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Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
3,944 Reviews
3.4
3,944 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,671 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

578 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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
  3. 11 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
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  5.  

    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
  6. 4 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
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    SDE At Amazon

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    It was very laid back and the work was challenging and interesting. Sometimes you had to spend the few extra hours on work, but where do you not? Has a great culture with lots of opportunities for team outings. I was thoroughly surprised at the amount of room there is to grow in aspects of software and hardware development. You own you're projects and are held at a high standard.

    Cons

    Personally there wasn't anything i disagreed with in terms of company values and leadership. Also there was plenty of opportunities for personal growth!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good And Bad, But Overall Okay

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company.

    a). Amazon is perhaps one of the best companies when it comes to interesting projects. Almost includes all areas you can think of. It's leading in cloud computing and also releasing new devices yearly. Tons of challenges. Great leadership from Jeff Bezos. I like where this company is headed.

    b). Amazon has an official dog policy that allows you to bring your dog to work on a daily basis which is really cool.

    c). Paid time off 6 days. Pretty good. 3 sick days. Okay.

    Cons

    a). In terms of compensation, average base salary, great sign-on bonus, lame stock bonus over first 2 years(4 years allocation ratio of your stock bonus: 5%, 15%, 40%, 40%) then it's better. No cash bonus ever after the sign-on bonus though. You also won't receive any stock bonus on your first performance review, either. Last but not the least, their salary bump is minimal compared to other IT companies.

    b). No perk at all. You want free food? Go elsewhere. You want free parking? Go elsewhere. You want office? Go elsewhere.

    c). No green card for immigrant SDE1s because you are not valuable to the company. SDE2s will get theirs going after half a year of service. Although exceptions can be given from time to time. And usually managers understands it and will help you.

    d). Oncall experience is different significantly from teams to teams. Cannot say much about that. My team is mostly okay. But I have heard horrible stories, and I am not planning to experience those.

    e). People move very frequently. Promotion can be a problem when your manager keeps coming and going and nobody has a set of continuous datapoints of you.

    f). 2 weeks of vacation in the first year. Then 3 weeks starting from your second year. 2 weeks is well below IT company standard. Although they kind of making up for it by adding 9 extra days(6 PTO + 3 sick days)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grant green card for immigrants immediately. Add perk. Those will help you keep your employees from moving.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    I work with awesome people doing what I like to do - and get paid a whole lot to do it

    • 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 part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I get to work on very visible, customer-facing projects that make a difference to thousands of people a day. My management cares about my career growth and work-life balance. I am paid very well.

    Cons

    Many people, including myself, work 10-12 hours per day pretty frequently. On-call shifts are stressful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management is open to ideas from people at all levels, and they legitimately care about their employees' career growth.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place for internship

    • 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 an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    colorful life in Seattle, well-paid salary for interns

    Cons

    very little annual bonus

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Stressful but worthy

    • 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

    Able to get your hands on some latest technology. Seattle is a great Seattle, way better than Bay area in my opinion.

    Cons

    Stressful, workload is overwhelming. No cafeteria, no free snacks, only tea bags and coffee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get us some cafeterias, or some free snacks!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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