Switching from DE in a startup to SDE in FAANG

Dec 9, 2019 5 Comments

Hey all,

I recently started working in a small start up as a Data Engineer . The DE stack here uses cloud ETL tools , cloud warehouse and a bit of AWS thrown in (Lambda, GLUe, Athena, Spark on EMR).
We use Jenkins and airflow and also CircleCI thrown into the mix.
However I feel I have reached a point where f$#@* ** SQL/ETL isn't just cutting it anymore and I do want to switch to SDE roles. When you apply to FAANG, do you even get called for SDE interviews if your background is completely on DE (does the resume get automatically rejected!?)
Post the initial screening how does the tech interview look if your background is not exactly an SDE.

If any recruiters/hiring managers around, please chime in?


TC :$137,000


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TOP 5 Comments
  • Amazon the devil
    I’m curious to know this as well. Can’t see the DE role being very interesting or perhaps even still around within the next decade or so.

    (Currently a DE at Amazon.)
    Dec 9, 2019 4
    • Amazon the devil
      I own and manage my teams data (redshift, S3, internal storage tech), our Airflow stack, and our Redash stack when needed. I build spark data pipelines on emr as well as more traditional etl-pipelines in redshift. Write a lot of airflow dags. Occasionally build quality-of-life tooling for the scientists and analysts on my team (my customers in a way). The datasets I build are used by many business people beyond just my current team. I also work with the scientists to scale up their modeling/inference pipelines when pushing to production.

      But many DEs at Amazon simply manage Redshift clusters.

      I’m pretty bored in my current role. Data tooling is improving pretty quickly. There will be less hands-on data management and it will be easier for analysts/scientists/engineers to work with data in the ways they need.

      Maybe I’m wrong but the DE role will be not as necessary as tech surrounding the space gets better and more standardized.
      Dec 9, 2019
    • Amazon the devil
      @kaiser yeah, the process for me to move to sde internally is somewhat known and there are a couple different routes you could take. I’m not sure what I want at the moment, but I am still curious about what it looks like for external moves to sde. Mostly wondering if my DE experience would become irrelevant in that case
      Dec 9, 2019


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