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Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
3,945 Reviews
3.4
3,945 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,672 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 118 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 636 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 145 reviews)

More Highlights

823 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Horrible experience, soulless company, uninteresting work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer Intern in East Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer Intern in East Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Amazon.com as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    1. The pay for an internship was high
    2. Good brand name on the resume

    Cons

    1. No free food, no benefits
    2. VERY HIGH turnover rate
    3. Nobody seemed passionate about their job
    4. Everyone was looking elsewhere for a job
    5. Very soulless as a company, nobody talked to each other inside or outside work
    6. People were not of top caliber by any means
    7. People seemed to use it as a stepping stone for other companies
    8. In the middle of nowhere (East Palo Alto), closest restaurant was 0.7mi away, yet there was no food (free or not) in the office.
    9. Unlike other reviews of Amazon, I wasn't given too much work or taken seriously as an intern, even though I had prior experience with Facebook and Google.
    10. Frugality culture came in the way of things. For example I was given a crappy old Macbook which kept crashing. Thousands of dollars of developer productivity time is lost that way.
    11. Stop getting into such low-margin businesses, and actually try making money for investors for once!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of hiring so many employees, hire fewer but a lot better employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Worst employees HR, manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Bangalore (India)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Bangalore (India)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Learn new stuff. If you go to good team and work under a good manager you are lucky.

    Cons

    Pass feedback to HR, they would share with management
    Rogues and immature managers lead large teams.
    No goals set, reviews are wishy washy, no official written reviews shared
    Manager has to like you, else you are doomed. Senior management is too busy to hear you. Didn't have any context on you or product.
    Associates team in Bangalore is one such team, heavy attrition with jokers as senior managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be human first. Ethics are important.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Bad place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Irvine, CA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Looks good on the resume, either to get into other companies later.
    Some smart people here.

    Cons

    No work/life balance, sweat shop. Yes, they will wake you up at 2am in the middle of the night.
    Management truly doesn't care about their employees.
    Very bad culture, people talk behind your back.
    Very high turnover, most developers are still unfamiliar with the product they're working on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to improve the turn over.
    Make software "better" and improve processes as well, so you don't have to stay late for the same problems every times.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 19 people found this helpful  

    College grad labor mill. Not for families or those who like happiness.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Money. That is absolutely the only reason to work at Amazon. With it, they buy your very existence and then thoroughly expect to have it.

    Cons

    It is an entire culture of "You should have done more." Expect to wake up and go to bed guilty every day, no matter what you accomplish. They are geared for working with college kids that have never functioned outside a high-pressure institution. They try to mirror the collegiate environment in many ways. It is festive, loud, full of alcoholics, and designed to consume every moment of your life, just like college. If you have a family, a soul, or otherwise want to be a happy person, this is not the company for you. At least not for more than a year or so.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to scare the eggs out of your chickens. If you just take care of your chickens, they will lay eggs all by themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    Expect to put in lots of energy, hours of overtime work and carry a pager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Looks good on CV and friendly colleagues. But then again there're other big tech companies which look good on CV.

    Cons

    - Expected to put in extra hours and hours of work without paying you overtime salary or other benefits
    - On call and carry a pager. You have to stay home and be close to your work laptop since you are expected to respond within 15 minutes when you get paged.
    - Number of times paged when on call is really plenty or should i say 80-90 percent of the time.
    - Bad mangers and management. Managers have no idea of your work most of the time.
    - Managers hand out more and more projects and deadlines to team members without consideration for the overworked team members.
    - Overworked equals to lack creativity and more errors and mistakes on the job which adds to more work for other team members as well.
    - Lost passion because of bad management and work overload as well as being paged.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come to your senses and stop saying we will solve the problems and then do nothing about it and expect everyone to be happy and willing to give you our all. Just talk and talk but when it comes to solving and hard questions, pretend you don't know or say we are working on it. What a disappointment to the company and the hard-working employees!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    great company for consumers

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Talented people, downtown/near-downtown location.
    Different teams can feel very different. But overall they hold similar culture.
    If you are lucky and find a reasonable team, you might be able to enjoy it. But not so much for other teams.

    Cons

    it's better to be a customer than an employee.
    no work life balance. management expects you to work late.
    uncompetitive compensation.
    on-call.
    political issue. This can be nasty sometimes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    An exercise in frustration

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Pay is very good for an internship.

    Projects are generally important, but relatively small (compared to full time employees) features or services. In general, they seem more important than projects interns at other companies talk about getting.

    Lots of opportunities and events hosted for interns to learn about other parts of the company or learn in general.

    Smart coworkers.

    Frequent events and talks on interesting subjects across the company.

    Cons

    Due to unique circumstances, I ended up being expected to complete a full-summer project in only half the time any other intern had, due to issues with my original project.

    Corporate housing can be very difficult, I ended up in a hotel without a way to do laundry or cook food (only a 1.3 cu ft. mini-fridge and a coffee pot) with a meal-plan for breakfast/dinner only that didn't fully cover the cost of food at that hotel (pricey, exclusive club hotel). Ended up spending quite a bit of money eating out to avoid eating the same 4 things from their menu all the time. Hotel offered dry-cleaning at $8/shirt and $10-16/pair of pants and no laundromat in the area. (Didn't know about the laundry until I arrived)

    Management frequently changed their minds on aspects of my 2nd project that prevented me from making progress at all for the first few weeks.

    No training for team-specific tools (on my team at least) and methods, only the general training for new employees which wasn't enough for either of my projects.

    Poor documentation of many of the existing systems, making it difficult to learn how they work and how to use them.

    Full-time employees frequently work weekends in addition to 50-60+ hour work weeks during normal working days.

    Seeing full-time employees on pager duty looks terrible (the hours they end up being in the office and woken up in the middle of the night/on weekends would eat up nearly 100% of anyone's spare time).

    Parking at the office is not free or paid for by the company. Parking costs quite a bit more than the amount you can file to have reimbursed every month. (I didn't bring a car to avoid this issue, in addition to parking at corporate housing not being paid for at all.)

    Pay is on a monthly basis, plan ahead for your start date if you don't have enough money going in to pay for food/parking/laundry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HR - pay closer attention to the hotels you choose; stranding an intern without a way to clean their clothes isn't cool (or at least inform them that laundry facilities aren't at their hotel when it is assigned so they can plan ahead)

    Managers - plan the project ahead of time, it gets very confusing to have things get changed on a daily basis for the first few weeks on the project because it wasn't planned out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 9 people found this helpful  

    Swamped with legacy hacks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    There are great opportunities and the scale at which Amazon operates is amazing.

    Cons

    Only 10% of the time is spent on new development, and the rest we are putting out fires. Prepare to inherit a legacy of hacks with little tests and no documentation (tribal knowledge is the norm). You will have to keep this software running 24/7 and do whatever it takes to keep it up to date with whatever changes in the runtime environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have some process in place for change management, and have less process when it comes to bureaucracy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Good for initial days of career but too time demanding yet no productivity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Bangalore (India)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Bangalore (India)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. Brilliant People
    2. Get to work on projects/product with large scale impact
    3. The brand name in industry is good

    Cons

    1. No work-life balance. People who are single and are workaholic would enjoy it in initial few years.
    2. You might end up having a boss who is far less qualified than you.
    3. Operations are on the head of developers so new product development is always hampered.
    4. Employees are more or less a disposable commodity for the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to focus on innovation driven approach instead of Dictator driven.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    If you like developing or care about having a life don't work here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hard working, helpful and friendly colleagues. Learn some operational stuff.

    Cons

    The interview was intense and tested data structures and algorithms. In this job you hardly need any of them. Most of the time if you have the rare chance to do any development, you will be going through undocumented legacy code and add few lines of code to add a little new feature or bug fix. That's about all for the development.

    Lots of ops work, fire stories and fixing issues. Answering customers why this or that does not work. Sometimes the issue is that they haven't even read the not so good documentation. I don't think this is what developers should be doing majority of their time.

    Work life balance is as bad as many other reviewers have said. Work regularly in the evenings and weekends. On top of that carry pager and respond within 15 minutes that you got paged (and yes you will get paged especially at nights).

    Also pay and benefits are not as good as for some other big tech companies. Now the office is moving to one of the most expensive areas of the Dublin so many people are forced to commute long time because the rents are so high in this area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let developers do their job, respect them and treat them better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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