Thread regarding Expedia Inc. layoffs

My Experience @ Expedia and Switch to Facebook

Hey all, I've been wanting to write this. But I've been busy with settling in. Due to recent news, I decided to write it sooner as some of you might not be working at Expedia any longer.
If you are not working at Expedia, you may skip this. I cannot post this on Expedia topic.

My intention here is to inspire other people, who are working at Expedia. I'm sharing the whole story here, so if you happen to know me; you will know it's me. I also share my salary progression as I go along, with my current salary at Facebook. For any currency that's not in USD, I wrote the equivalency at the time. For Expedia salaries, I excluded bonus from TC because targeted bonus != actual bonus.

Just to keep things clear, I've graduated in 2014; and prior to that I had about a little longer than a year of work experience. After graduation I joined to a company for a total compensation of 62000 AUD (at that time it was around 59k USD), and that was acquired by Expedia. They were going to lay off people in 2015. So I started interviewing and timed my offer at a time where I would know whether I am keeping my job or leaving. The good news was, they wanted me to stay. The bad news was, they kept my salary the same and told me that I'd be getting my salary review next year. That was not acceptable, as a new graduate as you'd expected to get a nice bump. Plus the currency dropped so much that my TC was approximately dropped to 48000 USD.

At the time, a few higher ups were visiting. I've told HR whether they would reconsider bumping my salary given that I get 80k AUD TC (62.4k USD) elsewhere. HR told me to talk to MN (I believe he's a VP or SVP now). I talked to him and he said no. He told me that I would have a better future at Expedia, than the other company, plus Expedia is also going to pay me annual bonus of 12%. At the time, I took this personally and did not like his response. So I declined Expedia's offer.

Several months later I boomeranged back to Expedia, as I was not happy with my current job. The team happily accepted me back (still with technical + behavioral interviews). I've also got a salary bump in the local market rate to 87.5k AUD (61k USD) TC (this includes 401k equivalent contribution) in the same year. So I joined to Expedia as SDE-1 with total YoE of 3.

First year, I tried to contribute really hard, at the time I had a brief discussion with my manager about how stocks are handed out and promotions work. He basically mentioned that, when Expedia acquired the company, all seniors were levelled down to SDE-II. So he said they're basically working on to get Sr.SDE titles back to them. He mentioned that RSUs are handed out to more seniors.

Along the way, I started getting salary reviews and getting increases. At the end of 2016 I believe my TC was 95k AUD (72k USD). The problem was, the company wasn't doing so well so my bonus was only 8% instead of 12%. In 2017, I noticed that non seniors around me were getting promoted and we've got re-org/management change. I think from my end, my biggest mistake was, not to talk this clearly with my manager at the time. My assumption was, he would, by default, tell me what needs to be done in order for me to get promotion. However I was always getting told that both of my managers were happy with what I am doing. I thought maybe because I'm getting good enough raises per year that they would only consider promotion after salary increase stagnates.

By the end of 2017, I'm still SDE-1. My TC increased to 106k AUD (83k USD), I still got 8% of bonus on top of that. I have approx YoE of 5.5, even if you exclude my internships that's still 4 YoE. At the time, I wanted to change the offices, and asked him whether there's a promo path for me to SDE-II. He told me that I am still not at that level yet. If I want, I can stick for another year and they could try to promote me.

For those who are not at Expedia, Expedia has this thing called external-careers. They really support you to apply for any positions that are listed within Expedia, and you can get promoted by doing that way!

So I applied to another SDE-II position at another location. They considered me, and extended an offer. Except it was still for SDE-I. The new Hiring Manager told me that, I need to prove myself for a particular experience (Back End for Mobile devices specifically) in order to be considered for SDE-II position.

At the time, regardless of whichever option, I would be still working on my way to SDE-II promo for another year. So I accepted the new location. My new salary changed (decreased) to 360000 CNY (56k USD). Just before leaving, I've got a final bump in my salary to 109k AUD (83k USD). This salary bump did not reflect back to my existing offer.

I moved to a new country. This time, they've given me much broader responsiblity. I was actually leading the back-end side of the project; and also depending on the time, I'm also mentoring one or two engineers. I kept asking my manager what else needs to be done in order for my promo path, and he's telling me the good things that I am doing, and things that I need to improve. One time he even mentions that I should run classes, so that more people knows me in the office, which would help my promotion. So I do what he says. I facilitated one class, and have significantly contributed 2 more classes, along with my full time SDE job.

Time passes by, it's the beginning of 2019. Promotion time, I've been out of college for 5 years, my total YoE is 6.5. The promo time comes, and my manager says that they're not promoting me. He tells me that he's really happy with my performance, so he offers me RSU + 15% bonus + approx 10% bump to my salary. So my new salary without bonus becomes 395k CNY + 3750 USD; with the bonus it's 450k CNY + 3750 USD (71.5k USD inc RSU).

At the time, I had no idea whether to be happy or sad, because I felt like he tried his best to get me the highest comp raise; but at the same time, he could not promote me. He told me that I should focus on my new project. The problem with the old project was, even though my contribution was significant, and worked standalone; there had to be final result (the complete production rollout with me) at the end.

So in 2019 March, I was standing as a 6.5 YoE SDE, still at SDE-1 level; where college graduates were being hired. I did not like the result.

This is my suggestion to upper management. Please bring policies that enforces management to push their SDEs to next level. It should be the default option, not something that SDEs push their EMs.

As soon as I got my bonus paid to my account, I talked to my manager and told him I'm quitting. He told his manager to schedule a 1:1 with me. When I was talking to my skip, basically I told him that I was not happy with the progression, I'm planning to quit, take some time off, then move to the US. He immediately told me that I can apply for Expedia jobs in the US. I politely declined, because I told him that I have so many YoE that anywhere else by default would consider me as SDE-2.

This is when things get really weird. He told me that, I perform at SDE-II level, it's just they couldn't justify me to get promoted. If I apply for SDE-2 position at his team, he's more than happy to consider me at that level. I thanked him, and politely declined. I did not give him the reason, but I also didn't burn bridges just in case.

Now this is end of my Expedia experience.

On LC I solved about 70 questions. Then I started to apply/interview aggressively. I found that startups are really good. They have different style of interviewing, so your LC prep might not even be any useful. But one way or another, they actually did help me a lot. If you include phone screening, I probably had talked with 40 companies. I probably had done 20-ish next step, which would be technical phone interview (and some of them included hackerrank style, which I ignored).

While I am doing a lot of these talkative interviews, I figured the easiest way to pitch my previous experience in 1 minute, 3 minute or 5 minute timeslots. That helps me to dig deeper when necessary...

I believe I've had around 10 on sites (and one of them, kept re-scheduling it, so I did not attend). At the end I've got around 6 offers. I think 1 of the rejections came, even after the technical stage, when they were discussing about the salary.

For interviews, I was located in the Bay area. But for offers I received one in Hoboken, NJ and the rest were in the Bay area.

Surprisingly I found most of the start ups offering similar salary bracket. It's usually around 150-190k TC; and they're not open for negotiaton. Some of them even take it personally, and reject you when you try to negotiate for more.

I did not accept that offer. I've got E4 (SDE-2, L level equivalent) offer at Facebook. I've negotiated hard and got first year TC of $350k, and following year @ approx $295k.

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Post ID: @OP+14QsbUtg

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Facebook is a horrible product, if you can call that a product.
Comparing Expedia ( which have a good vision) with Facebook (what's the vision again? spying on its customers?) is like comparing Goodwill and Amazon: sure they sell stuff, but the vision is totally different.
But I am happy for you. Hope you find your success there.

Post ID: @6oyq+14QsbUtg

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