Richard Zhu, Software Engineer at Facebook
I’m going to be very candid and honest. I’ve worked for 2 of these companies, Amazon and Facebook, and I liked them both. However, I can say that one of the big reasons Facebook is better is compensation. Amazon’s offer is just so much lower than the other 3 companies. Purely monetarily, the compensation of Amazon can be >20% less than the other companies, which are usually comparable.
Add on top of that the worse work-life balance, and fewer perks (such as no free meals, which is generally standard at these top tech companies. For example, at Amazon, the on-call was once every 3 months-ish, and was 24-hours. At Facebook, my oncall is once every 5 months, for 12-hour shifts.
Lower compensation means that you are getting worse talent (on average). This means that your coworkers at Amazon will be less intellectually stimulating, and the network of people you are meeting is inferior. A lot of employees of Amazon are those who don’t receive any offers from the other big companies, and are forced to go work there. By no means is it a bad gig, it’s just much worse than the other large companies. Of my friends who got offers at Amazon, none of them accepted Amazon if they received other offers.