Which is the Best FAANG Company to Work For?
FAANG companies are often regarded as some of the best tech firms to work. With this reputation comes lots of competition for highly sought out roles - but which company is the best to work for?
7 min read
23 Mar, 2022
Many software engineers and other tech professionals believe their dream job lies at a FAANG company i.e. the largest tech companies in the world. But is the dream a reality?
We’ll dive into the workplace experiences of employees at each of these firms and look at what they say about each organization’s work-life balance. We’ll also explore what you should expect in compensation from these companies.
Ultimately, we’ll try to answer the question: which FAANG company is the best to work for in 2023? Let's jump into it...
Facebook / Meta
Being the largest social networking site in the world, Facebook – now known as Meta – has become a highly desirable workplace for software engineers. But what is it really like to work at Meta/Facebook?
Let’s start with remuneration. If you’re lucky enough to be selected to work for Facebook, you’ll be compensated heavily for your work. As one of the wealthiest companies in the world, and with a workforce of less than 72,000, this is no surprise.
According to Levels.fyi, the average base salary of Facebook software engineers stands at around $128k. Facebook tends to include stock options as part of their job offerings, adding an extra $40k to compensation.
Facebook's primary headquarters is located in Menlo Park, San Francisco. The expansive campus at 1 Hacker Way displays the finest offerings of Silicon Valley. Employees enjoy perks such as an electronics vending machine that provides free earphones, batteries, adapters, and cables. Additionally, Facebook's HQ offers complimentary meals, featuring diverse dining choices like Indian and Mexican dishes.
The Silicon Valley HQ isn’t Facebook’s only base of operations, with Meta having offices across the globe. All of these offices champion collaborative working environments and feature open office spaces.
According to Glassdoor reviews from existing and past employees at Facebook, all employees are expected to work hard – with some often citing work-life balance issues at the company.
For example, one employee cites “tedious long hours” as a key disadvantage of working at Meta. Due to time zones, Meta employees tend to work late into the night. This is especially the case if you’re stationed outside of the US – for example in their London office – as meetings will need to take place late to match up with the main HQ’s time zone.
Read more about Facebook’s work-life balance here.
Despite this, employees regard Facebook – now Meta – as an exciting, fun company to work at. 86% of current or former employees would recommend it to a friend. Employees also enjoy the work-from-home and hybrid working benefits working at Meta brings.
Founded in 1994 initially as an online bookseller, Amazon has blossomed into the world’s largest online retailer and one of the biggest names in online software infrastructure. It’s no wonder that many software engineers across the globe flock to apply for a coveted position as Jeff Bezos’s multi-billion-dollar empire.
According to Levels.fyi, (like Facebook), Amazon’s base salary for a software engineer is $128k. With stock options totalling around $22k a year and bonuses, on average, totalling $19k – this brings up the average to $170k.
Amazon’s main corporate headquarters is in Seattle, Washington. Although, they have offices across the globe, including London, Beijing and Hyderabad, India.
Amazon’s Seattle headquarters is peppered with great architecture like the famous blue spheres and rotating art galleries. Part of company lore is the “two-pizza rule” which dictates that teams should be small enough to be fed on two pizzas. Thanks to this, teams are small and meetings are short.
A rather joyous perk of working at Amazon’s HQ is access to Amazon’s dogs. The company’s first office dog was a corgi called Rufus – adored by many. This philosophy lives on today with the Seattle headquarters boasting a public dog park and a myriad of fluffy friends for employees to play with.
Amazon invites local food vendors to set up food trucks on their campus. However, Amazon intentionally keeps its food offerings smaller to encourage employees to venture out into the city for lunch.
One anonymous submission states that management expects employees to work on weekends and overtime. Others have said that this poor work-life balance has led to burnout and stress.
According to Glassdoor reviews, the main drawbacks of working at Amazon are its management structure and the expectation for employees to put in long hours. This is evident in the somewhat low "would recommend to a friend" rating of 68% among software engineers, accompanied by a 3.7-star rating.
Would you like a 4 day work week?
Now the world’s most valuable company, the late Steve Job’s Apple prides itself on doing things differently. How does that translate into the employee experience?
Apple software engineers can expect to be paid around the same as other FAANG companies – with an entry-level role netting you a base salary of $125k and $25 in stock options. With bonuses, this results in a total compensation of $163k.
Named “Apple Park,” Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters costs a staggering $5 billion. A smart circular building, this brand-new building supersedes the company’s previous campus at 1 Infinite Loop.
Jobs set out his vision for a new Apple campus before his death in 2011, requiring that Apple Park is more like a nature reserve than an office complex. Orchards in this green space provide fruit for the cafeteria and entire ring is covered in solar panels.
Home to 12,000 employees, Apple Park offers bright, open office spaces, team workout spaces, sleep pods, changing rooms, showers and more!
The cafeteria – in the form of the 58,000 sqft Caffe Macs - provides employees with fresh, healthy food throughout their workday.
Despite this, working at Apple offers employees a great challenge and a fast-working environment. At such a large company, some workers can feel lost in the mix – and work can be tough at times.
Want to learn more about Apple’s work-life balance? Read our full article here.
However, overall, Apple employees enjoy their time at the company and 84% of Glassdoor respondents would recommend the company to a friend.
Arguably the little player in the context of the FAANG group as a whole, Netflix has only recently become a tech giant. The company started out as a DVD rental company providing movie-lovers with films through the post.
Now, Netflix has become the biggest name in online movie and TV streaming, boasting one of the largest video CDNs in the world.
Netflix is extremely generous with its software development salaries. According to Levels.fyi, a new grad software engineer can expect to receive a base salary of $228k.
However, Netflix doesn’t tend to offer much in the way of stock options or bonuses. Though, with such a high starting compensation, there’s not much to complain about here.
Netflix’s main base of operations is its staggering Los Gatos headquarters. Their other significant office space in is LA. Both locations place heavy emphasis on collaborative spaces to encourage team working.
At the center of their Los Gatos HQ is their first-floor cafeteria, offering its employees free food and a spacious place to work. To relax, Netflix offers their employees a “game wall”.
While Netflix’s HQ isn’t as groundbreaking as Apple’s beautiful circle or Google’s post-modern campus, it still fosters a fun, collaborative work atmosphere.
According to Glassdoor reviews, work-life balance is generally good at Netflix. Many employees believe that management is “down to earth” and the atmosphere is fun. One Glassdoor respondent stated their job at Netflix is “This is the most interesting and engaging job I've ever had.”.
Unlike other tech giants like Apple and Amazon, software engineers say there’s lots of transparency and communication within the organization.
Nonetheless, Netflix also faces challenges such as burnout and office politics. Furthermore, transitioning to Netflix from other companies can involve a significant learning curve.
In general, Netflix employees are quite satisfied working at the company – as evidenced by a 4.3 Glassdoor rating and 94% of software engineers saying they would recommend the company to a friend.
The search engine giant has long been the top dream destination for software engineers all over the world. Hailed as one of the first adopters of the fun, laid-back Silicon Valley working environment, does the employee experience at Google still hold up today?
Compensation at Google is just a tad bit higher than the average for FAANG companies, with an entry level position presenting a base salary of $138k. Stock options and generous bonuses, however, can boost this to $196k according to Levels.fyi.
Google’s corporate headquarters sits in Mountain View, CA and is often regarded as the epitome of Silicon Valley working spaces. Googleplex is a sprawling campus, offering employees plenty of space to relax and recharge throughout their workday.
Other regional offices follow the same formula as Mountain View’s Googleplex, championing an open office design and lots of amenities to help fight burnout.
Google’s canteen has been hailed as a “global” one, offering free meals and snacks to hungry employees around the clock. Following the pandemic, Google did have to scrap their famous buffet. But, free boxed lunches are still on the menu, offering delicious bites throughout the day.
Google is another well-loved organization by its employees according to reviews on Glassdoor. While some employees can feel lost in the mix in such a large, complicated organization, the working atmosphere is appreciated by current workers.
How about work-life balance? Glassdoor reviews suggest that employees don’t feel too burned out and that working hours aren’t as gruelling as some other FAANG companies. Some roles may require long hours – like operations employees who rate their work-life balance at a D+.
However, overall, Google employees love working at the company. With a high Glassdoor rating of 4.4, 91% of respondents would recommend Google to a friend.
So... what is the best FAANG company to work for?
As one of the main drivers of the “new paradigm” of working environments, Google still offers the best employee satisfaction and work-life balance of any of the FAANG companies.
Netflix has made lots of ground up in recent years, offering the highest salaries in this group and a great working environment. Employees at Netflix love their company just as much as Google employees do with theirs.
Other FAANG companies have a long way to go to reach the heights of Google and Netflix, with Amazon and Meta boasting particularly poor work-life balance issues.
Alternatives to working at FAANG
FAANG companies typically pay high salaries but often this is at the expense of a good work-life balance. If you are instead looking to improve your work-life balance, why not consider applying to a company which offers a 4 day work week?