Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
3,654 Reviews
3.3
3,654 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,505 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 112 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 331 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 599 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 138 reviews)

More Highlights

774 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    I left the company and I never look back.

    • 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 full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You can meet some really bright engineers here. And you can learn some really good design of big projects. Bear in mind not every project is good and not every engineer in AWS is bright.

    Cons

    Managers have no clue what is going on and they are not interested either. But they are fond of micromanagement. I unfortunately worked for some managers from Microsoft and all they know is comparing levels and hiring from Microsoft. The turn-over rate is so high you hardly find a knowledgable person that are available to help. Also, since many people just abandon the ship half way through their projects, new comers are forced to pick up some dubious and horrible code bases to start with. Plus the operational stuff is a big pain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being cheap. Frugality is stupid for a tech company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    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
  3. 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
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  5.  

    People around me are good.

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The technics of colleagues are very high and they are helpful.
    The whole working environment improved the technics much.

    Cons

    The pressure is a little bit high.
    The welfare is not good than other equivalent companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leader can be not that push

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 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
  7.  

    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
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intelligent, motivated coworkers in a fast-paced environment with constantly-shifting goals.

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Your coworkers are generally motivated, capable people. Compensation is reasonable, given cost-of-living in the Seattle area. Lots of good places to eat in South Lake Union.

    Cons

    Emphasis on quantity over quality, in spite of the Amazon Leadership Principles. Engineers are second-class citizens in some divisions where business people rule the roost. Long hours. Lots of internal bureaucracy. Strong case of NIH syndrome. High employee turnover. No company shuttles to the Eastside (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, ...).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower engineers to do their jobs well. Do a better job at creating requirements and strategies and sticking to them.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Good experience in general

    • 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

    Salary is good and get stokcs vests over first 4 years. Very challeging nad will push you to your limits and beyond. But good experience with Amazon. You are empowered ot have a direct impact on customers and hte business.

    Cons

    No work life balance. It might not be the good place if you are planning to stay long. It's a "sink or swim" environment.

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

    It all depends on your team

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is like a company of companies. You will have different experiences depending on which team you work on. I say this because, I interned at Amazon twice... on different teams. You can't judge the company as a whole when it comes to your work experience. Also, your manager is very important, when it comes to dictating your experience at Amazon.

    The general pros of working here:

    -So many smart people, you will find a lot of diversity here as well.
    -Interesting projects and products that they have
    -Great salary, relocation, and starting bonuses
    -Working from Home is an option, as long as you get your work done
    -Lots and lots of different technologies used spread through different teams
    -You can come in to work late... How late depends on team of course.
    -You may get invited to free fun events! ie: Free food, sports, etc. (very team dependent)

    Cons

    -Work-life balance can be pretty bad. I've had experiences where people get to leave early or late. It depends on the person and how much work is assigned to them. Also, of course, their skill level
    -A lot of tasks are assigned to you
    -On-call can be hectic, this is team dependent, some teams have a easier On-call experience then others...
    -Code base might be outdated, and annoying to work with
    -You may plateau in learning, depending on what your team does, (Maintenance vs Creating)

    Before joining Amazon, try to look into which teams are generally good and which aren't. I won't lie, that is, most of the teams tend to get bombarded with work and stay at work late.

    Overall, it's a nice company to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Lower the work load, make employees more happier.
    -Measure each team's work load and try to make team bigger if it's too high.
    -Add overtime salary for people that have to stay late
    -More fun events for all teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging project with nice teammates

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

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

    Pros

    There are not many places that has this scale of business.

    Cons

    People come and go too frequently.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you think is right.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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