • Intel / HR M🍩RTHY
    At Intel we do nothing.
    Jun 10 2
    • ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
      OP
      Lol... you are HR? I understand :)
      Jun 10
    • Microsoft MSFTBRO
      At Microsoft, we do nothing until Intel does something.
      Jun 10
  • Roku / Eng fraang
    There is more to a company than it's products. A lot of internal infrastructure needs to be built and maintained for the company to grow and function.
    Jun 10 2
  • Google əๅɓoo⅁
    Some are designing new products, but most are implementing, maintaining servers, fixing bugs.
    But Dilbert should give you a rough idea.
    Jun 10 1
    • Pinger / Eng create💻
      Please tell me Google isn't like Dilbert's Co :(
      Jun 10
  • Apple / Eng kGUv48
    What you see on the outside is only a small amount of work that went into the product. You don’t see all of the products that were built but didnt get released to the public for one reason or another. You don’t see all of the tools that have to be built or set up to support all of the people involved in that product. You don’t see all the communication that happens. You don’t see all the legacy code and systems that make everything more complicated but there isn’t time to rewrite it. You don’t see all the manual labor involved because it hasn’t been automated with software and hardware yet.
    Jun 10 1
  • Google come2daddy
    Write an application which inserts a record in database

    1) Student - 5 lines of code.
    2) Noob engineer - 5 lines of code plus 10 lines of logging
    3) Experienced engineer- modules to parse different kind of inputs, modules to manage database connections , logging , exception handling
    4) Engineers at FAANG: High performance parser which can leverage AVX2 , Restful service secured with OAUTH2, Distributed transaction management , support for 200 different databases With scaling ability to handle over 1 billion requests.

    The point is that work does not vary much. Vast majority of work is maintaining code already written. But the approach for doing a piece of work is vastly different and convoluted.
    Jun 10 1
    • Google come2daddy
      So what’s the point? Wasn’t the question about why so many engineers?
      Jun 11
  • Microsoft TrumpWins
    The noobs and the unlucky are maintaining some shitty internal tools or something
    Jun 10 0
  • Facebook teetees
    🍆💦💦 and 💵💵
    Jun 10 0
  • CareCloud / Eng zGRt44
    Watching upper management lie to investors is a big part. Oh and watching big cloud companies suck on our upper management balls for free cloud services is pretty funny too
    Jun 11 0
  • Pinger / Eng create💻
    Try to map out all the things that one big company does. When you dig deeper you will find the big companies are doing a lot of things. And if you think about it, each thing probably took effort from multiple teams.
    Some examples:
    - Google released realtime augmented reality walking directions. How many tens of people might have been involved?
    - Amazon is building up its Alexa Shopping team. It's not the Alexa team nor the shopping team. It's a team that will let you buy things via Alexa. Not sure the team size but maybe 100?
    Jun 10 0