Chicago SWE offers

Jul 11, 2019 13 Comments

Trying to decide between these two offers In Chicago… I have 3 YOE

Offer 1: Slalom Build(Their in-house consulting division no travel)
** Already accepted this offer so I’d have to renege. Wasn’t expecting another offer
Potential TC 100k, 91k base, 0-10% bonus
No 401k match first year then 3% match if you contribute 6%, potentially additional 3-5% 401k contribution, 17 days PTO, 8 holidays, 2-3k annual budget for personal development(books, courses, certs, conferences)
Commute would be about 1hr 20min
Cool office, fun atmosphere, Fully stocked kitchen, younger down to earth people, they seem to value employees, weekly events/meetups/hackathons, annual team retreats
Projects can vary in technologies but I think the main ones they work with are Java, .Net, Angular, React, AWS, Azure, GCP. I’d be able to choose what part of the stack I’d like to work on and focus in that area(mobile, backend, full stack, front end).

Offer 2: Caterpillar
**Pretty sure I can negotiate this up a bit
116k TC, 102k base, 14%+ bonus
6% 401k match, potentially additional 3-5% company 401k contribution, 10 holidays, 18 PTO, 1 floating holiday, they shut down between Christmas and New Years so extra week off.
Commute would be 1hr 5min
Overall culture seems very old school and corporate. Office is a cube farm. All my interviewers seemed older and surprisingly all Russian/Eastern European which was weird. The company seems to be heavily investing in tech (their new Chicago office is basically for software/data science people.
Tech is Java/Scala, AWS, big data/big scale, all backend. Basically developing infrastructure to handle and analyze data from caterpillar machinery worldwide. (Have a call with the manager tomorrow to further discuss the role)

Is giving up 16k~ plus 401k match be worth it over having a fun culture/work environment?

Any advice or comments would be great!



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TOP 13 Comments
  • ConocoPhillips fisshy
    Damn those commutes wtf

    Caterpillar imo. Add a poll
    Jul 11, 2019 3
    • Motorola dagoat
      planning on moving and cutting it down to 25-35min
      Jul 11, 2019
    • Bank of America coffeemahn
      You can read (if not driving), or listen to audio books during your commute. It is not a total waste of time. Go for the more money.
      Jul 24, 2019
  • OP I do not mean to hijack your post but I am actually interviewing for the same team next week as a Frontend engineer, could you tell me how was your interview experience?
    Jul 12, 2019 2
    • Motorola dagoat
      The Cat Digital team? Before the onsite it was a tech phone screen, phone coding screen, 2 level cache design project. The onsite was a 1on1 design interview for about 30-45min, then whiteboard coding with 2 people, then 2 other people came in and finished the different implementation of the last problem and asked me a few questions about my design choices on the project. After that they just did the STAR interview which they straight up BS lmao. I guess its just a formality for them.

      Design question was basically revolved around scheduling simultaneous service calls across multiple nodes and how the backend would be designed.

      The coding question was delete an entire file system but can't delete if there is subfiles/folders. Solved it recursively then they had me to do iteratively as well to avoid the risk of stack overflowing.

      I'm pretty sure the team I was interviewing with was all backend tho
      Jul 12, 2019
    • Thank you very much @op, that is very helpful 😊
      I believe they are planning to implement a frontend aspect to their project and If I make it I would be the first frontend person in the team
      Jul 12, 2019
  • Salesforce benimeoff
    I find it hard to believe a job at slalom would have 0 travel. All it takes is a staff shortage on a project and you could get shifted into a client facing role. If you are truly ‘back office’ you will be a second class citizen in the consulting world.

    Also, MOVE. Chicago is an incredible affordable city, I would drop those commute times to walking to the office. You have enough TC to not live out in all the suburb bs.
    Jul 12, 2019 1
    • I agree, I live in the building across the street from Caterpillar office and 0 commute time makes life soo much more easier oh and the rent is not much higher than suburbs if you factor in the metra pass cost as well.
      Jul 12, 2019
  • LinkedIn / Ops Spin_Move
    I'd vote CAT. Few reasons - having worked in cube farms, lowered wall cube farms, and totally open concept, open concept is a load of shit and a total drag on productivity. It feels sexy at first but you can't get anything done bec of the noise and people walking around.
    Depending on what you want to do with your career, you could steer the CAT role in a few diff directions too: big data for IoT, data science analytics (imo this is the direction tech is headed for the next 10-15 years), or pure infra engineering which is also lucrative and has job stability.
    On Slalom using all three aws azure and gcp, my personal experience is that aws gives you a lot to work with in terms of which part of the stack you want to develop, third party apps to integrate, etc. Exeprience with the built-in tools is also an advantage outside of the aws environment. Azure is a close second but they still have work to do with simplifying the environment. The management console on aws is also better, not sure if you'll be managing any workloads though.
    Personal preference for me is also going with the shorter commute. They say that every extra 20 mins of commuting feels like a 10% pay cut (I don't remember the numbers exactly though).
    401k match at Slalom is not so good imo (1 yr wait period specifically).

    Arguments against what I'm saying though -
    You are still very young in your career and can't go wrong with picking one over the other.
    Working in a younger company means you may have more flexibility in changing projects/tasks, while that's harder in old school companies where most people's project focus is very narrow.
    Getting experience on all three major could platforms is also a marketable skill.
    Hackathons, good break room, young crowd, etc can and do affect morale and can make a difference in how you feel about your job day to day.

    If you pick CAT try to renege gracefully and keep in touch with 1-2 ppl from Slalom.
    Jul 11, 2019 0
  • Those commutes would literally kill me
    Jul 11, 2019 1
    • Motorola dagoat
      Eh like a 10-15 drive to the train then 45min train ride and a brief walk. I just listen to audiobooks/podcasts/watch youtube so I don't really mind.
      Jul 11, 2019
  • Cat. you can have fun with the money with the people you choose...
    Jul 11, 2019 0


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