Amazon Lab126 Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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3.0
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Jeff Bezos
36 Ratings

Pros
  • Compared to Apple, work-life balance is much better (in 4 reviews)

  • The people are the best I've worked with and we've seen great products result from our combined efforts (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be pretty bad (in 13 reviews)

  • Long hours - especially if one is on someone's list (in a position of power's bad side) (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

128 Employee Reviews

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  1. love it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    awesome company , high technology and and top notch people

    Cons

    controlled by WA Seattle , lots of politics.

    Advice to Management

    be indipendint


  2. FINANCIAL ANALYST II

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    fast-paced environment, up-to-date info and quick response within the teams.

    Cons

    time to establish the company's structure.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Sr. Software QA Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Learn on your own ownership some flexibility in hours can work from home at times for family reasons innovaton

    Cons

    long hours weekends some managers can be v.v.dificult tight deadlines adhoc tasks

    Advice to Management

    None


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


  5. Helpful (1)

    Great place for hardware engineers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Hardware Engineer II in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Hardware Engineer II in Sunnyvale, CA

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -You will be allowed to rise to your level and take on as much responsibility as you can. If you love to learn (and if you don’t, you’re in the wrong field) and can do so with little guidance this is a great place for it. This is a great place to gain experience and exposure to the hardware development process and fast. You’ll quickly learn all the things they never taught you in school. Having worked both here and at Apple, I would advise any new college hardware grad to work here as their first job. -Having Amazon on your resume, paired with enough time there, will be a positive signal to recruiters in the future. -You will ship product. -Hardware Engineering managers are (in my experience, and I worked for three different ones) extremely good to their employees, helpful in placing you in your areas of interest, hands off unless you need guidance. -Very little micromanaging going on here. Get the work done on time and do a good job. No one cares when you come or go. This is a meritocracy. -Work with extremely talented industry veterans in all disciplines. -Promotions do happen with regularity to those that deserve it (at least in the HW org). -As with any large company, you will have all the (insanely expensive) tools necessary to do your job. -Nearly all the people, from Zehr down are nice, relatable easy going people that will make time for you if you have any issues or concerns. -The pay is competitive with the rest of the valley. -4 weeks vacation/yr after your first two years. -work/life balance is excellent. many people here are refugees from the poor work/life balance at Apple.

    Cons

    -Too much process and bureaucracy sometimes make it difficult to get real work done. -Increasingly aggressive schedules make a mockery of the entire point of hardware development checkpoints. Some engineers with less backbone will feel like they have no choice but to do subpar work or misrepresent results in order to stay on schedule. -It’s been a bumpy ride for the past year. Lots of reorgs and product cancellations as Seattle course corrects from the fire phone failure and Lab126 figures out what it wants to be when it grows up. I expect most of the turbulence is now in the past. -There is a definite disconnect with Seattle leadership. At the end of the day, this is a hardware subdivision being run by an internet retail company. -Product Management org is (with some exceptions) completely clueless, and one gets the feeling that successes like the Echo come at random. -There is some unnecessary disconnect between hardware and software orgs (for example, you will see many SDE’s here blaming hardware for the delay or failure of the phone. Not true. Delays happened due to failures of SW leadership. The failure of the phone itself happened due to hubris on the part of bezos and product management thinking think that customers would leave their comfortable Apple or Google ecosystems for an Amazon walled garden on the strength of a hardware differentiator gimmick at the same prices as their iPhones or Galaxy S6. Whatever happened to “premium products at non premium prices?” ) -To add to the previous point, there is some bitterness within the company, post reorg, that kindle was reorganized under the phone team. The reasoning was correct, the phone team delivered on every milestone we were assigned. The same could not be said for the Kindle hardware team. The way that the reorg was handled, however, was poor, which brings me to the next point. -Communication is not a strong suit. Many good engineers have left out of frustration because they felt slighted or didn’t understand the pivots the company was making. -You won’t be babied with perks like free meals or business class flights, but honestly if that’s really that important to you you’re probably too spoiled and immature to work here anyways. -There is a very limited bus network and Seattle does not seem to have the understanding that private bus transport is vital for silicon valley companies to attract and retain talent. If you want to live in the mission in SF and board a bus at 7:30am every day, it might work for you though.

    Advice to Management

    -keep working on building bridges between sections of the company hw/sw, former siloed hworgs/ current hw orgs. -keep improving on communicating. -PDP is out of control, scale it back so that it actually serves its purpose. -Don’t approve schedules that don’t allow sufficient time for hardware validation. -Expand transit system to attract/retain talent.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Looking more and more like Apple every day

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Some cool products we're working on. Good teams. Everyone at team level working to make best product for customer satisfaction

    Cons

    Used to be a real cross-functional collaborative environment, but as we've grown, politics takes precedence, and it's looking more and more like Apple all the time. Apple is fine in its own microcosm, but the attitude doesn't fit in everywhere and grates more than facilitates. Ridiculous schedule and product changes at the last minute. Unsupportive management Not the same fun place it used to be Seattle out of touch with how Hardware design should be run, and local management appears afraid to challenge Seattle.

    Advice to Management

    Do what's right for your team and what's right for HW development. Stand up for your own people and stop worrying about your career advancement OVER supporting and developing your team. Develop the 'have FUN' part of your mantra, and that means more than a Farmer's Market in the parking lot. Right now you have the 'work hard' part down pat, but you've left the 'fun' in the dust.


  7. Strictly ok. Nothing superlative.

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

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    High visibility products with lot of scope for ground breaking and cutting edge work. Well recognized brand.

    Cons

    Poor 401K matching. Developer infrastructure is ancient. Oldschool. Very few perks & benefits


  8. Helpful (1)

    no long term vision

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

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time

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

    Pros

    Working with talent people, new cutting edge technologies, good compensation package.

    Cons

    no long term vision, don't know what happen to your current projects. There are many projects initialized quickly and then cancelled quickly. waste of resources.

    Advice to Management

    plan well and communicate to employee the long term plan to let people stay and contribute, or people are wondering and looking for new opportunities, not concentrated on what they are suppose to do.


  9. small team to get a defined task done

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SDE2 in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - SDE2 in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    -small team to make a big impact -people are willing to help and get the job done -good opportunity to learn and solve problems

    Cons

    sometimes hard to find technical guidence when get stuck "leverage X team" is used liberally when in reality it's just lacking of such resource

    Advice to Management

    develop a culture of sharing internally, keep less secretive mission raise hiring bar keep good engineers happy


  10. Helpful (3)

    you will learn a lot, but at the expense of your non-work life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Program Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Program Manager in Sunnyvale, CA

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    really smart coworkers and interesting projects ability to move to other locations and roles very strong leadership principles focus on the customer great "name" to have on the resume

    Cons

    very poor work-life balance weak HR

    Advice to Management

    obsess about your employees, the same way you do customers. You will build better teams and deliver better products Also, really focus on improving work-life balance


  11. Helpful (1)

    Making a turn back towards innovation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Operations Program Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Principal Operations Program Manager in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    After some reorganization and the typical disruption that goes with it, Lab126 seems to be finding its way back towards innovation and delivering cool products. - There are some products in the pipeline which are designed to delight customers and possibly lead them to develop new habits. - There's a good chance some new products will become successful when launched. - Work with "whip smart" people, the "best and brightest" - Even though the organization has grown from the start-up culture found in 2011, there are opportunities to make your own mark in ways I never imagined back then - If you like doing business in China, international travel and culture exchange, this is the place - There's a small but well thought out internship plan, at least in Operations; the interns all want to come back after finishing their MBA - A new focus on costs means the business will be sustainable in the long run - Solid interview process for new hires; even if they're not the right candidate, they're probably an Amazon customer. Everyone tries to make the process a good experience for the candidate, regardless. - Focus on demonstrating Amazon leadership values, and this really matters to most people in the company

    Cons

    - A new focus on costs means ideas have to pass a thorough debate with management before they can be executed, and some who propose the ideas aren't passionate enough to see the process through; some innovations might not make the cut without a business case - If you really want to be successful at the senior management level, at some point you will need to establish a network with other leaders in Seattle; some people won't want to make the effort due to geographic separation from Silicon Valley - International travel is on an economy class ticket (but hotels are nice) - You will not be coddled with free food, massages, barista drinks, etc. If that's a big deal for you, you'll be disappointed.

    Advice to Management

    - Some people here on Glassdoor complain about "politics" at Lab126, but instead of complaining, try doing something about it like reach out to other leaders in the company and influence outcomes (same goes for employees at all levels) - Spend more time developing a company culture which improves the day to day experience of employees; make them feel a part of something special



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