Google L3 vs Amazon L5

Nov 25, 2019 23 Comments

First of all, thank you all for creating such an awesome community! From the last few weeks, I have been spending more time on Blind than on any other social sites :)

About me:
I am currently pursuing MS CS in one of the top US universities and will be graduating soon. This summer I interned at Google as SWE intern. I am an international student.
YOE: 2.5 years in India (startup) + 3 months of Google internship

Offer: L3 SWE [industrial and not new grad]
PA: Google Ads
Location: MTV
TC: 220K (Base: 130K, RSU: 200K, Sign-on bonus: 20K, Target bonus: 20K) [Not negotiated yet]

Converted internship into a full-time offer with strong hires from the host, mentor and internal references. Nailed the conversion interviews. After clearing HC within a week, I spent 6-7 weeks waiting for matches in the team matching process. I went ahead with the same team I interned in because I was done waiting for the matches. Yes, I felt there is a freeze at L3 going on. Personally I don't hate the team but I just couldn't connect with the product. People are super smart and nice - I would absolutely work with them again!

Offer: L5 (SDE 2)
Org: Alexa AI Conversations
Location: Seattle
TC: Yet to come but I am expecting it to be around 250K and beyond. I got to know from the recruiter that the decision was a unanimous strong hire from the loop. I got matched to a kickass team in Alexa AI Conversations org and work seems to be light years better than Google's.

I did mention Google about my Amazon offer and they said they will surely negotiate and try to match. I and G are waiting for Amazon's offer.

Here are a few points which I am thinking and would like some help from you guys.

1. Awesome WLB vs maybe the worst WLB in the industry?

2. Excellent people and healthy atmosphere overall [have experienced it first hand] vs not so good atmosphere from what I have seen on Blind itself?

3. Given excellent internal mobility within both the companies, at the start of the career, normal work vs work that gets you to jump in excitement?

4. State tax. How much of a difference does it make if both the offers, in the end, seem equal in numbers? I honestly doubt G will give more than Amazon offer compensating for state tax if at all it matches?

5. Given I'll international employee and job security matters a lot, I have heard G is a more PiP friendly company than Amazon.

6. The difficulty of getting into Google at higher levels >> difficulty of getting into Amazon at higher levels? When I ask people around, I hear from them that I can always get through Amazon's process in the future too but that's not true with Google. I kinda second that.

G has always been a dream workplace for me! And having worked there, it is worth every piece of hype it gets! But I strongly feel even a couple of years in Amazon's opportunity will evolve me in my career like none.

I will keep updating this post as I receive updates from both the recruiters.

Amazon Offer:
Base: 150K
Sign on 1st / 2nd year: 79K / 58K
RSU: 95K (Vesting - 5%, 15%, 40%, 40%)
TC for 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th year: 234K / 223K / 188K / 188K
I am not too happy with RSU and base could be a little higher. I have requested them to negotiate.


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TOP 23 Comments
  • Amazon bezоs
    Take the L3 then. You deserve it.
    Nov 25, 2019 0
  • Amazon OTdS88
    250 is the top end of Amazon sde2, you won’t get more than that, and likely less. I’d take Google
    Nov 25, 2019 4
    • Amazon jаw
      He already has 2.5 yoe. By the time he applies to G again he’ll have 5-6 yoe.
      Nov 26, 2019
    • Amazon OTdS88
      I missed that part, still seems like a risky bet, put avg yoe for L5 at >10
      Nov 26, 2019
  • New LOnp33
    Get google to match on $$$, and take google.

    Don’t risk your happiness and especially job security when you’re international. DONT RISK IT.
    Nov 25, 2019 3
    • Google lkrt
      Already pushed the recruiter for L4 interviews. She told HC has remarked my package as borderline L4 and it is better I start at L3 and prove myself at this level first. Couldn't push harder after that.
      Nov 25, 2019
    • Google klinmg
      Push your recruiter harder. They're always trying to close and lie to your face!
      Nov 26, 2019
  • Amazon / Eng

    Amazon Eng

    Anyone Hire Product Manager :)
    Nov 25, 2019 0
  • Amazon eksp
    You might not be able to swallow Amazon L5 w/o any experience. Indian experience (at a srartup) and G internship didn’t prepare you for the Amazon Sharks.

    W/o a PhD you’ll mostly be doing SW work and fighting with other more experienced L5s.

    Some folks transferring from Amazon India often get pip despite some connections and exposure.

    You experience can be totally different if you’re lucky enough to get a very good supportive manager who’s willing to teach you navigation.

    Even if you find one, for L5s they might not be so patient.
    Nov 25, 2019 1
    • Google lkrt
      Yes, I am aware of the initial rampup hardships and I am taking that into consideration.
      Nov 26, 2019
  • Amazon The office
    If you don’t go amazon now, it’s likely you never will (or should). You’ll learn a lot here, but it’ll be harder.

    Getting L5 250k would be very impressive, but don’t expect much increase over the next three years until you’re promoted (or you can dive and save successfully at TT)
    Nov 25, 2019 0
  • Amazon 1Day1
    You must be very smart. Do you also have strong communication skill and judgement? Then, A. You will be L6 in 3 years.
    Nov 25, 2019 0
  • Google / Eng toxtricity
    Seconding Google as well. Dont buy into the AI hype. If you do well at L3 and get L4 promo quickly with good ratings, you can also eventually go to an AI team at Google if that’s where you wanna be.

    I know people from shitty teams like corp eng and engprod who have transferred to Google AI, Brain, assistant etc at L4.

    Regarding comp, technically you’re making Amazon L5 tc in your first year (it will be 220k + 20k sign on after they try to match amzn). Next year if you’re that good as you said you are and get L4 google promo + refreshers, you will surely beat 250k.

    Meanwhile Amazon tc will stay at 250k forever till promo to L6, which is really hard. Either 3 years or never (pip). Unless amzn stock quadrupled again which is unlikely.

    Also Amzn has been trying to lure people away by offering teams that sound sexy like AI and cloud etc.
    Nov 26, 2019 2
    • Google lkrt
      My team and the work in A is sexier than it sounds. Believe me it's that good. I am really lucky to have matched to the team. Spoke to few Amazonians regarding the opportunity, they all said to seriously consider it.

      But yes, I can switch to similar experiences in future within Google.
      Nov 26, 2019
    • It’s not 3 years or pip. A strong sde2 can continue forever without promo or fear of pip.
      Nov 26, 2019
  • Google lkrt
    I see lot of comments on how L5 would be tough given my YOE. I am considering that in my decision surely. But why would a company agree on a candidate strongly if the candidate is not prepared to function at the desired level? Aren't interviews in place just for that? They could have down leveled me to L4 like they do to many. Just curious to know.
    Nov 26, 2019 1
    • Amazon OTdS88
      You’ll do fine at L5. Ramp up will be steep but you’ll learn a ton. Don’t go into it expecting much hand holding though. Top of L5 is expected to be fully self sufficient after about 3 months.
      Nov 26, 2019
  • Uber ygfghbd
    What did you end up doing?
    Dec 25, 2019 0


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