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Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
4,190 Reviews
3.4
4,190 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,802 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 118 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 636 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 145 reviews)

More Highlights

605 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great internship experience

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

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

    Pros

    It was my first internship so I can't make comparisons, but I enjoyed working on a project that had immediate impacts with smart co-workers. The internship confirmed that I love working as a software developer.

    Cons

    Maybe it was because I was an intern but I felt it was hard to approach some of the people in the other teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Working Hard

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    You will be always busy and learn new areas. There are no significant boundary.
    The code base are open. You can access most of the company's code.

    Cons

    The operation work are heavy in some sort.
    On-call.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good learning experience; too much politics.

    • 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 a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Amazon is a great place to learn and grow. At least my team encourages this fully. Many teams encourage you to find where you fit best after you start with them (in case you get bored Amazon would rather keep you around and place you somewhere else than let you go). Amazon workers have a wide variety of ages, experiences, and personalities.

    Amazon teams are small and run like independent start ups. They report up the chain, but are largely autonomous. They can create their own tools, make their own decisions, give away tools, re-write everything to use a different language. Do whatever they want as long as its giving value to Amazon as a whole. I know of only one case where a team was disbanded because it was (at the time) not worth the money put into it. None of the engineers were sacked they were simply put on other teams.

    Continuous deployment. Amazon (with a few special exceptions) promotes continuous deployment of software. I often deploy deltas for the project(s) i'm working on 5+ times a day.

    Cons

    Far too political. It is difficult to move up at Amazon because so much of it is politics. Does your boss like you enough? Have you developed the right connections across the company? Can you write a 20 page document that explains exact situations that you've accomplished each of the Amazon goals and tenants? There is little reward for the code you've written, problems you've solved, and ideas you've offered unless you have the connections and can write the stories.

    Too much operational overhead / reactive problem solving. Amazon keeps its teams small. This is good, but also bad. Too often we are stopped from working on our current projects and deadlines in order to respond to operational burdens and to react to an idea that someone had. A security fix here, a customer request there, January review season, and other things that I cannot give details about. As a professional Software Engineer, I want write code. Not review documents. I don't mind flushing out bugs and responding to feature requests. I just don't like being told to do so immediately at the expense of other deadlines.

    It goes a bit without saying you need to be good at socializing and communicating. It is not good enough at Amazon to be (one of) the best member(s) of your team. You have to be great at talking to other people. This is not a place for the shy, quiet hard worker. Delivering results isn't enough.

    Compensation package is oddly distributed. I would rather get an even amount of stock each year that I work here, but you get 80% of this part of compensation in your 3rd and 4th year. This is unlike most other tech companies, and is targeted at retaining employees. However the better way to maintain employees might be to reduce the politics.

    Frugality. One of Amazon's tenets is being Frugal. I understand the reasons behind it, its not just to save the company money, but also to inspire deeper thinking and looking for new solutions. But Amazon could do a little more to make its employees more comfortable. Nicer computers, snacks, even periodic lunches. Small things I know, but they help bring employees together just as well as they make them happier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to reduce the politics. Its ridiculous. Some people are great programmers, but terribly shy. That shouldn't bar them from being promoted or moving up. The idea of having two seasons where you can potentially get promoted a year is also ridiculous. When a person earns it they should receive it. It would probably be less work for management if they didn't have to go through 100 documents 2 times a year, and instead did 10 documents every now and then.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Software Development Engineer II

    • 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

    Pros

    1. Startup like work, with teams owning operational and development tasks
    2. Project completion rate is high
    3. Get to work with the best engineers

    Cons

    1. Poor work life balance
    2. High pressure
    3. No perks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better work life balance

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    SDE

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Payment is not so bad.

    Cons

    Not so good for a starter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Okay overall

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Highly technical environment filled with smart and nice people

    Cons

    Too much operational work thus less time spent on coding
    Poor work/life balance but it depends on which team you are in

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Decent work environment

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Can be good to work on products that have such a huge customer base. Despite being such a big company, a lot of the teams are still relatively small.

    Cons

    On many teams, i've heard the work-life balance can be terrible. It seems like a lot of people here burnout pretty fast. Largely depends on your team though. Career-wise, there aren't too many positions within the Software Engineering career path. The majority of the engineers get to either the SDE 1 or SDE 2 level before they leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Review

    • 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

    Pros

    Technology, team work, fast pace, better for fresh graudate to get experience

    Cons

    bad working environment, bad manager if you happen to meet, peer pressure, bad work life balance, on call, on call, on call!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Smart people makes it worth working for Amazon

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Employees are intelligent and committed and you will get to learn a lot from them. The compensation is good. You will be judged fairly, based on your performance.

    Cons

    It is mostly work and no play. There is nothing free in Amazon - no free food and stuff like that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add that missing 'play'

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good place to work

    • 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

    Pros

    Good compensation in initial salary

    Cons

    Not much benefits for employees

    Recommends

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