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I want to speak to my L7 and ask for team transfer for an MLE role.

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community4 months ago

Hi everyone,

I hope this message finds you well. I'm currently an SDE-II at Amazon and have developed a keen interest in advancing my career towards AI, specifically in Vision and Autonomous Systems.

I am reaching out to seek advice on how to approach this transition within Amazon. I value my current role and team, but I'm eager to align my career with my growing interest in AI technologies.

Could anyone share their experiences or advice on how to discuss this career aspiration with my manager and skip level? Additionally, I would be grateful for any guidance on mentorship programs, internal channels, or resources that were instrumental in your career transitions within Amazon, particularly into AI-focused roles.

Any insights or recommendations on how to navigate this path would be immensely appreciated. Thank you for your time and help!

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Discussion

(2 comments)
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    4 months ago

    When it comes to approaching a transfer request, here's the thing to keep in mind when talking to the other manager:

    • Bad: "I want to switch to your team purely out of my own self interest." - It's very possible to be interpreted this way as ML/AI is hot right now and many engineers are trying to pivot into it due to $$$.
    • Good: "I have tremendous respect for what you and your team are doing and want to help you achieve even more."

    So when it comes to falling on the good side of things, I recommend:

    • Doing homework on what that team has launched and weaving that into your outreach (e.g. "The new XYZ system you shipped is fascinating - I've played around with it for hours already")
    • Doing some research on that manager and what their personal beliefs/accomplishments are (e.g. "I read your memo about the future of Amazon LLMs, and it's super cool!")

    In general, a good outreach message is more about them, and less about you. This wouldn't be a cold message exactly, but a lot of the same principles still apply: Stop Getting Ghosted With Your Reachouts - How To Write A Great Cold Message

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    4 months ago

    Even better than showing interest in a domain is to demonstrate the value you'll add.

    How open is the codebase at Amazon? Can you peek at the code for an AI team and propose ideas or bug fixes? If they're straightforward enough, maybe you could even make the CR (change request) for them.

    If this is difficult, you could talk about how you created some open-source AI tool, wrote some thoughts on a blog, or led a talk on Taro about AI (message me if you're interested in this!)

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, and much more. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it has been referred to as "one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world".
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