Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
3,653 Reviews
3.3
3,653 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,504 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 112 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 331 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 599 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 138 reviews)

More Highlights

773 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 11 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5. 8 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
  6. 5 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
  7. 8 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
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Joined because the products intrigued me as a customer; internally as an engineer, it was nothing short of a nightmare.

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

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

    Pros

    Other companies think AWS's products are cool and innovative. Thus they assume AWS engineers must be high-quality, which facilitates the job search :).

    Cons

    People are treated very poorly -- I don't think they are even trying to compete with other top tech companies for engineers.

    My team inherited too much technical debt and brittle legacy systems that had been neglected for years despite causing increasingly serious problems as the business scaled. We spent all our time remediating customer issues but never building anything new or even properly maintaining our broken software. The on-call, status reporting, deployment processes, etc., were brutal as well. Overall, every aspect of working here was draining and I left as soon as I could. Fortunately I discovered that being an engineer outside of Amazon isn't so painful :).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't allow desperate managers to throw mountains of technical debt/legacy systems at new grads just because nobody else wants it -- within a year, you'll lose those people forever and they'll become detractors of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Could be hard to stay here sometimes

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

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

    Pros

    Good location. Smaller team size.

    Cons

    Expect to work beyond regular hours a lot. Not much appreciation or recognition how many hours you are working a week. But slowly you would become used to 50/60 hours a week I guess :P. We'll keep track your goals of life. It needs more than just a job for long run.

    It has been a good place to learn thing for a year or so. To start your career if you are young. Well quality of employees is falling down a bit and it's not the one of the first choices for mart people anymore.

    The company is very customer focused and best in my opinion to help and serve the customer but sometimes they forget about their employees.

    They don't think their engineers are their family or important part of it..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are ways to know about your employees conditions?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Amazon is the walmart of the tech world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Cambridge, MA

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

    Pros

    working at amazon is better than starving in the rain fighting hobos and pigeon for cold bowls of bird soup.

    working at Amazon is better than watching infomercials.

    Cons

    Amazon thinks way to highly of themselves. They sell doo-dads over the internet.

    Amazon does not value people. Google the gawker article on "amazons bizarre corporate culture.

    If you are a talented young engineer, DO NOT WORK FOR AMAZON.

    GO ANYWHERE else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop racing to the bottom. Stop acting like the walmart of

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer

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

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

    Pros

    Fast paced, customer driving, smart coworker, cutting edge technology

    Cons

    On call duty, horrible management and work life balance. Avoid it if you have family, or don't enjoy firing people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Work at Amazon.com? Share Your Experiences

Amazon.com

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.