Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
4,136 Reviews
3.4
4,136 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,772 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

848 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Intern

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

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    The experience / dynamics of working on a team in real life on a real project

    Cons

    As with all companies this large, bureaucracy

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Bad experience, but very team-dependent

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    Huge company - Lots of opportunities if you want to change your career path or switch teams

    Name recognition - nice to have a big company like Amazon on your resume

    Flexible work options - You can work from home without missing too much (team-dependent and job-dependent)

    Benefits - The bus pass and 10 percent off discount off of the website are good perks. Health insurance was decent. Kitchenette was available and clean. Some teams/organizations have free food in the kitchens.

    Pay - Salary was above average for the area, but still not as much as other big tech companies.

    Cons

    Huge company - You can't turn your head in South Lake Union without seeing an Amazon employee wearing a blue badge. The company is expanding extremely rapidly, and while they are building new office spaces in downtown Seattle, work spaces feel cramped. You'll feel like a number at company meetings.

    Work-life balance - On-call rotations are a norm because of the companies notion of 'ownership'. Though I was an software developer, managers are also subject to being paged. My shift usually started between 9 and 10 am and most days didn't end until after 7pm. This was normal for all of my team members. Of course, this is also very team-dependent.

    Benefits - The retirement plan is lackluster compared to other tech companies. New hires only get two weeks of paid vacation (10 paid days off not including weekends and holidays). That's lower than all companies I've researched. Not only is it lower than other companies, you are not given your vacation days upfront. You a portion of them per month. Also, Amazon (in the U.S.) only recognizes 5 holidays, versus most other companies which I've seen with a minimum of 8 paid holidays).

    Your happiness here is directly influenced by the team you're put on. If you don't like your team, you can either leave the company or wait out until the first anniversary of your employment. After one year of employment, you are allowed to switch teams (if you have a good performance review). You might still need to interview with the team that you plan to switch to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow employees to do what it says in their job description. Managers should manage and developers should develop. Increase benefits and perks and address work-life balance issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    AWesome company oto work for

    • 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

    competitive environment. People are very helpful

    Cons

    bad city. almost a dead one

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you rock!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    More like Amazon(e)

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

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

    Pros

    - The company cares a lot about it's customers and strives for excellence
    - There are so many exciting and interesting products/ projects people work on. (And you can definitely ping anyone about what they are working on)
    - There are so many smart and highly motivated people

    Cons

    - Chances of getting to work on something you enjoy? Very low unless you have a very good recruiter. The recruiter can thus really change your experience greatly!
    - Your enjoyment relies heavily on your team. I put this as a con because the chances are low and it once again, depends on your recruiter
    - Very evident male dominated culture. I noticed and saw some incidents dismissing the women orgs and concerns they brought up.
    - Very corporate (maybe unless you move up the ladder). Everyone is treated as a cog in the machine, and this often led to non-collaborative environments from what I saw.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Smaller teams
    - Do a better job of pairing people with their interests
    - Support the women in tech mission. Actually support it and not "claim" to do so.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Freedom and fast pace. Good tech. Management can be better.

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    You can run your own agenda inside this company, there's a lot of freedom to try new ideas. There's a plethora of technology experts and internal services that enable you to build great things. There are tech talks all the time by senior engineers. If you have your own agenda, this is the place to go.

    Amazon has built a great software toolbox for its own internal operations. A lot of tools are aimed at analytics. This is a data-driven company and the toolbox is there to empower this thinking. I really love that aspect of Amazon.

    I haven't had any bureaucracy problems here. This is a lean company and logistics are very high-performing. IT support is fast and effective.

    In Amazon, there's freedom, and that freedom is backed by the leadership principles. You can find them on the company's jobs website. This culture is extremely empowering. They ask you to be a leader, in writing. If you like to do so, you feel backed by the company's culture from the very first day.

    The buildings are functional and comfortable. You can bring your dog, and there are kitchenettes in every floor. I like my workplace, it's just right for me.

    The office culture looks cold. You don't talk to people unless you need to (including saying hi). This was shocking to me the first days, but now I got used to it and I'm starting to think that it's better to maintain focus.

    Cons

    Rather than a "con", this is the counterpart of the pros: everyone is busy running their own agenda, and so you need to care about yourself. In particular, you need to be able to back your decisions with data, solid arguments, or evident results.

    Now, something that I really don't like is that my boss has been breaking a lot of promises and it looks like he doesn't care about it. That's something plainly bad. I just cannot trust my boss' word.

    The food in the cafeterias is rather expensive.

    Be ready to negotiate your salary. They will definitely try to save money. Don't undersell yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't make breaking promises a policy and give your reports the time they deserve.

    Maintain the data-based approach for measuring people's contribution. It's good and fair.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good work experience for new grads

    • 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

    - pretty decent work life
    - smart co workers
    - collaborative environment

    Cons

    - low pay
    - slow career progression

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    company with good technology but poor compensation

    • 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

    smart people, flexible hours, best cloud infrastructure in the world.
    Overall very talented people working with each other, especially AWS has some of the best calibers in the industry.

    Cons

    poor compensations, on-calls duties, management sometimes don't know what the heck they are doing.
    Compensation is a joke compared to other competitors in the industry. For the amount of work that people do, at least have some respect and pay them properly!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work, depends on the team though.

    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    - Lots of learning opportunities with wide range of technologies being used
    - Good pay and benefits
    - Management cares for personal growth and career development

    Cons

    - Some times work-life balance can be a challenge depending on the team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    A Positive experience overall

    • 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

    1. on an avg,you will find quite a few smart people around you ( depends on the team)
    2. lots of learning opportunities.
    3. can easily switch teams within Amazon.com. you can pick teams working on your area of interest or choose one to learn a completely new problem space/technology.

    Cons

    1. stock price has gone down in the last year thereby reducing the paycheck.
    2. inconsistent hiring bar across teams. so you will indeed find difference in quality of engineers you work with depending on the team.
    3. fast changing requirements may mean that what you worked on for past 1 year is literally trashed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazing workplace; excellent environment.

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Truly an amazing and innovative place to work. I have had nothing short of joy working with my team and the highly scalable tools that the infrastructure provides. It can be quite the load of work at times, but you are always encouraged to automate and innovate--even when that means tearing out the old stuff you don't like. The whole world is your playground here.

    Cons

    Workload can be high, but it is manageable--they are very considerate about work-life balance, and offer easy VPN access when working from home is necessary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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