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Disclosure: This post might contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
In my previous post titled “Salaries for Software Engineers are On FIRE!” I compared the compensation packages for the top high-tech companies. However, high compensation is not the only reason to join a specific company. In this post I will provide a detailed comparison of the culture in the top tech companies (FAANGM: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, Microsoft). As I discussed in my previous post, my suggestion to Software Engineers in order to maximize their income is to work in a top-paying tech company. The goal of this post is to help find the best corporate fit based on each person’s criteria.
The content of this post is based on my own experiences, as well as on discussions with my contacts in each company.
Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything – for better or for worse.Simon Sinek
|Not Good||Not Good||Not Good||Great||Great|
|High PIP Rate||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Bottom-up decisions||Top-down||Top-down||Top-down||Yes||Yes, eng- driven|| Top-|
|Internal information flow||High||Low||Low||Low||High||High|
|Mega backdoor Roth||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
(up to 7% of pay)
|3-year vest period|
(up to 4% of pay)
|50% (up to 6% of pay)||100% (up to 4% of pay)|| 50% (up to $9k)|
(up to $3k)
- Pros: Great pay, “move fast and break things” mentality
- Cons: Up-or-out culture, high PIP rate
- Pros: Good pay for those who stay 4+ years, great stock growth, fast promotions
- Cons: Bad work-life balance, competitive culture, high PIP rate, high attrition, most sign-on RSUs vesting on 3rd and 4th year of employment (vesting schedule: 5%/15%/40%/40% each year), 401k match vests only after 3 years, salary capped at $160k, Total Compensation Target (TCT) means that performance refreshers might be minimal/zero for high performers due to increases in the stock price that was awarded
- Pros: Good pay
- Cons: Secretive culture, bad work-life balance
- Pros: Top-of-the-market compensation (cash-only), bottoms-up culture
- Cons: Bad work-life balance, high PIP rate
- Pros: Great pay, great work-life balance, engineering-driven bottoms-up culture
- Cons: Slow promotions
- Pros: Great work-life balance (also known as the “country club”)
- Cons: Low pay, slow promotions
- Benefits comparison
- Levels.fyi: Detailed comparison for all the benefits of the biggest tech companies
- Investopedia: Top 10 reasons to work at Google
Interview preparation guides
If you are interested in switching to a higher-paying role, then you will find lots of great information in the following interview preparation guides: