With Amazon announcing they will allow remote work*

*with and only with approvals from L7/L8

Let me share how I’ve observed lots of long-tenured engineers & EMs leave Amazon recently. A hot market where Amazon caliber talent can get a lot more probably doesn’t help either.
Note that this for the US. In EU, Amazon still pays well (well… most companies don’t) and the infamous Amazon “PIP culture” is not present, thanks to strict employee protections.

I predict Amazon will expand more outside the US.

Source of first image: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=288310…
Amazon has mastered paying for the least overall amount of cash for the type of world-class engineers they need (people building at scale), optimising the math for maximum tenure.

Basically, they are being the cheapest among the higher paying companies. This also bites them now.
It’s an open secret in the industry that Amazon is the cheapest place to consistently hire great talent from, for the rest of big tech.

Anyone who spent 3-5 years at Amazon/AWS is bound to be a solid engineer - and someone who can get more money for equal or less stress.

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More from @GergelyOrosz

11 Oct
Here's a "test" I've put together to get a sense of what working at a tech company could be like - and things that are typically not advertised on job boards.

Places with more "yes"es are typically more eng-friendly, and predictable cultures.

What is your take?
Instead of asking "do you pay a competitive compensation package", a much more telling question is "do all engineers get equity or profit-sharing?"

The most competitive comp packages *all* have this component. Those that don't will not be top of the market for fulltime offers.
Read 6 tweets
11 Oct
It never ceases to amaze me how people with incredible early career trajectories at big tech have unrealistic expectations on keeping advancing (and the absurdity of this).

Here’s a quote from an engineer at Facebook who is frustrated for not being promoted for years:
“I went from E3 (new grad) to E6 (staff) in 7 years. Now stuck at E6 for 2 years. I want to stay an IC but what am I doing wrong?”

“Buddy. You’re in the top 2-3% of FB engineers already. Most IC engineers *retire* at the equivalent of E7 in the industry (eg at Amazon).”
For perspective the majority (>50%) of engineers at Facebook will never reach E6.

If your goal is to climb the big tech corp ladder above, you best get ready to change how you work and get into management-like work.

Or stay cozy, or move out of big tech (join / fund a startup)
Read 7 tweets
9 Oct
There’s a debate on whether 10x software engineers exist.

They do: I’ve seen several of them.

And their existence freaks the hell out of me. 5 examples of 10x engineers and why you should be afraid when you see one:
1. The Move-Fast-And-Leave-Behind. A dev with a hacks mindset at a scaleup. They get shit done 10x faster than the engineers who that take this (literally) shit over when it needs to scale, try to reverse engineer it, but ultimately have to toss and rewrite the whole thing.
2. The That’s Trivial To Finish. Someone w many product-minded traits blog.pragmaticengineer.com/the-product-mi… amazing at prototyping and telling the non-technical manager they’ve done 90% of the work, and the other devs should have no problem finishing the last 10%. Which then takes 10x as long.
Read 12 tweets
6 Oct
The third founder with a remote team sharing the same story:

An engineer they hired did great on the interviews but worked unexplainably slow day to day. When pairing: they worked fast. They stopped pairing: slowed down.

Turns out, the person had a second job in all cases.
With (experienced) software engineers being in demand, plus full-remote positions, it is *so* tempting to double one's income.

And some people are pulling it off. Especially when they have zero attachment to the new company.

Remote has upsides, but this is a real downside.
If you're a founder/manager and you think "surely this would never happen in my team", think again.

Places this happened included a tightly knit team of 6 devs who all knew each other for years. A startup paying top of the market and generous equity.

Welcome to the new reality.
Read 7 tweets
4 Oct
The twist on an the ongoing Facebook outage is that infra/oncall teams at FB likely use their own, in-house chat service on top of fb.com or FB workspaces to communicate while resolving outages.

Now this is also down. Good thing Whatsapp is still up. Oh wait…
When Uber had its own, self-hosted chat service, this was a major point of discussion. What happens if they chat service goes down while coordinating an outage? Or what if it has an outage?

Most companies now have a different problem. What if Slack/PagerDuty goes down that time?
The good thing for lost companies using third parties that even if the third party goes down, you have your internal systems to e.g. check who is oncall, and their phone number.

That also went down for Facebook. This is a horrible day to be oncall there, and a good one to be OO.
Read 9 tweets
2 Oct
"Why are you looking to leave your current employer?" is a question I've asked hundreds of times when hiring at Uber. There are few things I've not heard.

Save for how Revolut treated engineers.

Here's how to build a culture where the hardest-working people voluntarily leave:
This was years back. I was doing the hiring manager interview. I ask the question and expect one of the common reasons - challenges, money, boredom etc.

"I'm pissed off, that's why. I put my heart and soul into this company, worked 80-hour weeks, and get slapped in the face."
Okay, this was new. "Can you give more details on what happened?"

"I didn't get a bonus."

"Well " - I think to myself - "that's not much to be pissed off about."

"So why did that tick you off?" - I ask. The person continues to explain this is not your usual bonus situation:
Read 15 tweets

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