Amazon.com Reviews

Updated July 28, 2015
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956 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Work is only 1/2 the job

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

    I worked at Amazon.com (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Highly collaborative environment where your voice is heard. Ability to move around in the company. Fast moving new stuff all the time.

    Cons

    Continual requirement to present what you did to others, "impress them" leads to some people claiming credit for things they really didn't participate in.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize people for what they do, not what they say


  2. Helpful (4)

    Enjoyable except for on-call

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive pay, especially with stocks. Surrounded by smart people. I've never run into anyone that was a moron. A couple lazy people, but nobody that was just dense. Working on products people use and recognize. Most everything is home-grown, so if you have a problem with a tool or interface, the code is available to look at and change, or you can track down the person responsible for it. I've experienced a mostly relaxed work environment with bouts of craziness due to deadlines and big projects. It definitely varies by team/manager. They give you a transit card and will reimburse up to $160 per month of parking. I've never heard of layoffs happening ever. The past couple years have been really booming in terms of new employees joining the company. I've seen two people get "managed out of the company" for poor performance. They were both basically given a certain amount of time to find another job before they were fired. Both left with another job. I like the location. Was closer to downtown with one team and now am in South Lake Union. There's plenty of places to eat nearby and lots of new construction popping up.

    Cons

    On-call rotation sucks, there's no two-ways around that. Both teams I've been on have had a one-week per every two or three months, but it still sucks during that week. Some on-call rotations are worse. Once you have 6 or 7 years under your belt and are about SDE III, you can get out of it if you set yourself up as more of an "architect" that works across many teams within an organization. The work can consume you if you let it. I haven't had much of a problem with work-life balance (except around big deadlines and on-call), but I've worked with some people that regularly put in 10-12 hour days. I'm often the last one in and the first to leave, but I make sure to get my tasks done and nobody has said anything about it. Benefits aren't great. Their 401k match is only 50% up to a total of 2% of your compensation. So if you allocate 4% of your paycheck to the 401k, you'll max out their matching contribution. Medical, dental, and vision come out of your paycheck, but it seems cheaper than previous places I've worked. The employee discount is pitiful, 10% off anything sold by Amazon directly, but limited to $100 off per year. Prime membership isn't even included or discounted for employees. None of the other glamorous tech perks are included (free food, onsite facilities, massages, whatever). The break rooms have water and coffee and include vending machines that you have to pay for. High-density seating is annoying, and people are complaining that they don't meet OSHA standards for the number of restrooms available for all the people they've crammed onto every floor. The new buildings going up in downtown (Denny Triangle) should alleviate some of this at least temporarily. The shuttles could run a little more often, especially around quitting time. It's a 12-minute walk to the bus terminal by the convention center, but that shuttle only comes by every 30 minutes or so. They recently added another shuttle route that services that stop specifically, but the two shuttles aren't staggered, so they always end up leaving the campus about the same time, defeating its usefulness. Frugality is a core principle that drives a lot of annoying policies like the lack of cool perks and developer equipment. They've finally acquiesced that developers need two monitors at their desks. Everybody just salvaged monitors left by interns or leaving employees anyway, but now they'll give you one if you ask (they may be providing them by default to new employees, now, but I'm not sure). From what I can tell the compensation lags behind places like Google and Facebook (although is pretty close to Microsoft).

    Advice to Management

    Continue to respect employee's work-life balance preferences. Leverage more international offices to cover on-call responsibilities during US night time. Continue to ignore Wall St and shareholders to do what you think is best for the company in the long run. Perks could be better.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Interesting work, great pay, can be a steep learning curve

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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

    Pros

    There are a bazillion different projects to work on, and 95% of them are solving interesting, difficult software engineering problems. Compensation package is great. What I like best though is that everyone here is smart and motivated. Almost no slackers. Everyone is talented and (at least on my floor) works hard. Obviously it's a huge company, so my experience is just a small sample, but I'd recommend you give it a shot. Just be prepared for the rigorous computer-science-heavy technical interview. A little preparation is all it takes - there are books available on interview prep that cover all aspects of what to expect...

    Cons

    Learning curve for their home-grown tools can be steep. Nothing seems to work exactly right at first, but it just takes some practice (plus RTFM). Also, the culture is fairly Darwinian, so you are expected to figure things out yourself. a lot of the time. There is no "five minute rule" where you get to ask someone for help if you are stuck for more than 5 minutes (which is too bad when it stretches to 5 hours ...)

    Advice to Management

    I like the model here, which is management stays out of the way of each team as much as possible. Self-managed work-teams are real here.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    Good compensation, very demanding

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Good compensation * Interesting projects * Competent people * Really about the customer. In terms of compensation, I never felt under-compensated. Projects were generally interesting, and the people I worked with were generally very competent. You get the impression people really care about the customer. It's refreshing, and somewhat mitigates the amount the company pushes you.

    Cons

    * Always demand a lot * Bad - terrible work/life balance * Few additional benefits Amazon will always demand a lot from you, not just your managers, but your peers as well. Faltering is something that will tend to be noticed.

    Advice to Management

    Finding ways to better work life balance and giving employees more feedback have both been issues in my time at amazon.


  6. SDE1

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Work related to cutting edge technology

    Cons

    Oncalls can be little annoying but manageable. Remote HQ creates some issue


  7. Employeee review

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fast Paced Environment, great sense of ownership, huge impact and plenty of opportunities to work

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunities for upward career growth. Very Chaotic work environments. Work is over hyped. Too much focus on documentation, operational tasks. Not a lot of technically challenging work


  8. Everyone should work here for at least once.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    * Smart people to work with * Awesome culture driven by customer focus and 14 leadership principles. * Very very less office politics.. again customer in front * challenging projects & work environment

    Cons

    * Compensation and benefits * Not a place for everyone. Can be challenging for some

    Advice to Management

    Doing good.


  9. Helpful (7)

    You work hard - company will have fun and make history

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots to learn Lots of new technologies to learn Amazon internal tools are really good. It makes you more productive. The wiki pages are well written and well maintained. You can find any information on your own. Full ownership of projects (which really means more work)

    Cons

    Work life balance is definitely missing. You can easily expect 50 - 60 hours work week There is a lot of micro management. I have coined a new term - nano management for this


  10. Helpful (1)

    Good place for a college grad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Initially competitive pay for college grads * A well known company

    Cons

    * long hours * very political review/promotion process * essentially any code you write (even outside of work) is owned by Amazon * uses open source, does not contribute to open source * a lot of bureaucracy * very little engineer autonomy, your roadmap is set (and constantly changed) by VPs and PMs who are making decisions based on what, politically, is best for their careers


  11. Helpful (6)

    smart people to work with

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people. Lots of work to do. Being in Seattle the salary looks good. Stock options are decent.

    Cons

    Darwanian culture. You have to be good at arguing and have to really shout your way into things if you really wanna succeed. There is nothing call work life balance. They just make you work.



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