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".
I was an SDE-3 at Amazon until last year. Lack of exciting work and fear of layoff made me switch to a late stage startup as a Sr Software Engineer.
Now I am part of a very small team (3 engineers including me) and have been working on small scale projects which won't look great on my resume. I feel like I am stuck at my level and not sure how to move ahead. If I want to level up at my current company, I might have to spend a few years. My manager just got into her role and doesn't know what growth would be like for me. When I look at staff engineers in my company, I feel I am not at their level. I have thought about making a move again but I am immediately discouraged by the thought of wasting days and months in interview preparation after doing it just last year. Feeling really lost and looking for suggestions.
Sorry if the question is too open ended or vague
I have two offers and am having trouble deciding which one to take
Company A: Non-Tech company with ~1500 employees. They have a cloud computing division to manage their infrastructure
Company B: Pre-seed stage startup (2 - 10 employees)
What am I looking for?
Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you!
I recently interviewed with two 100-person startups and both of them have one round of "pair programming" interview. In that round, we do live coding with a very simple coding question. An example question is to design a
Robot class that has integer 2D coordinates and listens to keyboard input to move up/left/right/down - Intro to Programming level questions. They emphasis on class methods design and how the solution code is structured.
During the interview, I feel like the interviewer has a clear answer in mind of how it should be structured, but I can't read their mind. I asked what's the use case of my class (how it's called, call patterns, future features, etc...) and the interviewers say something like use your best judgement or ask the question back. The interviewers don't seem to be interested in input parsing and edge cases (like how many edge cases could there be for such a simple question?). They also asked what would you do if you want to deploy it to prod, which feels more confusing (I answered a few metrics, logging, tracing and monitoring stuff but not sure if that's what the interviewer is asking for).
I failed both, but I want to get some learnings out of it. What are interviewers looking for in this round and how should people prepare for it?
I recently joined a Big Tech company. My assigned mentor is helpful when I have questions, and is also friendly.
However, apart from asking questions when I get stuck, I'm not sure how to best use their time so I can onboard and grow effectively. Does anyone have some suggestions and insight on this?
I've considered asking them to explain how some parts of the codebase work when I have issues, but it feels like unless I work on those parts of the codebase, I will forget what I learn. The domain and codebase is large so this feels low-ROI, especially since I am not working on some of these pieces.
Being pressured to deliver at high speed all the time, my team doesn't seem to value wiki type documentation a lot.
When starting a project/feature, we often have a high level design doc & design meeting to talk about high level infrastructure, and we make key trade-off decisions together as a team. If we are lucky, we get another low level design doc & meeting focused on sequencing of actions & interaction between class level objects.
We rarely seem to go back to our initial design doc after initial design phase of a project to update them and explain the actual final product we built and maybe some additional design decisions we made during implementation.
As a result, documentations are kind of dead after facilitating the initial design review. For legacy projects, high quality docs are extremely hard to come by and most just rely on reading large amount of code to understand how things work (nothing wrong with this but I think high quality documentation can save lots of time here).
I understand we don't want to boil the ocean and write everything in painstaking details, but we should at least have enough to help people understand responsibility of services and contract between them.
Hi all. Got laid off from Amazon in April and still looking for a job (I know :/). I don't get any interviews with lower tier companies but I get interviews at top companies. Do you think that lower tier companies avoid me because I worked at Amazon and they know that I would leave when I get an offer from a top company?
I recently joined Amazon as a boomerang after a few years here. I am on a newly-forming team that has a few SDEs without a SDM. I've been wanting to get into a SDM role and haven't seen a ton of opportunities internally for switching. I am aware of the differences between SDE and SDM since I've gone through the expectations for each role.
Here are some things I've done on helping grow teams:
I just joined a few weeks ago, so I'm aware this is sudden. I'm not sure if an opportunity like this is going to happen anytime soon. I'd like to get others' perspectives if I brought this up to the interim Sr. SDM. Would it look bad if I asked to be my new team's SDM and what sort of consequences could result from this?
Hi all, I need an advice on quite a random thing. I recently changed teams at Amazon. Since I shared a close bond with my previous team members, I continue to hang out with them sometimes and my ex-manager is quite aware of it. (He was new, and has worked with the team for less than an year)
Is it fine if I continue engaging with old friends, or does it make me look bad from professional aspect?
I'm a senior ML engineer (~4.5 years exp) working at a medium-sized company. My educational background is a BSc and MSc in computer engineering from a not super fancy university in Europe. I wrote a few papers during my university years and as a result of hobby projects, but these were published in mediocre conferences (so not Neurips/ACL-level).
I tried applying to a few ML engineering jobs in the past couple of months (Spotify, Apple and Amazon) but did not hear back. I searched through Linkedin to see the backgrounds of ML engineers working at these companies in my area just to get an idea of the situation. My impression was that a vast majority of these people went to top-tier universities (significant number of people have a Phd), interned at FAANG during their university years, wrote (or contributed to) papers in top ML conferences etc.
I know that ML engineering positions are very competitive at these companies & also the market is very tough now in general, but it got me wondering:
What should someone like me work on to increase my chances of joining one of these companies as a ML engineer? The patterns I see from people working there is hard to achieve at this stage in my life as:
Some things I was thinking about focusing on that could help me stand out:
Writing technical blogposts to our company's engineering blog.
Apply to meetups or conferences as a speaker.
Certifications (I was thinking of something like or )
Focus on promotion to staff/principal MLE. It may be easier to step into a higher tier company by down-leveling.
Keep trying to do research/writing papers as a side project, but need to figure out how to do this without burning out.
I honestly don't know if the above sound sensible, so I'd love to hear your opinion on this or if you have any additional ideas.
Hi all. I got laid off in April from Amazon. I have been looking for a job since then but I am a junior engineer and I haven't been able to get an offer. Someone at Taro suggested that I fill the gap by claiming that I was working on my own startup. This could get me to the mid-level bar.
I thought about doing some personal projects and claiming that I was trying to monetize them but failed. I am concerned that recruiters and hiring managers are going to see right through that though. Side projects are ideally done on the side of my full-time job.
What are some ways that I can fill the employment gap and get to the mid-level before I secure a full time job?
I received an offer from AWS for a SDE 2 role. I was planning on asking for an additional 50k sign on bonus for year 1. I would justify this ask with evidence of past work (saving on infrastructure costs, mentoring multiple engineers) and being willing to cancel other interviews (mix of onsites and first rounds).
I'm a boomerang and the offer is the same as my TC before I got laid off. I also read some Taro Q&A and negotiation videos but couldn't find a situation similar to mine. The email states:
This will be the highest offer we are able to put forward at this time.
Is this a trick to try to get me not to negotiate?
I know the general advice if one does not know is to ask their manager but sometimes an inexperienced manager might not know themself. Can anyone provide an example to make these concepts clear?
A few criteria I came up with that can be included in the framework involve
For reference, when I talk about mid-level vs. senior-level I am referring to the leveling system across big tech (L4/L5 for Amazon, E4/E5 for Meta, etc.). Thanks!
During session, Rahul mentioned only a few projects are important. I would love to get some concrete examples from Rahul or others on what that looks like. This is my very first question that I am posting in Taro forum. Thank you for the encouragement Alex. Looking forward to everyone's answers.
I have been an Android engineer since my first job 7 years ago. I learned React and React Native along the way and made myself into making apps for iOS. I really like working on this environment and would like to gear myself up with native iOS dev skills.
I do get to design solutions and review other mobile engineers' design docs and code. I often find myself struggling to review the objective C code and nuances of iOS platform API usage (like animations, background operations, ARkit etc).
Where should I start to get better in iOS native app development?
I want to become better at
I've been abit lost in my job recently and feel disappointed by own performance. I'm part of an infrastructure team, and while the primary force pushing me forward is my personal engineering growth, I can't shake the feeling that the domain itself doesn't resonate with me. That said, being an average l4 I'm not in a position to switch teams.
What's keeping me going is the goal of self-improvement, which is helped from being surrounded by my incredibly talented colleagues, each bringing their unique strengths to the table. For instance, our senior engineer is an incredible communicator, teacher of concepts and general problem solver, another engineer is a coding machine and works extremely hard, and an L4 who joined at the same time as me is very customer-centric. In particular, it was through observing the L4 leveraging his strengths, while almost neglecting his weaknesses (he doesn't care as much about code quality and is quite argumentative) that I felt uncomfortable with my own trajectory. I've been so busy with trying to improve all my weaknesses that I'm now reflecting on whether I should focus on my strengths.
All of that said, I've been here for a year, and I'm struggling to pinpoint where my strengths lie. I'm willing to put more hours than others but for obvious reasons that should in no way be considered a strength (my manager described me as a hardworker, which i don't want to be known as haha). I'm also a very enthusiastic person and very open to feedback, but it leads me to being pulled in different directions. I don't think I can be an engineer that does it all and I think Amazon wants you to focus on your strengths through their conflicting leadership principles (e.g. bias for action versus insist on the highest standards, deep dive versus thinks big). I've been reading this book called Atomic Habits recently and it really focuses on the idea of identity and how that shapes your habits. It seems like everyone in my team has built an identity based on what they're good at, how can I find mine? And are there certain skills that provide higher ROI over others that I can perhaps focus on, given that I don't really have any strengths right now?
I have a new grad offer from Amazon, which was forcefully deferred earlier this year.
I currently work as an SRE (which I don't want long-term), and my offer is for an SDE role in the same team I interned at when I was there pre-layoffs. Plus despite me working for >6 months elsewhere, they're not increasing my comp in any way.
I'm attracted to the Amazon job since it's a SWE role and that's something I want career-wise, but given that the company and current economic situation have been kind of unstable, I'm hesitant to join. Does anyone have any advice for me on how to navigate this? I'm on a student Visa so I guess that's why the threat of layoffs is a bit higher in my eyes.
I’ve been a senior FEE at Amazon for almost a year now, and I’m still figuring out time management.
Sometimes I get overly involved in others’ tasks, or have too many meetings, or get overwhelmed by all the new campaigns and estimation requests constantly coming through the door while we’re in the middle of meeting deadlines.
How do senior FAANG engineers balance their priorities without overworking or burning out?
P.S. it’d be amazing if Taro can get Steve Huynh (PE at Amazon) to talk about this topic in detail.