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A9.com Reviews

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Brian Pinkerton
5 Ratings
  • Helpful (9)

    One of the best companies in Silicon Valley, highly recommend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at A9.com full-time (More than 3 years)


    1) very friendly and family-like atmosphere (not everyone feels this way, your mileage may vary, but it was true for me and it's true for many people) 2) location allows for lunch in Palo Alto downtown restaurants 3) 2 minutes walking from Palo Alto caltrain 4) very healthy work life balance for OK performers, also plenty of opportunities for running extra mile but unlike some other companies there's no peer pressure to actually run extra mile, people do it behind the scenes thanks to flexibility (next point) 5) a lot of flexibility in schedule: 80% of people work 9:30-6, but core business hours when meetings are scheduled are normally 11-4 (depending on a team). many teams allow working from home 1-2 days a week, depending on a project, etc. 6) unique high scale projects executed by very small workforce relative to how other companies solve similar problems (really an opportunity to contribute a lot and put cool stuff on your resume), little overhead and a lot of freedoms in getting things done, smart engineers. 7) local culture is different from Amazon's Seattle, there's some layer of isolation (good thing)


    (some of it didn't apply to me personally, but I should highlight it anyway) 8) salary is competitive only to some point, it's bigger than most startups and mid-range companies but may be smaller than some large tech competitors can offer, 9) Amazon's motivation system (which unfortunately in place with the subsidiaries as well) is screwed in various ways: 9.1) reward loop may be anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 years from the moment you did something cool to the moment you actually receive that extra stock (annual perf process with new stock grant given with half a year delay, and this stock grant only vests in a year), 9.2) there's a punishment if Amazon stock goes up, your pending unvested shares seem to be regularly re-evaluated at current market rate, and for a new grant you only get a delta of how much you deserve minus how much you're already getting (this may be zero for high performers if stock has grew by a lot), 9.3) there's also a punishment if Amazon stock goes down - you just get less that year, because any new compensation for the difference will vest only a year later; based on my general observations, A9 probably does some tweaks to soften the effect of this stupid system, but it cannot completely dismiss the system; 10) probably due to the fact A9 is small and family-like, there's some notable variety in skills and personalities of managers in various groups; this, depending on your own personality and skills, may be beneficial for you or not so. 11) there are some gaps in common infrastructure such as source, build and deployment systems, which are outside of A9's control, and they either hurt productivity or require unwanted hacks or home-grown solutions, where instead the common infrastructure should get fixed.

    Advice to Management

    Jeff Bezos should read p.9 and fix the compensation system. This will be a major win. After that is done, Jeff Bezos should read p.11 and give more love (and headcount?) to the common Amazon infrastructure teams.

A9.com Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at A9.com (Palo Alto, CA) in September 2015.


    I first got email from the HR. He introduced me the company a little bit and talked about my resume. A coordinator then reached out to me asking time availability for a phone screen. The next-step is to go to A9 and meet the interviewers by person. They are all pretty nice.

    Interview Questions

    • Get the k most hottest recently searched keywords.   1 Answer

A9.com Awards & Accolades

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Additional Info

Website www.a9.com
Headquarters Palo Alto, CA
Size 201 to 500 Employees
Operated By Amazon.com
Founded 2003
Type Subsidiary or Business Segment
Industry Information Technology
Revenue Unknown / Non-Applicable
Competitors Unknown

A9.com, an Amazon company, solves some of the biggest challenges in search and advertising. We focus on helping people find the things they want. Our technologies power all of the search platforms on Amazon.com, from the search engine to the visual search technology behind Firefly and the AWS CloudSearch service. A9 advertising drives the publisher products for Amazon’s ad programs. Our Ad Platform handles billions of queries and supports the web’s largest publishers as well as the smallest independent mobile developers. Our team is an eclectic group of ... More

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