Amazon.com Reviews

Updated March 29, 2015
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892 Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    Sadistic work environment

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

    I worked at Amazon.com as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Challenging, Weekly principal talks are interesting. Nice to be so close to the cutting edge.

    Cons

    my gardener makes more than I did there. If you are H1B, you will be encouraged and coddled, mistakes forgiven, mentored, welcomed. If you are not, good luck, you'll need it (mistakes collected and eagerly searched for, used against you, you cannot win).

    They have a system where the managers sit at their terminal and watch everything you do. Whatever you are doing on the computers there, the managers are watching, literally. All departments do this. Also, many teams have the desks configured so you are literally staring at each other while working. It's very very very hard to concentrate there. Meanwhile, they are gathering up any and all mistakes real and imagined so they can get rid of you and hire an H1B instead.

    It is a sadistic workplace, it truly is. They are more interested in messing with your head than getting any real work done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider American workers who are out of work instead of punting all jobs to H1-B people. Encourage people to adapt and learn, train them and encourage them to stay. Amazon burns people out and drives them away and seems to pride themselves on this.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful

    Hard work, unclear projects, unclear goals, good pay, little advice.

    • 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

    Pros

    Pays well for an undergraduate intern. 6k per month plus housing. I was in a hotel. Lots of people I knew loved it. Totally depends on your team. Looks good on a resume.

    Cons

    again this all depends on your team. My experience was long hours with less than clear goals. I was given an absurdly difficult assignment. This was later cut down but only after I wasted 3 weeks trying to solve it. (Significant portion of 12 week internship). The assignment was not possible with the code base I was working with. I got off the project only after I showed my manager that it would require a total refactoring (think 5 people working for 6 months) to get it working.

    The assignment I was given to replace the previous one was vague. It was boring. I did it but I hated it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Huge difference in quality of internships. Some sort of way to keep these balanced would be great.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Great company to work for

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

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

    Pros

    Operates like a startup
    You will interact with very smart people - the smartest in the globe.
    Not much politics - mostly ego clashes
    Very engineering / data - driven

    Cons

    Benefits suck big time
    Not much option to work from home

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make company more family friendly
    More benefits

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 6 people found this helpful

    ok place

    • 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

    great place to work at, to solve technical problems

    Cons

    It's a bit of a slave ship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work life balance needs to be improved.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 12 people found this helpful

    Can be good, but highly dependent on the team

    • 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

    Ironically, the best perk for me is being able to bring my dogs to work. On my team, we've got a solid codebase to work from, a fantastic manager, amazing coworkers, and even our interns can create products that are seen by millions of people. Being able to work on really highly visible projects that have a significant impact is awesome. There is some *really cool stuff* to work on, and a lot of interesting problems to solve.

    Cons

    Amazon doesn't really give a feeling of warm fuzzy caring for its developers. Makes sense, since the profit margin is pretty low and we have to make it up in volume, but the lack of perks and decent developer hardware makes us feel kind of unloved at times ("frugality" is even one of our core leadership principles). I try to think of it as making us morally superior to companies that splurge on pampering the developers, but I do get jealous on occasion.

    Also, depending on the team... there can be a lot of obnoxious interference from business managers, randomization, and terrible codebases (we're moving away from Perl as the main language for website templating, but it's not happening nearly fast enough.) And sometimes teams are just meatgrinders - Amazon has a hard time hiring enough to keep up with project growth, much less to keep up with maintenance and OE. I'm also not a huge fan of future-vesting stocks in the place of actual money for bonuses/part of salary.

    Neutral Outlook
  7. very GOOD.

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

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

    Pros

    people are very very nice

    Cons

    life is very very easy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    very very very happy life

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 4 people found this helpful

    SDET's perspective

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Disclaimer: My opinion mostly represents QA/SDET culture at Amazon.

    Amazon's names looks great on resume. Amazon is only one of the very few companies that can claim such a high growth rate for over a decade. Senior leadership is among the strongest I've ever seen in any company.

    You will be working with great developers, PMs and designers. You will work on outstanding projects that will impact millions of customers and generate millions of dollars in revenue. Amazon has lots of great tools for developers, which you can utilize as an SDET.

    Cons

    "Work Hard". Yes, you will be working hard. Nearly every QA team is understaffed and hiring more QA folks. Your QA manager would probably report to Sr Dev manager. Read: your team priorities will be based around developers and their needs rather your own. QA manager does not have much power to change that.

    "Have Fun". This part was going down across the company, on average. We used to have basketball, volleyball, broomball and dodgeball tournaments. This has stopped long time ago.

    "Make History". This has become harder for an SDET. You probably won't be given time to try out cool things in testing and be sucked into project testing 75% of the time. Most of it would be manual. When asked about challenging opportunities (improve automation tools, write test frameworks, participate in hackathons, etc.) my colleagues and I have received advice from managers like "I understand your desire to grow. Of course, we'll do than when we ... [hire more testers, have more time during Q4 and other excuses]. You can always put your own 'extra' time to work on your ideas."

    There are too few company-supported QA tools and frameworks. Each org reinvents the wheel with their own barely working automation, at the best. The only company-wide test framework is being promoted politically.

    Summary: I wouldn't recommend Amazon for true SDETs (testers who can and want to code state of the art tools).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't make QA culture a subservient culture. Let SDETs grow as engineers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful

    A good place to work only if the compensation package is very good

    • 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

    - Lots of technical problems to solve
    - Smart colleagues
    - Lots of opportunities to learn service oriented architecture and how to scale services

    Cons

    - Operations burden is high, can be excessively high depending on the team
    - Most of the teams don't have any support engineer layer in front of them contributing to the above mentioned problem
    - Equipments are OK but old models and cheap compared to other companies considered in the same league
    - Policy to sponsor for permanent residency is horrible, new college hires don't qualify for the sponsorship
    - Little to no opportunity to contribute to the open source community even though this company wouldn't exist if it didn't use tons of open source products
    - People are packed in small cube areas to the extent that sometimes workers think if they are violating the fire code
    - Almost zero perks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company can be bit less frugal to make the employees happier

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Fast-paced DevOps, Darwinian environment.

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

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

    Pros

    Some of the nicest people you'll ever work with. Very collaborative environment and everyone wants you to do well. You will always know where you stand, as all your co-workers and managers are required to enter data about you into the HR system all year. That's a little creepy, but it's better than not knowing what people really think of you. People are very respectful of each other's time and space, are incredibly hard-working and mature.

    Cons

    Not much down time and you don't feel like you can be honest about being off your game now and then. People work steadily from 9:30am until about 7pm. First impressions matter and managers maintain close scrutiny of whatever you do and what is said about you. Parking for newbies is a mile off campus because of a dispute with the landlord and you must add another 16 minutes for shuttling to and from the parking lot on either side of the day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Developers want to write code and don't want to spend half their time performing operational tasks. Too many outages result from lack of communication between groups that rely on automation to solve everything.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. Summer intership

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

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

    Pros

    Its culture is good, lots of online training inside. Almost free hotel for an internship. Seattle is beautiful.

    Cons

    Not so much help from my mentor. I need to work out a lot of things by myself. Everyone is busy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time on training. More communications.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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