Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,796 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 2,796 reviews

                             

87% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,043 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend
2,796 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly"
    in 264 reviews
  • "You learn a lot about leadership principles and how to manage people"
    in 78 reviews
Cons:
  • "Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel"
    in 438 reviews
  • "Pathetic culture-no work life balance/poor pays shares are deceiving/Extremely political"
    in 100 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

More of operational work for SDEs

Software Design Engineer (Current Employee)
Bangalore (India)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

Pros1. Exposure to E-commerce business, high scale applications and AWS technology(If most of the things are already built in your team, you may just get awareness of how the systems are working but no real hands on. New systems are mostly developed by senior members of the team)
2. Leadership principles which you can apply at any other workplace.

Cons1. No work life balance...Heavily stretched work hours even if you are not oncall. It's common for a manager to come to you at 6pm and asking you to complete a task by EOD,
2. Oncall - Need to be on support for a whole week(rotated among team members)..For high severity issues your availability is expected 24x7. You may have to wake up at midnight to check why a host is down.
3.You may spend more time into operations and understanding amazon business. I wonder if 10% of a SDE time really goes into coding/designing..
4.. Everyone- SDEs/Managers/Ops team have work pressure..Even a coolest manager may yell at you..
5. Frugality - workplaces are crowded..it's disturbing at times when some SDEs do louder conversation to make whole floor listen about the cool thing they are talking about..Need to open a ticket even to get a water bottle. ..No admin/supporting team for employees..If you had worked at some other company you will find it strange that to get a HR address proof letter you need to prepare it yourself, take a print and go to HR for a signature..
6. No performance bonus. Also one would not get any additional stock award in the first 2 years.

Advice to Senior ManagementRealize the importance of work life balance..

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Horrible Place

Associate (Current Employee)
Lexington-Fayette, KY

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

ProsHealth insurance is pretty good and the pay is decent but not really if you compare it to other places

ConsLow pay the management is horrible they never know what hand is doing what they make the rules up as they go. They cant stand the thought of you talking about a union they work you like a dog and no fun so I am not sure were there motto plays a role cause I have yet to have fun there. I along feel like a slave or prisoner being watched all the time having to go through two sets of security is crazy. They treat employees like crap they think of them as a number not a human. So if you don't make the number then they don't want you. I just wish that the customers would see how they treat their people and they wouldn't support them either. Just another reason why corporate America stinks because these big companies want to kill there employees. The 5 min breaks are nice as well but keep in mind they are suppose to be 15 min and lunch 30 but you know its company policy to cut that short don't matter what the federal law says when your amazon. Oh yeah and they don't that if it comes a snow storm they want you risk your life to come to work and no matter what unless that is you are on dayshift then you can close for the day and not count against you. Kind of strange how that works. So if you want to work your life away with no time with family this is great place but I don't I love my family and they are more important to me then Amazon and if you want to move up then you better know somebody or be ready to bend over and take cause that your only way to the top. I cant wait to be out of there and find a career that has values and morals that I stand for and to work at a place where you matter your not a number or a dollar sign.

Advice to Senior ManagementQuit worrying about flying a drone or whatever and focus on the people that make your company which is the people that come in everyday and give up their life and try to keep their heads above water while you all drive around in your 100,000 dollar vehicles and live in your million dollar homes and don't care about the people. Its time you either stand behind your motto or step out of the way a let a real company that cares about its people take over somebody like Costco, Sams club,Overstock.com a these are all true companies. To Jeff bezzo quit trying to get to space and invest that money into your workers families and support them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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growing too fast to keep up

Investigation Specialist (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat healthcare benefits and package.

ConsNo support from your manager. Had 4 managers in 4 years, goals were constantly changed and growth was dependent on metrics, so this greatly affected my ability to be promoted. So difficult to transfer within or grow. So much bureaucracy! Terribly negative work atmosphere. Felt like a machine.

Advice to Senior Managementlearn some human compassion and listen to what your team needs! Also, if you want to always raise the bar by hiring better people, remember that you should hire people who are qualified, but PLEASE learn to not hire people who are SO overqualified to do such basic jobs!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Everything is not what it seems.. what looks like a dream becomes a nightmare

Diigital Specialist (Former Employee)
Kennewick, WA

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

Prosno dress code.. somewhat flexible time off. I say that because if you run out of time and something major happens to you, there is a big possibility you will lose your job. Especially if you are seasonal.

ConsI worked for amazon almost 4 years in phone support. They tell you there are advancement opportunities but it is not true because they hire managers from the outside. You may get a chance at a temporary position during the peak time (Christmas) to work in the role. When the busy time is over there is a slight possibility you can become permanent in the role.. emphasis the word slight. While you are temporary in the role there is a "bonus" you get but not the same pay or stock options that is the carrot they wave.

The truth is you are a number to them and they will break you down and use you.. Over the years I watched them roll-back employees to the lower jobs or back on the phones.. only to post outside the company and bring inexperienced mangers in with all the perks and stocks and benefits. Amazon likes doing that because those folks will inforce the big brother monitoring system without feeling they want. As a phone representative to even get an interview for another opportunity you have to meet the metrics goals. Your fate is decided by the customers from a survey. The survey asks Did I solve your problem. There are 2 options: yes or no. If they click no then you sit in meetings justifying why they clicked no. It is always your fault. Some issues can not be solved but it is still counting against you. If you also do not have enough yes responses that counts against you. So somehow you have magical powers without mentioning the survey to make a customer respond!

Then there is the political game.. they do NOT want outspoken people even though they preach the company values challenging the status quo to make changes! Making management is subjective and they get rid of you if you do not follow along like a puppy dog to what is being told to you to do. The average life of a phone representaive is about 1.5 years and that is a long time.. once your pay level gets to high or you have stocks that are vesting they find a way to make your life miserable.. and if that does not work understand they can track every click of the mouse and your time... build a file and fire you.. you will not see it coming... if you are on their blacklist.. and all else fails they will manufacture things just to terminate employment and refuse to show you the evidence. Beware this is a ruthless environment and you are a disposable body!

Advice to Senior ManagementWell if you are management just understand you got there by following the program. Managers are hopeful and optimistic but in the end to save their own jobs they will sacrifice the team members, all to meet the business needs and as they say be there for our customers. WAKE UP and see that you are in a darwin society and fight back get back your humanity while you can.. because trust me you also are disposable

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Bad work environment

Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

ProsAt a given point, there are many good engineers there to learn from. They typically leave within a year, but at least they're usually replaced by other good engineers.

ConsThe rest. Work/life balance, perks, management, office environment, operational load, etc., are all very bad. The office is crowded, loud, and I'm interrupted for status updates almost continuously. The operational load is unbearable on some teams that were unfortunate enough to inherit years of technical debt incurred by former engineers.

Advice to Senior ManagementLearn from what people are saying in their exit interviews - you have a lot of data points from those.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great people, horrible technology

Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

ProsIntelligent, helpful colleagues. There was not one person there whom I disliked working with.

Excellent hardware provisioning and IT support. I was all setup within a day.

Contemporary building. Good local dining, daycare, petcare... It would be easy to get an apartment nearby and live within walking distance of all necessities.

Nice (easy to update) wiki.

Standard best practices envisioned in the training documentation.

Great opportunities to advance rapidly. If you can tolerate the outrageous inefficiencies and disarray of Amazon, the employee churn alone will advance you quickly.

Alluring sign on bonuses - up to (possibly beyond) double your salary.

Company outlook is good. Amazon has top-notch customer service. They have mastered logistics and they are a logistics company, not a technology company.

ConsHorrible technology stack. Runtime environments and build tools proprietary bastardizations of their open source counterparts with poor/no logging. In other words: You are always working on a fragile environment that routinely goes down entirely for no apparent reason. Countless hours are burned trying to recover your environment. Tremendously disruptive because there is almost always somebody dealing with their broken environment.

Best practices are not followed:
- There are few tests, and it takes lots of hacking just to get unit tests in place (forget about IT/functional/e2e as they use prod and customers in target regions as their testing ground).
- The teams are seated in open bullpens and tasked with ever-changing-priority duties. There is such a lack of cohesion that any upfront strategy discussed with anybody varies by individual.
- There is no scrum process beyond a quick bi-weekly summary of what you completed.
- Without tests, there is no guarantee that a newly-released version set will even compile. Colleagues get the bad news upon pulling the new bundle into their environment and watching it burst into flames.

On calls. Wear a pager a few weeks a month and be available 24/7 to troubleshoot all high severity issues. Remember the 'testing' approach? The high severity alarm goes off several times a day.

Golden handcuffs: A big upfront sign on bonus paid in full that tapers off over time. Get hired, receive chunk of money, spend it, discover unpleasantries, be financially imprisoned or pay back bonus and depart.

For these reasons, Amazon has earned its reputation as a meat grinder. Developers must be able to deal with spending several days/weeks accomplishing a task that, anywhere else, would be completed in a few hours. Furthermore, the ecosystem is hacks on top of hacks. Not to mention they are eagerly looking for somebody who is willing to migrate Perl to Java.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry not to let the schizophrenic nature of this organization affect your wellbeing.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Shop with them but don't like working for Amazon

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

ProsBig company with opportunity for growth and advancement. The team I was in was probably one of the worst company wide. My young uneducated manager kid from Texas was not familiar or interested in cultivating and empowering his staff, Being more concerned with his own performance stats,he preferred scare tactics and scare tactics to make you do your job. I didn't like it.... But you might!

ConsSkill and work quality is all based on statistics, Jeff Bezos must have read a book on how Walmart's employee productivity systems work and put his hardcore Nazi twist on things. He installed cameras to watch you. computerized access, productivity and security. Then topped it off with unrealistic goals and substandard heating and air conditioning. An exciting pressure cooker of an environment if your one of those who "works well under pressure"! Never have I seen so many miserable and downtrodden employees in one place in my life. But if thats what your into.....could be a great fit for you!

Advice to Senior ManagementStop being so bottom line results on the numbers and profit. Go back to school if you never attended and Learn about creating good work environments that cultivate empowered employees, high morale and business integrity. many of the not educated will think I am speaking french. Amazon obviously needs tuition reimbursements!! But then again if your one of those that is better off stupid....... You might enjoy it.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Manager are worst people in this company

Software Developer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

ProsNot that I could find out as compared to any other tech giant I have worked for. Every company has techies, so does this company have. Perks are not that great

ConsThe piece of information that recruiters don't share is that Amazon also has stack ranking. Also, the performance improvement program is just a show-off which managers use to save some group of people in their team. On the name of frugality, management saves every penny on the earth. Not good in benefits. Increasing cost of insurance. I will never recommend anyone work for Amazon ever.

Advice to Senior ManagementClear your thought and treat employees as assets rather than labor.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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abusive

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

Pros- they are doing good, cutting edge work in technology

Cons- no work-life balance
- long hours and oncall duties
- aggressive work culture, people are at each others' throats all the time
- sloppy middle management
- increasing bureaucracy due to massive growth

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fast paced, constantly changing production goals, cold in winter, extremely hot in summer.

Stowed/Picked (Former Employee)
Campbellsville, KY

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

ProsYou do have a job, and most jobs in a amazon fulfillment center are not that hard, but the constant pressure that is placed upon you to work harder literally makes life miserable for some.

ConsUnrealistic production goals that are guaranteed to increase when you finally do meet their standards. Most area managers and ops managers could not or would not do the jobs that they hold their employees accountable to do.

Advice to Senior ManagementConstant turnover in this area due to the hours the managers are required to work and pressure that is placed upon them. Most managers that stay over a year are miserable too, but they are compensated by pay and benefits that are over twice what the average associate on the floor makes, and some of these people don't even know what the people on the floor do for a living. Amazon management in Seattle is well aware of this, as surveys are taken every year, with the hourly employees saying the same thing each time. If the economy ever does improve, Amazon will have a hard time finding employees, at any wage.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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