I don't understand working in FAANG. As an engineer, who inherently has an ultimate say in how the computer worlds you construct work, how do you live with acceptance that you have no say whatsoever in how your company is run? how do you accept doing work that you don't always see the product benefit of?

Yes, FAANG pays a lot to ordinary engineers, but when you were dreaming back when you were a STEM student with fiery eyes, did you really want to be an ordinary engineer, no matter the bankroll? After all, it's not the total company's revenue, it's at least the revenue divided by staff count. In Nintendo, salaries are way higher than in EA, because there are way less people working at Nintendo.

Take any unicorn startup that survived. If you work there, you will have a say, you have an impact, you see the results of your work, and you will earn much more.

I wanted to work at Google as a student, but now I feel like it's just a plastic dream pitched to those inexperienced who don't know any better.

Note that above I don't even touch ethics, like anti-suicide nets in Foxconn factories that make Apple devices, let alone Facebook's and Google's surveillance.

Maybe, if you're somehow an engineer who has proficiency but not care, or if you cared, but was broken, with fire in your eyes extinguished, and now you see your work as "just work", FAANG might be a good choice.

But I can't relate.

  • 6
    I feel that the main appeal in wanting to work in a FAANG or at least at Google is the idea that you won’t have to face the usual managers/schemes for power as much as in a regular company.
  • 5
    Even in big companies you can have an impact.

    Often each part is a project in its own where you still can have a say and see results.

    Personally I would not want to work in a small startup, sure they might rocket, but they might also cray and burn.

    Even in big banks a developer can have an impact, I have former colleagues that work in banks and they usually work in smaller teams that own one part of the whole.

    But it’s also very much individual preferences.
  • 1
    @piratefox lol, read about promotion packets at FAANG. It's worse.
  • 1
    Out of those companies, the only one that builds stuff I find interesting is Amazon, and even then I see little reason beyond money I'd want to work for them. The rest can crash and burn and it would not matter to me.
  • 2
    I think every company has some level of "less meaningful work", there are teams at Google et al doing really interesting stuff, but I think there's much more "connect one thing up to another, turn the handle to make sure everything scales" at the likes of FAANG.
  • 1
    Depends on what you want from your career. For me - I prefer working for small startups, where the work you do has a large impact, and the pressure to be successful is effective. Even if they go under - you will still get paid for your time.

    Larger corps do not have that pressure - the work of the individual does not matter much. Even if, for example, your invovative communication protocol saved the company 50m$ - no one will know, or care.
  • 4
    You have a valid point.
    However, not everyone is looking at things from a same perspective or wants same as you or anyone else does.

    Everything has pros and cons.

    1. FAANGs give job stability. Many look at their jobs as just a job to put food on the dinner table. A steady pay cheque with a guarantee of easy job switch in future.

    2. They gives you exposure to a ton of things, especially proceses, which arguably is bureaucracy.

    3. Better WLB. Yes, your scope of work will be limited and impact won't be significant, but that's not many want. I'd be more happy earning $175K with mediocre work while having time for hobbies and other stuff.

    Downsides would

    1. Unethical work

    2. Impact as you mentioned

    3. Being a cog in the machine

    So it all boils down to what you are optimising for.
  • 1
    @atheist not so crazy tbh… you have to write a doc which goes to people which are unrelated to your supervisor, so no bias there.

    There are other issues like being assigned to dying projects
  • 2
    FAANG is a whole other matter but I work at a large Fortune 500 company and one thing I really like about it is the stability and benefits. Unless something goes disastrously wrong on a near-unprecedented scale, my employer is not going under any time soon. So I have job stability. Good benefits. Good pay. Predictable schedule and good work/life balance.

    I don't really want or need to be passionate about what I do. I just need to be good at it. I do my work and get my pay and benefits and save the passion for my hobbies outside of work.

    So that's at least why some people might prefer larger companies. But again, FAANG is a whole other matter, Google especially so given how almost cult-like it looks from the outside.
  • 1
    @EmberQuill it’s your fault for not being passionate about our totally-not-a-pyramid-scheme revolving around innovative-but-not-really [insert object which doesn’t need innovation] which thanks to our ai-but-not-really driven app can do [insert useless feature]
  • 1
    FAANG? I don't know what ivory tower you live in but employees as a rule don't have a say in how company is run, no matter what they do and where they work.
  • 0
    Fortune 500 > startup any time of the day, I don't know about others experiences but all the startups I worked for were run by cheap greedy cunts, plus a startup has a 95% chance to fail, while large companies especially FAANG (more like MAANG now tho) offer massive benefits, such as health insurance, top notch salary, amazing workplaces and work environments and of course, stability.
  • 1
    @PAKA there are countries other than US.
  • 0
    @kiki I know there are, I live in central Europe but I don't see how that answers what I said
  • 0
    Having worked in large and small companies I much prefer small ones mainly because I have a psychological need to feel like i am achieving something.

    In large companies you have to accept that you're really just doing things that any trained monkey could do.

    In small companies your contribution is measurable.

    Look at any large application or system and think about the bugs in it that frustrate you and how you would feel if you were working on that software. You know how easy it is to fix but you cannot get past their support people to get it recognized as a bug. Those idiots exist the entire way up the chain in large companies.

    How would the Visual Studio devs feel about watching VSCode grow in features knowing that they're not allowed to put similar features into visual studio. Or are they to stupid to care?

    Look at windows devs being made to dumb down their operating system to cater for tablet users. Are they also too stupid to care?
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