Amazon Lab126 Reviews

Updated August 24, 2015
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3.0
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Jeff Bezos
42 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

135 Employee Reviews

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  1. Amazon Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A great place to make a big impact on well known product families. Good compensation and vacation. The Bay Area is a nice place to live.

    Cons

    Smaller teams can mean more frequent travel to Asia. Can be hard to balance work/life and not feel the need to be constantly tethered to email.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure employees feel the workload is sustainable; they're your biggest asset. Long term vision should include long term employees.


  2. Software Development Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I got opportunities to work in many cross-functional teams with people at different technical levels.

    Cons

    If you are looking for a young and energized team, Lab 126 maybe not the best place.


  3. Depends on your motivation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Challenging and inventive work. The amount of ownership you are given over your job will force you out of your comfort zone. You will learn and you will grow at Lab. Direct contributions to very high-profile, successful products. Work with some amazing people.

    Cons

    Change is a constant. Sink or swim culture. Perks / Benefits / Compensation are average.

    Advice to Management

    More communication and openness. Many decisions are "handed down" without context.


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


  5. Sr engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time

    Pros

    Their work environment is very busy but friendlh co workers. Located in great location.

    Cons

    They're keeping you too busy that you will nees to expect crazy work hours.

    Advice to Management

    Need to have open communication


  6. Helpful (4)

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.


  7. 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
    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


  8. 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
    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.


  9. bad environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Sunnyvale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay and good benefit

    Cons

    Only can make lower end products. Bring in vendors to work for their products and people would not learn much things. Employee monitors employee by sending bad e-mail to management

    Advice to Management

    This is Jeff's company. No advice is needed.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Sr. Software QA Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    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


  11. Helpful (1)

    not recommended

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time

    Pros

    Interesting projects and smart peoples. Salary is compatible at first couple of years due to signing bonus.

    Cons

    Directions are vague, and changes often. Performance reviews are very political. Not very rewarding, no bonus system.



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