Amazon.com

  www.amazon.com
  www.amazon.com

Amazon.com Software engineer Reviews

Updated December 15, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014
3,934 Reviews
3.4
3,934 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,664 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

821 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 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
  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.  

    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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    personal growth, amazing technology, independence - but for a price

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

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

    Pros

    If you want to work on a huge distributed system with a lot of independence Amazon is a great place. Every team acts like a small start-up and has a lot of freedom. You will learn very quickly and get a lot of responsibility. There is no bureaucracy or processes which get in your way, so you will be able to decide on your own (with peer guidance) and build quickly. I was amazed every day how complex and challenging things I can do and how much I learned.

    If you want to have an interesting job where you can grow and do not mind to work hard you may be willing to accept that Amazon is not perfect. Yes, there are few companies which are equally interesting and have a better culture and perks, but it's much easier to fail interviews there - you know, the prettiest girl in town may be fussy like hell. Not that it's trivial to get to Amazon, but it's for sure easier.

    The unique knowledge and experience that you will get in Amazon is priceless and worth all the disadvantages described below. You will not learn distributed systems just from books and Amazon is a perfect place to do it. And there is a chance that you will fall in love with the company and stay there for long. If not, what you learn will significantly increase your chances to get a much better job.

    Cons

    There is a lot of stress and pressure, so many people around you will be overwhelmed. For the same reason personnel rotation is very high, so knowledge is constantly being lost and you are expected to live with that.

    The recruiter who contacts you at the beginning determines which team you will be in for the first year, you have very little to say about that. So ask about it at the beginning and try to find a different recruiter if you do not like what the team does.

    There are basically no perks, free food, raises or bonuses in Amazon as it operates on low margins and invests all profits. That make it very frugal. Assume that the salary & stocks which you get at the beginning is what you will receive for few years. In your office you will find all that you need, but it will not be a pretty place which you want to show to friends.

    In most cases you will be expected to be accessible by phone at any time as you are responsible for your systems to be always up and running. On-call duty takes 7 days every 6 to 9 weeks, you will not be able to code or travel during the weekend when you are on-call.

    Do not expect too much guidance from managers, often they have little technical skills.
    Your colleagues will be intelligent, but often quite competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop putting so much pressure on lower management, it propagates down to the bottom and destroys morale.
    Emphasize the value of a team instead of worshiping individuals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to work!

    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test II in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test II in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Good salary, great technology, great people.

    Cons

    Frugality is a guiding principle in the company as they see themselves as a retailer, first and foremost. It doesn't have the mindset of a Silicon Valley company regarding perks for employees such as free food.

  7.  

    Life at Amazon

    • 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 as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great Exposure
    Amazing Team Work
    Lots to learn on technology side

    Cons

    Too much work pressure
    Too much stress
    Little employee perks

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

    Lots of cool people and cool technology, but at cost of a restrictive culture.

    • 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

    Lots of intelligent engineers, and plenty of opportunities for growth internally. Amazon's internal architecture is amazing - the scale at which they operate requires them to be able to move very safely. The service-oriented architecture is a good example for anyone looking to launch a startup. Everything talks to each other through API's only - but those API's are often not well documented.

    Cons

    The company is anti-open-source, though they are getting better. Using open source technologies isn't that hard. Contributing back up is nearly impossible. Also, Amazon is the type of company that says, "All you side project are belong to us." Several other interns and I wanted to participate in a hackathon, and the conditions to participate were: Not do anything involving contacts, only work off Amazon Fire OS, and give Amazon all the rights. Since we unanimously agreed that this was absurd, we couldn't participate. Also, the perks suck, the pay is average, and the working environment for engineers isn't great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't try to restrict your employee's growth in areas outside your company. Letting your employees participating in hackathons isn't going to kill your products. Open sourcing more of the cool stuff you guys build isn't going to magically turn your competitors into Amazon-killers. Stop freaking out so much, get with the times, and let your employees be more free.

    Also, invest more in perks for your engineers. The simmering discontent is definitely there.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    learn a lot, but feel stressful.

    • 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 as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    You can learn a lot in Amazon. It is the most advanced SOC in the world.

    Cons

    feel stressful. And when you didn't get a return offer from Amazon, they didn't tell you the truth why. And many times when you get some problem, it is really hard to solve it, because it is Amazon specific, and you can't find the solution in google and feel very sad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    He should have help us more to push other teams to solve the problems when it is not our fault.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    The left hand doesn’t know what the right one does

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

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

    Pros

    - Interesting problems to work on
    - No red tape, everything is moving fast
    - First class facilities
    - Leadership committed to building software
    - Review process considers input from everyone
    - Compensation
    - Being able to make quick impact

    Cons

    - Too much freedom given to middle management – if your boss is not very experienced, your team will suffer
    - Struggling to implement uniform company culture across the company (it all looks good on paper but not in reality)
    - Lack of diversity with certain teams attracting mostly Indian IT employees
    - No life balance caused by poor management and unrealistic workload expectations
    - Serious growing pains

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more experienced management

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Intern

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    - reasonable hours
    - good pay
    - friendly coworkers
    - got to work on consumer-facing, production code as an intern

    Cons

    - work was rather boring
    - codebase was not well maintained
    - manager did not try to engage the interns
    - company can be very cold at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - engage your employees better
    - leverage the individual strengths of your engineers better
    - more benefits than the bare minimum wouldn't hurt

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Work at Amazon.com? Share Your Experiences

Amazon.com

 
Click to Rate
or

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