Amazon.com Reviews

Updated August 31, 2015
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Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
764 Ratings

Pros
  • You will learn a lot that will help with the rest of your career (in 118 reviews)

  • The company is full of very smart people (in 352 reviews)

Cons
  • Not the best at work-life balance (in 636 reviews)

  • Absolutely no work life balance (in 145 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

1,497 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Pay raise? You get stock!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Operations in San Francisco, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Name recognition. Free candy. Color printer. Coffee comes quickly and often. As it is required for someone to submit a comment that has a minimum of 100 words, a brief sentence to explain what is necessary can be used to do the needful. Run-on sentences comparing unnecessary aspects were popular in previous corporations where once I worked. How at this point can one bring oneself to reflect upon such experiences yet get some complication out of simplicity can boggle one's mind briefly.

    Cons

    Low pay. Very crappy technical support internally. Overburdened with life. The office decor is falling apart with disrepair.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of yes men, give El honcho grande a dose of reality sometimes.


  2. Helpful (3)

    About what you'd expect when you sell your soul. You get a good price for it though.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money

    Cons

    Working conditions (small cubes), tools available (one-size-fits-all computers don't really fit all sizes), competence of project managers (disorganized, no formal requirements setting), the need to maintain your own systems (nighttime and weekend calls/pages), lack of testers, lack of support staff. Basically, engineers are highly skilled web developers and system administrators. The compensation scheme also doesn't put much emphasis on performance, so the compensation is pretty similar if you did a good job or a bad. And people who are jerks, who don't get along with anyone and disrupt teams, aren't handled. They stick around forever.

    Advice to Management

    Faster turnaround on evaluations, and put more emphasis on performance when determining compensation -- maybe move to larger bonuses (immediate bonuses -- 2-year-away stock doesn't count). Realize that a significant percentage of the best developers in the industry change jobs every 2-3 years. Make Amazon a place they want to stop in. Give developers more freedom to get more tools. You spend over 150K/year on them, but won't give them another gig of RAM? or a third monitor? Invest in TPMs. They need to be technical and understand requirements. Make it easier to get rid of people. Why can't we have more webdev's to do html? Why do most of us have pagers and not support staff who aren't developers? Why don't we have more testers?


  3. Amazon.com - a challenging environment where the sky is the limit

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    innovative projects darn smart people everywhere you will learn a lot data is king SDE's rule

    Cons

    employees are treated like a commodity few perks competitive salaries only average and you have to practically beg to get a bump

    Advice to Management

    treat employees as well as you treat your customers and you'd be better off


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Amazon.com and you're done.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Technical Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Being surrounded by talented and dedicated people. Seattle is a great place to live. The signing bonus wasn't bad and staying at the W hotel was nice. Can't wait til headquarters is moved to South Lake Union. It's just plain cool.

    Cons

    It's 24/7. You're always plugged in. The employee discount isn't all that. Tribal knowledge is rampant. Departments tend to work in silos. The food gets old after a while in the International District. Seattle winters are long and dark.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage career growth more. Give employees more incentive to want to work 15 hours a day. And encourage workers to step away from their computers throughout the day.


  6. Decent for a first job out of college, but don't stay too long.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You're given a lot of responsibility (depending on the team, of course), which is a good learning experience for someone fresh out of college. You get a 10% employee discount (okay, I'm running out of good things to say, and I need to get to 100 words-- seriously, if you are ambitious, there just aren't a lot of good reasons for you to stay at Amazon).

    Cons

    You are a cog in the machine. It's run by MBA-types who make stupid requests. Pager duty sucks. There systems are extremely fragile, and you will have to spend nights and weekends because of the incompetence of others. People clock out at 5pm. There is very little passion among the other developers.

    Advice to Management

    Reward high performers better.


  7. Helpful (2)

    You learn a lot but not a place you want to stick around more than 2 years if you want a life!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Learn a lot about the mindset needed to run a business effectively - more than you can learn at most other companies

    Cons

    Bad work-life balance, too much politics, lack of recognition - especially if you come in with lot of experience. At Amazon people who "grow" at Amazon coming in as fresh college grads tend to do well- because local Amazon business skills matter more than your technical capabilties. You have to unlearn lot of stuff to be effective at Amazon.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to retain good employees, and make Amazon more than just a retail store, it is still time to change some things- reward employees based on what they achieve and not based on how much politics they can play. Make the review processes more transparent and not controlled by the manager only. Amazon is probably the least collaborative work environment I have seen among the few companies I have worked at. This really hurts Amazon's employee productivity. It's a very negatively competitive environment where people are only rewarded for their own personal productivity for the narrow goals that they are set to achieve and not for how much they contribute towards the productivity of the whole group - this makes them inclined towards not helping each other and tend to not volunteer information (which is usually not documented well) that would make other people more productive. The surprising thing is that there are lot of good-hearted people at Amazon -and they still end up helping each other to some degree (like in grad school) - just as human beings with souls- despite the huge disincentives created by the work environment and reward structure. There is an easy way to fix this - reward people based on their soft goals also- make sure the time alloted for projects separates out the time that the manager requires you to spend helping other employees- new ones, junior ones, and in collaborative scenarios where one of them does not "own" the problem. This will help people find the balance- especially your most productive, knowledgeable people - not the opposite - force them to leave Amazon because they are pounded by extra load as they become more and more effective every month! The above is a top-down problem. Unless senior management takes such soft productivity into account when forcing senior managers to meet their goals by passing the force all the way down, this is not going to change and you will keep seeing the extraordinary attrition-rates as compared to competitors.


  8. Helpful (4)

    Not a great place to work but not bad either

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation and work life balance. Location in downtown seattle is nice for commuting. Benefits package is fine for someone who is single but not great if you're married

    Cons

    Not much innovation or opportunity for advancement. your yearly awards are not just tied to you past year's performance but also how much you got in previous years. while this may seem fair to the company what it does is penalize people who are consistently good. If you're consistently good, you should be rewarded regardless of how much bonus/stock you got last year. what this does is de-motivate the person to not even try anymore if they did good the previous year.

    Advice to Management

    Reward based on performance, not anything else


  9. Helpful (1)

    You don't realize what you gotten into...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good compensation, interesting projects, a lot of opportunities within a company

    Cons

    You will learn to enjoy working at nights and weekends as well as carry pager

    Advice to Management

    Set realistic goals and do not demans "death marches" from middle management


  10. High Salary, Hard working

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The salary is enough high

    Cons

    The work is so stressful

    Advice to Management

    No too much feedback given to Management


  11. Helpful (6)

    Great place to learn, awful managers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Tempe, AZ
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Tempe, AZ
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You get to work on the cutting edge architectures - webservices, SOA, middleware. There's a 360 degree view to engineering where you can get involved with not only the end-to-end SDLC but from an enterprise architectural perspective as well e.g. capacity planning, load/performance testing, senior management reviews and presentations etc.

    Cons

    Operational support, operational support, operational support! The development center I was working at (Tempe, AZ) had a slave driver for a manager. He replaced very competent, intelligent and hard working people with suck-ups. Completely took the joy out of working for Amazon due to his micro-management and paranoia - his philosophy was to be a dictator and believed any one speaking out for anything meant that it was a bad reflection on him so he was hard on those who raised ANY concerns. The MAJOR issue with all of this was that senior management in Seattle was made aware of these issues on multiple times and NO action was taken ever. This eventually made a lot of us to leave.

    Advice to Management

    Please develop empathy for those who work on your teams - your people are your biggest assets. Look beyond HQ and listen to people in remote dev centers as well.



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