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Amazon.com software engineer Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 700 reviews

87% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(531 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

700 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
in
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    partly good, partly "OK"

    Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsA lot of talented highly skilled people
    Non-trivial projects
    ability to develop, enhance skills, learn

    Consoncall: hard to maintain life-work balance due to oncall
    minimal company benefits

    Advice to Senior Managementpay more attention to employees, make the, feel valued

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

    • Culture & Values
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    Pays well. Depends on your team.

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsPays well.
    They cover housing for you, bringing your intern salary to about 100k if full time.
    Opportunity to learn a lot.
    Flexible work schedule. (can come in late. can work from home. can leave early if you need to)
    Tons of smart people
    Employees care about the customer
    You get full disclosure on your performance
    real work as an intern - your team will give you a project to work on that they had on the back-burner but still want done

    ConsThe pros are largely universal. The cons will depend on your team.
    If you have a great team, you'll have a great time. If you have a crappy team, you'll have a crappy time. I'm basing this off of what I know about my team versus what other interns told me about their teams.
    Either way, you'll need to be assertive. Ask questions. Get help when you don't know something. General rule is spend 30 mins trying to figure something out. Then if you haven't, go ahead and ask a someone with more experience.
    Your project may not be defined. You will have to get it defined. (i.e. figure out what you have to do for it to be complete). It can be hard to communicate with superiors as an intern, assuming you have little prior experience. A thought I basically had "I am inexperienced. I do not want to annoy anyone. I'll just try to figure this out on my own." This is incorrect. Your boss will know that already. Go ahead and don't be shy and you'll avoid lots of the problems.
    You may have to work longer hours depending on your project.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    An exercise in frustration

    Software Development Engineer Intern (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsPay 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.

    ConsDue 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 Senior ManagementHR - 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.

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

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    5 people found this helpful  

    Swamped with legacy hacks

    Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee) Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

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

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

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    Awesome place to work with amazing people

    Software Development Engineer In Test (Current Employee) Bangalore (India)

    ProsSuper talented people, great amount of opportunities to learn

    ConsNone as of now.................................

    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  

    Generally satisfied Amazonian here...but I can only speak for my team

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsAs mentioned in the title, I've only worked on one team at Amazon, and it is in the context of a new/secret project, so I'm not sure my experiences are representative of the company as a whole. That being said:

    - Fast pace
    - Plenty of responsibility
    - End-to-end project ownership
    - Smart co-workers

    Cons- Not the most "positive vibe"
    - Collaboration with other teams can be a bit adversarial (I guess this is a slightly less vague example of my first con)
    - Work environment: open work space (lots of interruptions), frequent moving (on a rapidly-growing team, anyway), dearth of conference rooms
    - Focus on code quality tends to lapse severely in the face of totally arbitrary deadlines -- and isn't usually accounted for at all during planning

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Senior Software Development Engineer (Former Employee) Bangalore (India)

    Pros1. Brilliant People
    2. Get to work on projects/product with large scale impact
    3. The brand name in industry is good

    Cons1. 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 Senior ManagementNeed to focus on innovation driven approach instead of Dictator driven.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good Learning Experience, But can be hectic

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Palo Alto, CA

    Pros- Great compensation
    - Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development
    - looks good on resume

    Cons- Depending on the team, work-life balance can be virtually non-existent. This is highly dependent on the manager
    - No perks such as free food, drinks, etc in majority of Amazon (In the palo alto office, we do get free snacks and drinks)

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop being so dam frugal, improve the perks to match other tech giants.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Employees are a commodity

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsPay is competitive with other tech companies.

    ConsFrugality will drive you up the wall (takes an act of congress to get a 2nd monitor, no perks to speak of). Tools are complicated, frustrating, and slow. 4-year refresh cycle on already underpowered laptops. Lots of people constantly stressed to the limit with oncall duty and unrealistic expectations.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShow that you value your employees by placing value on their time. Spend some money to make employees more productive, and the investment will pay for itself quickly.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Imbalance work-life; super frugal; customers and then products are more important than employes' lives

    Software Development Engineer II (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsInteresting projects; lost of technical challenges;

    ConsSuper frugal; can be mean; working space is small; you will need air to breath; PCs, keyboards, monitors, mices are low-quality and cheap things; You have only 1 monitor for working only. Even coffee cups don't have lids or insulators. Managers ask you about your progress on projects all over the time.
    High bar-raiser, difficult promotions

    Advice to Senior Managementwords to reduce frugality. care more about personal and family lives.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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