Amazon.com Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
3,488 Reviews
3.3
3,488 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,417 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

2,391 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 185 people found this helpful  

    Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

     - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
      - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
      - A chance to make a huge difference
      - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
      - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
      - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

    Cons

    - You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
    - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 11 people found this helpful  

    Opportunity like nowhere else

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great place to get things done and grow your resume. You are working with really smart people and have access to a lot of enablers. The culture here enshrines "bias for action" which is your license to cut through the red tape when it gets in the way.

    Cons

    Low titles, lack of performance pay. The appearance of frugality is valued beyond its business benefit. This can make you feel less valued regardless of your salary. Stack ranking encourages people to play the system rather than do the right thing. Negotiate hard before you arrive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The first few performance reviews here are tougher than they should be and lead to attrition. Managers have to play the system to give promotions and money where they can. Because overall Amazon has been so successful, upper management has failed to recognize the cost of this attrition and how much better performance could be without this problem. We are using up our talent pool and our competitors are skilled at playing up the negative aspects of the culture here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ok Gets the bills paid

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    They give you plenty of time off...PTO and UPT

    Cons

    HR Doesn't know anything so do your own research

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Awesome!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Assistant  in  Carlisle, PA
    Current Employee - Process Assistant in Carlisle, PA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There are so many opportunities!!! Very customer oriented with always pursuing new ways to be more efficient with frugality.

    Cons

    Lots of changes all the time in streamlining the processes for customer experience....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your upcoming middle managers to be prepared and give them the feedback they deserve (be it positive or negative)...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place for internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    colorful life in Seattle, well-paid salary for interns

    Cons

    very little annual bonus

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good And Bad, But Overall Okay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great company.

    a). Amazon is perhaps one of the best companies when it comes to interesting projects. Almost includes all areas you can think of. It's leading in cloud computing and also releasing new devices yearly. Tons of challenges. Great leadership from Jeff Bezos. I like where this company is headed.

    b). Amazon has an official dog policy that allows you to bring your dog to work on a daily basis which is really cool.

    c). Paid time off 6 days. Pretty good. 3 sick days. Okay.

    Cons

    a). In terms of compensation, average base salary, great sign-on bonus, lame stock bonus over first 2 years(4 years allocation ratio of your stock bonus: 5%, 15%, 40%, 40%) then it's better. No cash bonus ever after the sign-on bonus though. You also won't receive any stock bonus on your first performance review, either. Last but not the least, their salary bump is minimal compared to other IT companies.

    b). No perk at all. You want free food? Go elsewhere. You want free parking? Go elsewhere. You want office? Go elsewhere.

    c). No green card for immigrant SDE1s because you are not valuable to the company. SDE2s will get theirs going after half a year of service. Although exceptions can be given from time to time. And usually managers understands it and will help you.

    d). Oncall experience is different significantly from teams to teams. Cannot say much about that. My team is mostly okay. But I have heard horrible stories, and I am not planning to experience those.

    e). People move very frequently. Promotion can be a problem when your manager keeps coming and going and nobody has a set of continuous datapoints of you.

    f). 2 weeks of vacation in the first year. Then 3 weeks starting from your second year. 2 weeks is well below IT company standard. Although they kind of making up for it by adding 9 extra days(6 PTO + 3 sick days)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grant green card for immigrants immediately. Add perk. Those will help you keep your employees from moving.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruiter  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Ownership: Amazon gives employees a lot of ownership over the projects they are working on.

    Career growth: There are tons of internal opportunities for growth and you are able to drive you own career trajectory. Compensation and benefits are very competitive.

    Work life balance: I heard some of the complaints about work life balance before joining Amazon, but in my time here I have not experienced any issues with work life balance. The work schedule is flexible and I rarely take any work home with me.

    Cons

    Company can be a bit too frugal at times, not a lot of perks. Fortunately the frugality is not reflected in the compensation. I would like to see a better 401(k) match.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the 401(k) more competitive to other companies in the industry.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Solid growning company. Internal pomotional opportunities can be challenging.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Bernardino, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Bernardino, CA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There is no shortage of overtime hours if you want them.

    Cons

    It is easier to get a high level position if you are an external candidate then a current employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote more people from within the current employee pool rather then favoring external candidates

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unique corporate culture that either does or doesn't work for you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager II  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager II in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Many growth opportunities. Work with some of the brightest and best around. The culture, if you buy into it, has a lot going for it. If you're not onboard with the culture you won't make it.

    Cons

    Can be difficult to keep your head about water. A lot of fast paced projects that change very little in the overall juggernaut of Amazon.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Area Manager  in  Patterson, CA
    Current Employee - Area Manager in Patterson, CA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Challenging opportunity but you have the opportunity to really meet customer expectations. The organization is very focused on the making the customer and their associates happy.

    Cons

    Focus more on meeting the need of your management staff. Many of them work long hours and do not feel that their work is appreciated but that it is expected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Engage your managers similar to the way you engage the associates.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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