Working at FAANG is great for many reasons, but the Big Tech life isn't for everybody. For many engineers, it doesn't really make complete sense to go there.
Here are the core scenarios where Big Tech might not be the best for you:
- You have strong WLB needs - Work-life balance generally becomes more important as you get older, and Big Tech is generally pretty bad at giving you that.
- You don't like stress - There's nothing wrong with wanting to chill and avoiding pressure. However, Big Tech is usually not a good place to do this.
- You want to hyper-maximize your career growth - Big Tech is often a consistent path that takes your career to a very good place. However, if you want to go to an astounding place (e.g. become a VP of Engineering by the time you're 30), startups are far superior. Startups have much higher risk but also much higher rewards.
- You just want to code - Engineers at Big Tech almost always need to become incredibly well-rounded, especially at senior and staff. If you don't want to play politics and spend mountains of time running meetings and writing planning docs, Big Tech is likely not the place for you.