Anyone working for one of the tech giants?

E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
edited June 3 in IT Jobs / Degrees
Curious to hear from anyone that currently works (or has previously worked) for one of the big guys (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Meta). I see mixed reviews about these places online, but by placing the questions here with other techies I have talked to over the years I might receive more useful input. I am sure that it varies per location and function, but still interested in any feedback.

All of them have opportunities where I am located so just performing my due diligence. Thanks in advance!
Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,817 Admin
    I am sure that it varies per location and function, ...
    I work for a very large (100K+ employees) Fortune 100 corporation that is not in your list. You are correct that opinions of working for such employers will vary considerably based on how each employee perceives the working conditions and work-life balance of their department and the duties of their role. They can also speak of the aspects that are global to the entire corporation, such as their interactions with Human Resources, Payroll, Learning & Education, financial reward programs, etc. This is good to keep in mind when reading employer reviews on sites like Glassdoor, where employees are only speaking of their personal experience with their gigantic employer. The closer you can get to people in the actual department you want to work in the better for getting an accurate accounting of what it's like to work there.


  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    JDMurray said:
    I am sure that it varies per location and function, ...
    The closer you can get to people in the actual department you want to work in the better for getting an accurate accounting of what it's like to work there.
    This is exactly what I am trying to get to! The manager and/or team itself can shape one's experience of the entire company. I have thrived in teams that others sank in so I take it all with a grain of salt, but still like to hear it. 

    I have a few former colleagues that joined AWS in different parts of the world and their experiences have been so different. I don't know anyone at Apple, Meta, or Google (yet), but I know one guy at Microsoft that loves it. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,482 Mod
    Cop out answer, but really "it depends" on the role, the boss, the location, the duties, etc etc etc.


    One thing they seem to have in common is plenty of opportunities to change teams and roles (dependent on the boss).

    I haven't heard anything positive about Amazon AWS whether in Australia or worldwide. The rest of the companies you mentioned are fine, but it really depends.
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited June 4
    JDMurray said:
    I am sure that it varies per location and function, ...
    The closer you can get to people in the actual department you want to work in the better for getting an accurate accounting of what it's like to work there.
    This is exactly what I am trying to get to! The manager and/or team itself can shape one's experience of the entire company. I have thrived in teams that others sank in so I take it all with a grain of salt, but still like to hear it. 

    I have a few former colleagues that joined AWS in different parts of the world and their experiences have been so different. I don't know anyone at Apple, Meta, or Google (yet), but I know one guy at Microsoft that loves it. 
    My former boss jump ship to work at Amazon for exactly 1.1 years, AKA 1 year lol.  As soon as that year hit he bounced.  He was a director there which is a very big deal there due to their organizational structure, director can have dozens of reports direct and indirect.  His boss had over a 100 to give you an idea.  The reason I post that info is to give you insights in his role which could effect the response.  He ended up going to another fortune 500 company in the midwest and has been there ever since.  Prior to.....    He had worked at another fortune 500 for ~8 years, so most certainly not a job hopper.  

    When asked about his experience he said.  If Kurt Cobain had lived in Southern California he would still be alive.  And I feel good to be apart of X company (basically dodging the question).  My take -   Hated living in Seattle and didn't care for the company.  
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited June 5
    My ultimate goal is to work with one of the big guys that has a presence in both NL and SoCal. I want Amsterdam to be my EMEA base and spend entire summers in LA mixing work with vacation. Never had the big tech experience and I am just interested in seeing it for myself. One of the big guys has shown interest in me twice and I know a guy at another that referred me for a position so we shall see what happens. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,817 Admin
    If Kurt Cobain had lived in Southern California he would still be alive.
    Many people feel the cold/cloudy/rainy weather in the Pacific Northwest is depressing. I've heard the same about the Scandinavian countries. If instead Cobain had lived in the Los Angeles area of SoCal, he might have ended up on that same patch of West Hollywood sidewalk made famous by River Phoenix.


  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■
    JDMurray said:
    If Kurt Cobain had lived in Southern California he would still be alive.
    Many people feel the cold/cloudy/rainy weather in the Pacific Northwest is depressing. I've heard the same about the Scandinavian countries. If instead Cobain had lived in the Los Angeles area of SoCal, he might have ended up on that same patch of West Hollywood sidewalk made famous by River Phoenix.


    I've moved from a midwest city that had A LOT of cloudy gray days....    Not for me, been in North Florida for ~3 years and not one day that goes by where I regret my decision.  Avid Golfer, love fishing charters off shore, kayaking and paddle boarding.  One bad thing it has really put a huge damper on my certifications and continual training.  It was much easier to stay focused when the weather is bad.....     
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited June 6
    As a L.A. native spoiled with SoCal sunshine for 30+ years, weather in The Netherlands does take a toll. Being happily married with children, a nice home, and a good job definitely helps me deal. I just checked the L.A. weather forecast which is sunshine, 80s, and getting warmer. My city's forecast is 60s and wet. Help me!
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,105 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I love rainy days.. I am not an outside kind of people (except to cook outside). I would take a Pacific North east weather anytime. 
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,817 Admin
    My city's forecast is 60s and wet. Help me!
    I assume you knew what the weather was like when you moved there. :) Still, despite the great weather, California is a very expensive place to live. We have some of the highest prices and taxes in the USA and have been ruled by a single political party for the past 30 years. Not much Democracy here!

  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @SteveLavoie - I am ok with rainy nights, but prefer sunshine and clear skies throughout the day. I appreciate how green my city is because of all the rain, but is continuous warmth during the spring and summer so much to ask lol. 

    @JDMurray - There is a large gap between common knowledge of something and experiencing it. SoCal has conditioned me into thinking everyday of summer should have beach-worthy weather. Well, NL has taught me otherwise lol. Honestly, after reaching the 49% tax range in NL I don't think Cali taxes are that bad. I think the weather justifies the prices there  :D
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,817 Admin
    Honestly, after reaching the 49% tax range in NL I don't think Cali taxes are that bad. I think the weather justifies the prices there  :D
    Ah, that's a good perspective. I just read that all new residential builds in NL will not include natuarl gas hook-ups, so electricity-only for all appliances--including heating! LNG will still be used to generate electricity to sell to the consumers, of course!
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Member Posts: 467 ■■■■■■■□□□
    For the last several months I've gotten a handful of AWS offers for their security consultants and some sales roles but always have turned it down. I have a few friends that work at AWS and it can be pretty cut throat (what job isn't?) although it is team specific. I've turned down roles for AWS as I'm not a fan of their aggressive PIP culture but may be I'm over exaggerating unless otherwise mentioned.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @DZA_ - Interesting that your friends describe it as cutthroat because I have a former colleague that works in an AWS data center and he used the exact same word to describe how it was in the beginning. I do wonder how much it varies per role.  
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,482 Mod
    The thing about AWS, why work for AWS when there are so many other better options? yes AWS is one of the biggest names out there, but there is always red flags with AWS so why risk it when you can choose something so much better?
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,105 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Amazon/AWS have the reputation to be a cuttroat and toxic environment. 
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @UnixGuy - From a big 5 perspective Google is the most interesting to me, but I have not rcvd a response from them. I read somewhere that they receive on avg 2 million applications annually. Apple is interesting as well, but none of the vacancies I am interested in are based here - mostly retail jobs in NL. I have an acquaintance that wants to get me into Microsoft, but similar to Apple I see the more interesting roles on the US side. So far AWS has been the only one to show interest in me for roles based here that I actually find attractive. Based on that I would entertain it because in the worst case scenario I can use the experience as a lessons learned and a resume booster. But nothing is written in stone so we shall see how this develops. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,482 Mod
    So far AWS has been the only one to show interest in me for roles based here that I actually find attractive. Based on that I would entertain it because in the worst case scenario I can use the experience as a lessons learned and a resume booster. But nothing is written in stone so we shall see how this develops. 

    The title of the role and the listed duties are probably what's attractive, the reality of the role and the day to day duties may be very disappointing

    it could be a resume booster but at your level, your resume probably looks great already


    we have the same problem in Australia, the exciting development are in the US and here it's just pre-sales mostly. They can't pay me enough to work for AWS, there are better ways out there to boost the resume in my opinion, like get involved with the community, publish something / present something / network with people, get a GSE, etc etc etc, all don't involve a burnout
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    UnixGuy said:
    So far AWS has been the only one to show interest in me for roles based here that I actually find attractive. Based on that I would entertain it because in the worst case scenario I can use the experience as a lessons learned and a resume booster. But nothing is written in stone so we shall see how this develops. 

    The title of the role and the listed duties are probably what's attractive, the reality of the role and the day to day duties may be very disappointing
    Experiencing that right now in risk mgmt LOL
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • balancebalance Member Posts: 244 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I turned down an offer from Microsoft   and  recently interviewed ( all 7ish rounds) with Amazon. I got rocked in the Amazon interview. I don't know if it was a combination of being nervous or what .  What makes it worse is most of my work is at the TS/SCI level and has been for years .... so I can't even begin to describe what I do and how I do it . 
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,817 Admin
    balance said:
     .... so I can't even begin to describe what I do and how I do it . 
    So you get to make it up in plausible-sounding terms. I use to work in a SCIF and could never explain what I did, so I would always boil it down to a commercial-sounding equivalent using business terms and OS software and OSINT. The interview team won't be able to verify anything you say is true or false, so you just need a good approximation that you can repeat later if need be. What the interviewers really want to hear is that you have what it takes to solve their (business) problems.

  • balancebalance Member Posts: 244 ■■■■■□□□□□
    edited June 13
    JDMurray said:
    balance said:
     .... so I can't even begin to describe what I do and how I do it . 
    So you get to make it up in plausible-sounding terms. I use to work in a SCIF and could never explain what I did, so I would always boil it down to a commercial-sounding equivalent using business terms and OS software and OSINT. The interview team won't be able to verify anything you say is true or false, so you just need a good approximation that you can repeat later if need be. What the interviewers really want to hear is that you have what it takes to solve their (business) problems.

    I agree . I should have done a better job of painting the "how can I add value to your " picture .  Thanks for the insight here  I am sure it will help me in the future . 
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,151 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited June 14
    My ultimate goal is to work with one of the big guys that has a presence in both NL and SoCal.

    Er why? Bragging rights? While many of these tech companies in the silicone valley pay well, the COL is insanely high, maybe not New York City high, but pretty close. A one bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley area would run you $2,700 to 3,200 a month, a two bedrooms are as high a 4k a month, a your look at around 1 million to have any chance of buying a house. You'll need a 240k a year household income to cover a $5,600 mortgage, that's 28% of your income,  It's the ultimate rat race. 

    If your really serious about getting a job where you actually have the income to buy a house, pay off those student loans and and save for retirement, you'll forget any dreams of working for Meta. you'll land a tech job in a company what is located an area of the country that the Cost Of Living is lower than the national average and Tech incomes high.

    I pay just 15% of my income to pay the mortgage a month, and 9% of our household income. This allows me and my Wife have no debt, to save for retirement, and buy crap with disposable income.  

    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,817 Admin
    This allows me and my Wife have no debt, ...
    How can you have a mortgage and say that you have no debt? Approximately 97% of my personal debt is my home mortgage.


  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    My ultimate goal is to work with one of the big guys that has a presence in both NL and SoCal.

    Er why? Bragging rights? While many of these tech companies in the silicone valley pay well, the COL is insanely high, maybe not New York City high, but pretty close. A one bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley area would run you $2,700 to 3,200 a month, a two bedrooms are as high a 4k a month, a your look at around 1 million to have any chance of buying a house. You'll need a 240k a year household income to cover a $5,600 mortgage, that's 28% of your income,  It's the ultimate rat race. 

    If your really serious about getting a job where you actually have the income to buy a house, pay off those student loans and and save for retirement, you'll forget any dreams of working for Meta. you'll land a tech job in a company what is located an area of the country that the Cost Of Living is lower than the national average and Tech incomes high.   

    Bragging rights is a factor in all that I do lol. Coming in a close second though is the explanation I noted earlier in the thread:

    My ultimate goal is to work with one of the big guys that has a presence in both NL and SoCal. I want Amsterdam to be my EMEA base and spend entire summers in LA mixing work with vacation. Never had the big tech experience and I am just interested in seeing it for myself.

    I already own a home in The Netherlands and have no plan of relocating to Silicon Valley (NoCal) as most of my family is in Los Angeles (SoCal). Could be a pipe dream, but ideally I would work for a large enough org that has the presence in LA so I could work with stakeholders in that time zone while I am there and even get my employer to fund some of the trip. Technically I could do my current job from LA for some time, but all of my stakeholders are in NL and my job is mostly meetings so that nine hour time difference would be painful. Definitely not looking to relocate before both kids are finished with high school which should be another nine years. 


    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
    JDMurray said:
    This allows me and my Wife have no debt, ...
    How can you have a mortgage and say that you have no debt? Approximately 97% of my personal debt is my home mortgage.


    Then you are doing something wrong that Gromit has figured out sir  :D
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Abu DhabiMember Posts: 690 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I did work for Intel a long time ago, not on  your list but certainly a tech giant. Very positive experience. If I wasn't dying to be an expat, I probably would have stayed there. Yeah you know the old cliché, people quit bad managers not necessarily bad companies. You can work for a great company and have toxic managers, or work for a terrible company but have an awesome manager that makes it worth holding on a little longer until something better comes along. 

    By the way, they should arrange the company order as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Apple, then it spells GAMMA. Just sounds cool then, like, "I work for a GAMMA company", or "I am a consultant to the GAMMAs". Yeah I know, warped mind.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,152 ■■■■■■■■■■
     Yeah you know the old cliché, people quit bad managers not necessarily bad companies. You can work for a great company and have toxic managers, or work for a terrible company but have an awesome manager that makes it worth holding on a little longer until something better comes along. 
    I feel fortunate that I still have not dealt with this. Throughout my career I have had two team leads (different companies) that I did not gel with, but I had a good rapport with management and the rest of the team so I was fine. I hope this winning streak continues!
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS2022 goal(s): CRISC, new job, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,151 ■■■■■■■■■□
    JDMurray said:
    This allows me and my Wife have no debt, ...
    How can you have a mortgage and say that you have no debt? Approximately 97% of my personal debt is my home mortgage.


    I of course meant no debt other than the mortgage, no credit card debt, no student loans, no car loans.

    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,105 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited June 23
    JDMurray said:
    This allows me and my Wife have no debt, ...
    How can you have a mortgage and say that you have no debt? Approximately 97% of my personal debt is my home mortgage.


    I of course meant no debt other than the mortgage, no credit card debt, no student loans, no car loans.

    Same here.. it is nice to be free and mortgage is such a tiny part of my income (5%)


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