Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
3,658 Reviews
3.3
3,658 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,509 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

550 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to work, but average compensation.

    • 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

    - Great quality of work (esp. within AWS)
    - Surrounded by very smart engineers
    - Management is very receptive to ideas and feedback
    - Super customer obsessed
    - Strong company culture. People really believe in company's core values which makes for an inspired work environment
    - Highly data driven company
    - No politics BS

    Cons

    - Average pay and benefits. Amazon is lagging behind other companies in it's class (Facebook, Google, MS, etc.)
    - Slow promotions in some parts of the company
    - On call rotation can be bad at times (although it depends on the team).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve employee pay and benefits. People are not happy within the company with their compensation. Amazon is lagging behind other companies

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great place to work for high-functioning, intelligent devs

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

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

    Pros

    - Never boring, always learning
    - In-city location means you aren't forced to live in the God-forsaken suburbs
    - Noone will find your path for you, emphasis on ownership and personal responsibility (this could be a con if you're lazy)
    - High hiring bar means you're surrounded by people smarter than you

    Cons

    - Shifting priorities mean some projects never make it to production.
    - Job satisfaction tied closely to team. Some are awesome, some not-so-much.
    - Minimal perks other than compensation. Middling health benefits. Amazon is proudly frugal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain the high hiring bar. 100% medical coverage should be standard for salaried employees. Larks like the Fire Phone are hurting our image.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    A generally good place with some specific organizations doing great work

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon has a high variability in talent and the kind of stuff it works on. There are places which are working on old legacy and so-yesterday problems and either re-writing them or deprecating old stuff. Same time there are organizations within Amazon that work on really cutting edge technology. You get to choose where you want to work. The best organizations also attract the best talent and are the most challenging places to work. The other places are not so great in terms of talent, but it may be a good choice if one is interested in working on relatively safe things and/or interested in a career in management. You can get paid well either way you go

    Cons

    There is stiff competition and work pressure can sometimes get to you.
    Managing a career is not so easy and there is not enough transparency. You can find out though if you talk to folks who have been around a long time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Title of my review

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

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

    Pros

    Work-life balance, personal growth, is a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

    Cons

    I don't think amazon has any down sides to it. Excellent culture, good people. a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    good

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    highly intelligent co workers , great learning environment!

    Cons

    not really, varies from team to team cannot make a generic statement

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great learning experience. Real Software development that matters and you learn a lot from the smart people around you.

    • 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 as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great culture, work hard and do things that matter. You will learn a lot as an intern

    Cons

    Don't get much time to do other things. I found it hard to keep up with my peers who all worked late and had a lot more experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The work hours are too long for my team. I know times vary between teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Innovative and cut throat

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone is expected to participate in the decisions on many levels. Easy access to developers, program managers and others. Your voice is heard.

    Cons

    Very cut throat, you will be compared to others on all levels, and performance alone isn't enough to keep being employed. The constant amount of new people coming in and old people leaving means that things are very often disorganized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure that everyone knows the big picture and don't let them get sucked into a single project while the quality of other things suffer. Everyone needs to work together, and time needs to be set aside to do that.

    Beware, many organizations within Amazon are quite a bit different in respect to management and work/life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Dynamic and challenging work

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

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

    Pros

    Each team is run like a startup. Team gets to decide what technologies can be used, how to design and build their systems.

    Cons

    Oncall can be taxing
    Workplace needs serious improvements. Office spaces are crowded, parking is extremely problematic and no real perks working in the office

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being frugal principle often gets extended too much. Be realistic and evaluate your policies from becoming frupid.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Nightmare on south lake union

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

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

    Pros

    - Initial Signing Bonus is Good. Most people start of with 30-40k signing bonus that spreads out over two years. Not bad huh.
    - For software engineers, there are weekly PoA talks, and learning series that will help you improve your knowledge and know what other teams are doing.
    - Working here looks good on your resume. Although slowly declining, working at amazon is still a big deal, sort of!
    - Pet friendly, Urban Campus.
    - Access to world class Principal Engineers.

    Cons

    - Horrible work life balance. Some teams do a death march for months together, during this time it is expected that you put in long hours(50+ easily).

    - SDM's at amazon are horrible. Most of them have no people management skills. I have known managers who were promoted despite having 80% attrition in their teams. no kidding.

    - Amazon, for whatever reason, does not file Green Card for immigrant Level 4 employees. The justification given by the legal department about not meeting the criteria is fishy, especially since Microsoft and Expedia are able get the process going for Level 59 employees. L59 at MSFT is equal to Level 4 at amazon.

    - SDE-1's are expected to demonstrate SDE-2 behavior for 5 months to be considered for promotion. This is something managers tell their employees every week in 1-on-1. Often, SDE-1s are not given enough opportunities to demonstrate such behavior ie good projects to work on etc

    - On call (for engineers) is basically paying the price for your predecessor's mistakes. There is zero documentation. Tribal knowledge is rampant. Due to constant churn and internal attrition, you will end up going on call once a month, which is like 12 weeks a year. Basically this means, for an entire quarter of an year, you will be doing everything except for writing code.

    - Finally, the feeling of camaraderie is missing. There are no free lunches, or free happy hours. Team building events are unheard of. You will be looked down upon as a weirdo if you try to get too friendly with your team mates. The expectation is to prevent social cohesion.

    - Finally, for SDE's there is no career growth after hitting SDE-2 mark. Less than 2% of engineers make it from SDE-2 to SDE-3 level.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Good for new grad, but need to improve

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    A good place to work hard.

    Cons

    No one cares your life and no one will stop you from burning yourself with extra works. You have to learn how to stop.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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