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Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated November 22, 2014
Updated November 22, 2014
3,855 Reviews
3.4
3,855 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,621 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 115 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 340 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 616 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 140 reviews)

More Highlights

569 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 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
  2. 1 person 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
  3. 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
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  5.  

    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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun Challenging Team working on innovating with customer input on the retail website

    • 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

    Own your own product from end to end. From design and vision through to technology stack and ownership

    Cons

    Getting the opportunity really depends on what team you land in within the company. Some roles are fantastic some are terrible

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to go beyond and above to ensure that the people they manage are happy. The fact that they are not complaining is not a positive. If they are not singing your praises then something can be improved. Keep a finger on the pulse

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Summer Internship at AWS

    • 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

    1. Competitive compensation
    2. Flexible working time

    Cons

    1. Team where I am in is too large
    2. The assignment is boring

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Divide the group into more subgroups

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    i probably became a worse engineer while i was here, a better manager, and a much better bureaucrat

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

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

    Pros

    internal tech talks are decent, amazon brand on the resume, great view from the office

    Cons

    Depends on the team - some teams have had all their software development abstracted out into poorly written or maintained internal tools, and you're basically a human grease monkey script. Disclaimer: some internal tools are fantastic, others are horrible and create operational issues.
    Being on-call is basically a way for them to pay you a 40 hour week, but work you 50-80 (depending on the team)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward top performing outliers - either don't place them into the "compensation calculator", or fix the algorithm.
    Raise the hiring bar to 75th percentile

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

    All work and no play.

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good starting salary

    Stock that unlocks the more you stay with the company

    Top tier company with a great name on your resume

    Interesting work.

    Cons

    Bad work life balance. Being on-call can kill your plans for the weekend. Management spins this as taking ownership of your projects, but really, it's just Amazon being too frugal to hire support engineers.

    Depending on the team you join, management can be either a pleasure to deal with, or a complete pain.

    Company is stack ranked, which leaves room for co-workers to inflate their accomplishments at the cost of others. You really have to fight for your promotion here, because others will fight for theirs.

    Company is very frugal when it comes to basic office resources. Things like dual monitors and quad core desktops are hard to come by, and you're supposed to make do with whatever you have.

    Small, if any, salary bumps per yearly review. It doesn't really matter how hard you work at this company; the increase in pay you receive year over year is usually negligible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more resources into your employees happiness and satisfaction with work. Eliminate the stack ranking that occurs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    TECHNICAL ANALYST

    • 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

    Good compensation, friendly people and work environment.

    Cons

    Lacks employee development opportunities and lack of discipline in management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take responsible actions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unique place to work and can teach you good leadership values

    • 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

    Leadership principles in Amazon makes it still work like a start-up by developing leaders in the small teams to own their systems and products. Each development team works like its own start-up, each day the developers are encouraged to think big and show ownership. Being vocally self critical is highly encouraged and it makes the teams openly identify areas to improve and act upon them. Most people are smart and have their own core strengths. The people who stay long are generally seasoned leaders even though they are individual contributors, they look out for mentoring and developing the best.
    The experience gained working at Amazon is valuable. It can be applied at any other start-up/other big/established company which works similar to a start-up effectively.

    Cons

    Lots of type A personalities with strong opinions and ideas. If you are able to deal with such members in a team its an advantage. Promotions are hard and can be cut throat. Recognition to the work you have done in terms of getting up the ladder can be challenging. Everyone is smart and hard working which will make it hard to get recognized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promoting from within can help with the retention instead of hiring senior positions from outside the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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