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At Big Tech, You're Just A Cog In The Machine

Many people idolize FAANG companies, because they own these amazing products that everyone uses. However, working on these products is rarely as glamorous as people think: The experience is often worse the more successful the product is.

Here are the core points from the video:

  • Your ownership will probably be super tiny - This is especially true at non-senior levels (junior and mid-level). Big Tech companies have thousands of amazing, ultra-productive engineers, and there's only so much ownership to go around. It's not uncommon for a Big Tech engineer to make $200k+ per year mainly working on a single button.
  • The work is very incremental - Since Big Tech's product suite is so mature, it's very hard to find 0 to 1 work there, which people generally find to be more exciting. Almost all "shipped" code is wrapped in an experiment at Big Tech, and a lot of these experiments will fail.
  • It can be hard to feel fulfilled - It's not the most exciting to own a single widget within a feature within a broader service within the overall product, and it's definitely not something that's cool to share when people ask you what you do.

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