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Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated November 26, 2014
Updated November 26, 2014
3,865 Reviews
3.4
3,865 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,628 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

570 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    operational load

    • 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

    good infrastructure
    lot to learn
    smart guys

    Cons

    operational load
    cheap stuff
    no lunch
    work-life banlance bad

  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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
  7. 10 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
  8.  

    Great company to work for

    • 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

    This company is great at letting you work the best way you can. Hours range from coming in at 7am - 11am and from going home from 4pm to 8pm. Washington is a great place to live.

    Cons

    Amazon can be very busy at times and you may be asked to work late or on weekends. Also being on call sucks and there is a constant on call rotation in this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more social events between the busy seasons

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Absolutely brilliant coworkers. Poor work/life balance.

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Have unlimited opportunities
    Completely own your projects
    brilliant and passionate colleagues

    Cons

    poor work-lift balance
    not so great compensation considering the amount of work needs to be done

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    A good team makes all the difference

    • 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

    Fast growth means that promotions are common and expected. It's a good place to gain a lot of experience, fast, and get rewarded for it. I am lucky to have a great set of managers, who minimize the (inevitable) bureaucracy and look for our best interests. The workload is very manageable; my team works 40--44 hours a week.

    The company is in a dense area of Seattle, so it's very convenient to reach work by mass transit.

    Cons

    Telecommuting is not as accepted as I would prefer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 18 people found this helpful  

    College grad labor mill. Not for families or those who like happiness.

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

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

    Pros

    Money. That is absolutely the only reason to work at Amazon. With it, they buy your very existence and then thoroughly expect to have it.

    Cons

    It is an entire culture of "You should have done more." Expect to wake up and go to bed guilty every day, no matter what you accomplish. They are geared for working with college kids that have never functioned outside a high-pressure institution. They try to mirror the collegiate environment in many ways. It is festive, loud, full of alcoholics, and designed to consume every moment of your life, just like college. If you have a family, a soul, or otherwise want to be a happy person, this is not the company for you. At least not for more than a year or so.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to scare the eggs out of your chickens. If you just take care of your chickens, they will lay eggs all by themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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