Amazon.com software engineer Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
3,507 Reviews
3.3
3,507 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,429 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

748 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots to learn.

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    1. Good learning experience
    2. Very fast paced environment with lots of tools to learn .

    Cons

    People in management do not treat people with that much respect but do their job well.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Its ok not much exciting

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Company is doing good financially however sometimes it gets too overwhelming

    Cons

    Not the best place to work if you want to grow.

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

    Generally satisfied Amazonian here...but I can only speak for my team

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    As mentioned in the title, I've only worked on one team at Amazon, and it is in the context of a new/secret project, so I'm not sure my experiences are representative of the company as a whole. That being said:

    - Fast pace
    - Plenty of responsibility
    - End-to-end project ownership
    - Smart co-workers

    Cons

    - Not the most "positive vibe"
    - Collaboration with other teams can be a bit adversarial (I guess this is a slightly less vague example of my first con)
    - Work environment: open work space (lots of interruptions), frequent moving (on a rapidly-growing team, anyway), dearth of conference rooms
    - Focus on code quality tends to lapse severely in the face of totally arbitrary deadlines -- and isn't usually accounted for at all during planning

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 15 people found this helpful  

    Good work, mediocre work environment.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    Amazon as a company is growing rapidly. It's going into new markets and challenging big players as well as innovating in markets where it's already quite ahead. There is no dearth of choice when you are working at Amazon. There are a number of teams working on different products across all sorts of areas.

    The best part is that the work which you do will get shipped.

    That's the main thing which I love about Amazon. Software you write will see light of day in say 6 months. That's how quickly things move here. Teams are small and ownership is more. Process is lightweight and will never hinder you. I have never been asked to fill in time-sheets or made to give hourly estimates. People are friendly. Technical arguments are settled based on data and with respect.

    Amazon does most of its development in Java and uses a lot of open-source software. This frees engineers to focus on problems rather than re-engineer software which already exists.

    Although some teams have poor work-life balance, the ones which I have worked in had no such problems. I have been able to do a 9-5 on most days without any work carrying over to the weekends.

    Cons

    The rapid growth of Amazon and increasing head counts have put a lot of pressure on the buildings which house Amazon employees. Many Amazon buildings are packed. Seating is cramped and elevator rides can be too close for comfort.

    Career growth is hard. Starting developers enter at SDE 1 with a clear path to SDE 2, but from there on out it's hard to get to SDE 3 or above. Employees on immigrant work visas like H1B should know that Amazon does not start your permanent residency process till you hit SDE 2 (level 5). This is where sometimes politics rears its ugly head. You might find really hard working engineers play the game.

    Amazon does not give you additional perks if you compare it with companies like Microsoft or Google. Apart from the 10% discount on Amazon purchases (capped at $100) and few team outings you won't get much. Don't expect to get the latest Amazon gadgets for free.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix at least the first two problems listed in the Cons section.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good Learning Experience, But can be hectic

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    - Great compensation
    - Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development
    - looks good on resume

    Cons

    - Depending on the team, work-life balance can be virtually non-existent. This is highly dependent on the manager
    - No perks such as free food, drinks, etc in majority of Amazon (In the palo alto office, we do get free snacks and drinks)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so dam frugal, improve the perks to match other tech giants.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Employees are a commodity

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay is competitive with other tech companies.

    Cons

    Frugality will drive you up the wall (takes an act of congress to get a 2nd monitor, no perks to speak of). Tools are complicated, frustrating, and slow. 4-year refresh cycle on already underpowered laptops. Lots of people constantly stressed to the limit with oncall duty and unrealistic expectations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show that you value your employees by placing value on their time. Spend some money to make employees more productive, and the investment will pay for itself quickly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Imbalance work-life; super frugal; customers and then products are more important than employes' lives

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting projects; lost of technical challenges;

    Cons

    Super frugal; can be mean; working space is small; you will need air to breath; PCs, keyboards, monitors, mices are low-quality and cheap things; You have only 1 monitor for working only. Even coffee cups don't have lids or insulators. Managers ask you about your progress on projects all over the time.
    High bar-raiser, difficult promotions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    words to reduce frugality. care more about personal and family lives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    An exercise in frustration

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay is very good for an internship.

    Projects are generally important, but relatively small (compared to full time employees) features or services. In general, they seem more important than projects interns at other companies talk about getting.

    Lots of opportunities and events hosted for interns to learn about other parts of the company or learn in general.

    Smart coworkers.

    Frequent events and talks on interesting subjects across the company.

    Cons

    Due to unique circumstances, I ended up being expected to complete a full-summer project in only half the time any other intern had, due to issues with my original project.

    Corporate housing can be very difficult, I ended up in a hotel without a way to do laundry or cook food (only a 1.3 cu ft. mini-fridge and a coffee pot) with a meal-plan for breakfast/dinner only that didn't fully cover the cost of food at that hotel (pricey, exclusive club hotel). Ended up spending quite a bit of money eating out to avoid eating the same 4 things from their menu all the time. Hotel offered dry-cleaning at $8/shirt and $10-16/pair of pants and no laundromat in the area. (Didn't know about the laundry until I arrived)

    Management frequently changed their minds on aspects of my 2nd project that prevented me from making progress at all for the first few weeks.

    No training for team-specific tools (on my team at least) and methods, only the general training for new employees which wasn't enough for either of my projects.

    Poor documentation of many of the existing systems, making it difficult to learn how they work and how to use them.

    Full-time employees frequently work weekends in addition to 50-60+ hour work weeks during normal working days.

    Seeing full-time employees on pager duty looks terrible (the hours they end up being in the office and woken up in the middle of the night/on weekends would eat up nearly 100% of anyone's spare time).

    Parking at the office is not free or paid for by the company. Parking costs quite a bit more than the amount you can file to have reimbursed every month. (I didn't bring a car to avoid this issue, in addition to parking at corporate housing not being paid for at all.)

    Pay is on a monthly basis, plan ahead for your start date if you don't have enough money going in to pay for food/parking/laundry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HR - pay closer attention to the hotels you choose; stranding an intern without a way to clean their clothes isn't cool (or at least inform them that laundry facilities aren't at their hotel when it is assigned so they can plan ahead)

    Managers - plan the project ahead of time, it gets very confusing to have things get changed on a daily basis for the first few weeks on the project because it wasn't planned out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    great company for consumers

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Talented people, downtown/near-downtown location.
    Different teams can feel very different. But overall they hold similar culture.
    If you are lucky and find a reasonable team, you might be able to enjoy it. But not so much for other teams.

    Cons

    it's better to be a customer than an employee.
    no work life balance. management expects you to work late.
    uncompetitive compensation.
    on-call.
    political issue. This can be nasty sometimes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Learned a lot about engineering and work/life balance

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You work with smart nice people. There is definitely cutting edge technology in some groups. Amazon won't crumble anytime soon

    Cons

    What group you are in drastically impacts your work/life balance, the interest of the engineering, your ability to advance, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for Amazon.com? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.