Amazon.com
3.3 of 5 3,204 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 3,203 reviews

                             

85% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,242 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend
2,213 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Software development engineer

    Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    Prosimprove leadership qualoties, culture, personal growth

    Consso much work, perks, timings, benifits

    Advice to Senior Managementbetter compensation, benefits, work life balance

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Customers First at the Expense of Employees

    Instock Manager (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsSmart Coworkers
    At Amazon you’re going to work with some really bright individuals. Everyone I work with is very intelligent and very hard working. That’s evident by the clock ticking down to 6:00 and seeing all your coworkers typing still at their door desks.

    Interesting Work
    The work you do at Amazon is already quite fun. On the retail side it’s like running your own business. There’s so much to do and you’re never bored with the work. It’s neat to see how everything you do impacts your business and improves it.

    Casual Work Environment
    It's also quite nice that you can go to work in jeans and a t-shirt. Bringing your dog to work is great also, but really it's just a wait to keep you there longer.

    ConsBefore I go into the cons I’m going to say that this is based upon my personal experience during my 3 positions on the retail side of the company.

    No Work Life Balance
    60 hour work weeks are normal. Meetings at 5:00 happen and people regularly work past 7:00. It feels like I go to work, get home, work some more, go to sleep, and repeat. On the weekends I get a bit of a break, but I still am required to work as I have certain reports and other tasks that have not yet been automated to complete. Amazon work kills all hope I have of an outside life.

    Always on call
    Even being on vacation doesn’t matter as you’ll receive high priority emails management wants answered right away. Holidays are no exceptions. I was called once at 6:00 AM on a holiday because of a promotion running at a competitor I had to match. I finished all tasks associated with the promotion at about 8:00 PM. I didn’t have a holiday as a result, but customers were able to get a good deal on the retail products I was in charge of.

    Single People Preferred
    Do not expect to see your kids or significant other regularly. If you mention you have to leave early, like 5:00 (which is a normal 8 to 5 day) to pick up your kids or go to a dinner date, expect to be mocked by your boss after you’re gone. I’m regularly late now to almost all after work events because of work that is given and required to be completed after 5:00.

    Too Much Work
    This is great as you’re never bored, but it also means you’ll constantly be working. Lunch normally doesn’t happen as you’re in a meeting during that time, completing something for later deadline, or rushing for a fire drill. It’s basically survival of the fittest here. You will need to automate your tasks or risk drowning in a pile of endless work. There are a lot of improvements needed to be made at Amazon and management wants them done now.

    High Bars
    Once you’ve automated your work and reached your goals, you’ll be asked to surpass that the next year. Eventually your goals will become impossible to achieve. I’ve mentioned this to management and their answers are normally along the lines of “I’m not sure how you’ll be able to improve, but you need to.”

    Small Raises
    I’ve been lucky that I’ve achieved high ratings on my reviews and so my raises have been just above inflation. Even so, they’re laughable. Raises occur only on your base pay and your base pay is relatively a small portion of your compensation.

    Golden-handcuffs
    Amazon entices you with a bonus your first two years and stock every year afterwards. If you leave the company before the end of the year in which you received a bonus you’ll have to pay it back. If you leave during one of the years in which your stock vest it’s like you worked for nothing. My stock is almost equal to my base pay for example. This keeps you working for the company.

    Low Base Pay
    Living off your base pay is also terrible as the cost of living here in Seattle is rising. You’re income on paper will look like you make a decent amount of money, but only because of your stock/bonuses. If you choose not to cash out of it when it vests you’ll be living by meager means as most of your pay will go to rent and other expenses. Having a low base pay also puts you in a different bracket for loans as they don’t consider your grants and bonuses reliable income.

    Frugality
    Only the bus pass is free. Parking is not and parking is expensive. Amazon will reimburse up $160 worth of parking, but at over $25.00 a day it doesn’t go very far. If you can get monthly parking you’ll pay less, but there’s a long wait list. On the bright side most people leave after 2 years so you may get a spot if you stay long enough. There are also no employee perks that I’m aware of, except free coffee and tea in the kitchen.

    Performance Improvement Plans
    PIP is very real at Amazon. A certain number of people in your department every year will be put on it. Essentially the weakest link will be eliminated. If you don’t perform better than someone else you’ll be let go. Politics are very real and active as well. Consider it similar to Game of Thrones. Make sure someone owes you a favor and preferably that’s someone at a higher level.

    Promotions
    Lateral moves are common, promotions are not. Most people rotate after 1-1/2 years. Getting promoted requires laterally moving to a high job level. Once in that level you will need to perform the job better than coworkers doing the same job at the level you’re trying to get promoted to. This accounts to doing a much harder job with more work at a lower wage than everyone else until you’ve proven yourself. You’re also competing with other coworkers at your level and job for the promotion. This works great for the company, but makes you feel like you’re way underpaid for the job you’re doing.

    Turnover
    I’m not sure the exact numbers as Amazon is constantly hiring new people, but it seems high. I’ve seen lots of people leave Amazon that I’ve worked with. The average stay seems to be about 2 years. After that people leave for better opportunities. Consider this place a stepping stone to the next job. Also expect your workload to increase each time someone leaves until they fill that position. You may be moving on before that happens though as Amazon has a really high bar for hiring.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAmazon could be a great place to work. I actually enjoyed working for the company for the first 1-1/2 years. After that I realized things were not going to get better. My work days did not get shorter, only longer. I now feel like all I do is work and am starting to burn out as a result. I could probably deal with most of the other flaws, but I work to live not live to work. I’m counting down the days until my next stock grant and then I’m heading for the door.

    I’m not the only one either that thinks like this. Most people will not speak the truth; even if you ask me to my face I’ll lie and say I’m not going anywhere. I’d lie because I know the politics of the place would stab me in the back if I told the truth. Working at Amazon is a job, not a career.

    If the stock ever crashes you can also expect a mass exodus of workers as our base pay isn’t comparable to other offers out there.

    My advice is to look at my list of cons and figure out a way to fix them. We do the same thing to improve the experience of the customer, why don’t we improve the work life of our employees? How many good people have to leave before Amazon upper management figures this out?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good place to launch your career

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsGreat opportunity to learn lots in just 3 months.

    Constheir policy of frugality may sometimes be very annoying

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    5 people found this helpful  

    Watch out and quit in 1.5 years

    Technical Program Manager (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    Pros- Salary is competitive. They are willing to give you a 20-30% bump if you switch from Microsoft.
    - Technology is interesting in a few teams; many teams (like GPS or TRMS) do very mundane work though.
    - Good career boost when you quit (most people quit in 1-2 years)

    ConsOnly choose Amazon if you have no other comparable option. Compensation package can be good, but remember that you are trading more hours and peace of mind.
    - It's not a happy place to work. Everyone is trying to survive and get through their pile of work.
    - There are plenty of better places to work, with better work environments and work-life balance.
    - Certain teams (like GPS and TRMS) do really mundane work that no one really cares about. No opportunity for career growth.
    - Management can be inexperienced and ruthless, a bad combination. Several people on my team were fired with no notice and questionable motives.
    - Long work hours. Always on culture.
    - Swim or sink culture. You are responsible for your survival; your managers and peers don't really care if you don't do well.
    - Lot of churn; people quit frequently or change teams.
    - Offices are bare and depressing.
    - Benefits? Just the bare minimum.
    - There are plenty of better choices. Only

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake care of your employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Pretty good until if fell off a cliff.

    Technical Writer (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsEntry level/individual contributors are genuinely good people. High energy, motivated, creative, fun to be around.

    ConsAbsolutely terrible management culture. Non-existent work-life balance. Review system can be arbitrary and capricious. You can work your butt off on a project, deliver it, and get put on a PIP because someone on a partner team didn't like your work style. In the review meeting, your manager might try to present positive data and get told that it doesn't matter.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop already with having peer feedback be the basis of the review model. People's managers should have the greatest say in reviews.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Brutal load, but very agile.

    SDE2 (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsFrugality. You will know exactly how much revenue your team is making and how much you are spending and learn to optimize it.
    You will own products and systems and feel like you are involved in projects that have several times more engineers in competing companies.
    Compensation is good.
    People are smart.
    Development is as agile as Java stack allows.
    Management is very technical.

    ConsFrugality. From the desks that were previously doors to displays that will hurt your eyes to laptops that are not much more than bricks.
    Brutal workload. You will always be behind on all projects, no matter how good you are.
    Shifting requirements. Anything you need to do may change tomorrow.
    Zero positive reinforcement. Again, no matter how good you are, you are always behind and management will make sure you will know that.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTime to treat your developers the same way you treat your customers. Invest in developers and hire more of them. It's a hot market for developers and it's just a matter of time before they realize they are treated like slaves here.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Challenging, but not rewarding.

    Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsYou will learn a lot. You will work with some very smart people on some very hard problems. You will grow and develop your ability to use data for effective decision-making.

    ConsYou will no longer have a life - expect an intense 8-9 hours of work each day + 3-6 days of on-call each month if you are an SDE (weekends too!) Perks are minimal to nonexistent compared to the rest of the industry. Pay is average. Equipment is outright cheap, and sometimes painful to deal with.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI was lucky enough to be on a team whose manager is nothing short of amazing. All advice below goes to senior management.

    Raise salaries. Be more understanding of employee needs / requirements and don't treat them at a large scale like sheep. Employees are not robots but people that need to spend quality time with their friends and family. If you cannot understand and respect that, people will keep leaving the company at year 2 despite the stock awards that vest at year 3 and 4.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Cut Throat

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat place for driven and ambitious people looking to do whatever it takes to climb up in the corporate world.

    ConsNo work/life balance, excessive politics and favoritism, unfair employee treatment, no perks (you pay for everything including parking), base salary is usually on the lower end but stocks are where you make the majority of your income though they are on a vesting schedule for couple years down the road and most people stay in the company for this reason (golden handcuffs).

    Advice to Senior ManagementBuild better leadership skill through coaching rather than a "sink or swim" mentality that chews people up, and spits them out.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Overall great place to work, pay is not what you would expect.

    Fulfillment Associate (Current Employee)
    Tracy, CA

    ProsVery lax place, easy to get along with everyone, especially managers, safety is important.

    ConsNot competitive pay, chaotic always construction, changing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore mobility, rich company, associate pay not great.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Work culture

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros-A big software stack to explore. Opportunity to learn new things

    Cons-to much context switch
    - High expectations from management
    - Lower appreciation level

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