Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,804 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com software engineer Reviews

Updated Apr 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 618 reviews

                             

88% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(493 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend
618 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
in
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Amazon.com: great company to work for or GREATEST company to work for? ;)

Software Design Engineer (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at Amazon.com

ProsIt's an extremely open environment where communication is easy and people are very helpful. You know that you're surrounded by really smart and talented people, and everyone is very supportive and competent. The managers are technical and dependable. They do so many things that it's easy to find your niche, and the office environment itself is nice. At one of the office building you can bring pets with you to work. There's free tea and coffee, too. The layout is a mix of high walls, cubicles, and offices, which I think is neat. Breaks are encouraged for playing foosball and dodgeball and such. The best part is probably knowing that Amazon has so many great businesses that are executed with precise management. They really aren't evil, and are just a great competitive policy. Jeff B even has a policy of not talking publicly about competitors.

ConsI would've liked more recreational errors. I know that's a Google-y thing to say, but I understand that they're trying to stick to a core value of frugality and I really dig that.

Advice to Senior ManagementMore foosball tables and dart boards and maybe video game areas for lunch breaks? =D Maybe some snacks in the kitchen, like fruits or granola bars. There are other companies who offer a couple of free meals each week so that would be really cool, too. And I wish I could buy corporate gear, because I really am proud to be a part of Amazon.com.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

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

2 people found this helpful  

About what you'd expect when you sell your soul. You get a good price for it though.

Software Design Engineer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsMoney, Money, Money, Money, Money

ConsWorking conditions (small cubes), tools available (one-size-fits-all computers don't really fit all sizes), competence of project managers (disorganized, no formal requirements setting), the need to maintain your own systems (nighttime and weekend calls/pages), lack of testers, lack of support staff. Basically, engineers are highly skilled web developers and system administrators. The compensation scheme also doesn't put much emphasis on performance, so the compensation is pretty similar if you did a good job or a bad. And people who are jerks, who don't get along with anyone and disrupt teams, aren't handled. They stick around forever.

Advice to Senior ManagementFaster turnaround on evaluations, and put more emphasis on performance when determining compensation -- maybe move to larger bonuses (immediate bonuses -- 2-year-away stock doesn't count). Realize that a significant percentage of the best developers in the industry change jobs every 2-3 years. Make Amazon a place they want to stop in.
Give developers more freedom to get more tools. You spend over 150K/year on them, but won't give them another gig of RAM? or a third monitor?
Invest in TPMs. They need to be technical and understand requirements.
Make it easier to get rid of people.
Why can't we have more webdev's to do html?
Why do most of us have pagers and not support staff who aren't developers?
Why don't we have more testers?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Can be a great place to work, depending on what team you're on.

Software Development Engineer II (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsTeams tend to be very small and they work fairly independently from each other, which helps keep things moving along quickly. Teams also own their business, which means individual members can have a large impact on what the team produces and how their business grows. Most of the people you work with are very smart and produce quality work.

Amazon's business and scale provides has a huge variety of problems to solve (it ranges from building cool web applications, to optimizing order fulfillment and shipping, to personalization, to web services). If you are unhappy with your current team, odds are there is a team elsewhere in the company doing something you find interesting. Internal transfers are fairly easy and happen all the time.

ConsThe model of having many small independent teams has several downsides:
- There is often duplication of effort because you can't convince a team you depend on to prioritize work you need, so you might end up doing it yourself.
- Most teams do not have dedicated a support or operations team. This means SDEs are responsible for deployments, operational issues, selecting hardware, etc. Most SDEs are part of an on-call rotation.. when they are on-call they have to carry a pager and need to be able to respond to pages within 15min. The frequency and intensity of oncall varies greatly by team.
- There is a huge variance in quality of life depending on what team you're on. If you work on a team that has a heavy ops burden or owns a lot of bad legacy code, you will probably hate it.

In terms of culture, Amazon is a very frugal company. No extravagant benefits, fairly cheap office equipment, etc.

Advice to Senior ManagementI think management needs to work on being more open with their employees. Amazon tends to keep decisions secret until they need to be shared. While this makes sense for new product launches and such, it's a little ridiculous when it comes to root causes for outages, employee feedback, and organizational changes.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Totally worth the experience

Software Development Engineer II (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsThe engineers are generally motivated and talented. Incompetent people get fired (that sounds scary, but the opposite is true). There are interesting problems to solve. The pay is good to very good. Engineers, generally speaking, get more respect at Amazon than other companies for which I have worked.

ConsLike everywhere I have worked, some groups are better than others. Also, the overall quality of managers seems poor compared to other companies. I think that is because they get burned out and quit.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf Jeff Bezos ever quits I trust your abilities so little that I will be next out the door. Start to add some value or leave!

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Passionate people makes everything easy

Software Engineer (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsSalaries, freedom of action, responsabilities

ConsSlowness in managerial decision making

Advice to Senior ManagementGet to the point and when questions are raised, converse with the expert employees you are paying to tackle those situation instead of believing in top down management

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Fairly Satisfying Position

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsThe great things about amazon are definitely the salary that the company pays its employees and the fact that the company is still young and has lots of market it can still capture. Another huge bonus is that they have a downtown office that's right off the I-90 corridor (but that's going to change soon)

ConsI think that Amazon.com hires many amateurs, so it's tough to find experts/mentors, unless you're in one of few technically innovative groups. These isolated areas tend to also be the only areas of true technical innovation. The company also has a preference hiring talent instead of developing internal talent.

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus more on quality rather than quantity of features.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Amazing

Senior Software Development Engineer in Test (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsGreat culture. Smart people. Customer focus.

ConsOperational burden. Benefits and career development.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the customer focus

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

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

3 people found this helpful  

Replacing you is cheaper than paying you more

Independent Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsYou get to 'own' what you work on - no one will come rescue you. So you'd better be on top of things

ConsChaotic, last-minute changes, endless bickering over details, extreme lack of long-term vision planning and communication, little understanding at upper levels of efficient ways to work better, management requires working demos (requiring enormous amounts of throwaway work), management forgets previous decisions at every design review meeting, extremely poor benefits package (they're just cheap!), offices and furniture are often shabby and worn, reviews are simply random facts, managers are not accountable for bad decisions, bad people skills get you ahead, "good" managers are those that avoid work and foist off their responsibilities to others, hard work is *not* rewarded or even recommended, but endless meetings about what should be done are the way to succeed.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop requiring working wireframes - learn how to conceptualize! Stop changing your minds because you think you have all this "free" labor that will work weekends endlessly trying to figure out a solution that meets your unclear dreams. Learn that "rewards" such as "top employee of the cube farm" are not the same as cold hard cash: Show Me the Money, Baby!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Great place to learn, schedule is a strain.

Software Development Engineer II (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsLearn the workings of a large distributed system and huge world-class website; learn technologies and software development ideas from coworkers. Good money.

ConsThe on-call load and pager duty is onerous for Software Engineers maintaining servers. Promotions are rare. There are many non-technical managers leading technical teams. Frequent re-orgs are confusing and disruptive. Java-obsession in some parts.

Advice to Senior ManagementExpand the software development platform and hire more software system engineers and specialist web developers; enable software engineers to write software more; and to set up, configure, and maintain servers less.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

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

1 person found this helpful  

Office Space

Software Development Engineer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsThe office space is amazing. Lots of cubes: rows and rows of cubes. Some windows, some chairs, etc. Some kitchens and sinks if you know where to look.

ConsThe office space isn't that great. Lots of cubes: rows and rows of cubes. Not enough windows or chairs.

Advice to Senior ManagementPut more energy into improving the office space. I would prefer more windows and chairs in the offices, if that's possible.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for Amazon.com? Contribute to the Community!

Amazon.com Videos

Loading...

Amazon.com – Why Work for Us?

Not ready to apply yet? Click here to join our Talent communities, where you can learn more about us and stay up-to-date with Amazonian opportunities! Full Overview

Provided by employer [?]

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

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Amazon.com software engineer reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. All 618 reviews posted anonymously by Amazon.com employees.