Amazon.com Reviews

Updated September 3, 2015
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996 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good place to work

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

    Pros

    Cool stuff to work on, many teams to choose from, good coworkers, autonomy.

    Cons

    Crouded workspaces, having to fight for decent monitors and environment, annoying review process, disorganized organization.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in employees and their setups. Not giving nice hardware where they spend most of their time short sited.


  2. Helpful (8)

    AWS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Pay is decent, relative to market. - Location (Seattle)

    Cons

    Horrible treatment of employees - in accordance with their motto that everything and everyone is "fungible" meaning replaceable and expendable. They work their employees like dogs and hold promotions or work visas over their heads in order to try and retain their employees. There is a reason why they have such high turnover (less than 1 year of service). Management is short-sighted and reactive vs proactive.

    Advice to Management

    Stop overworking your employees and focus more on making them engaged and create less dysfunction within your teams. The cost of hiring and getting new employees up to speed every year is not just a dollar figure of losses but affects the service products built. There is little sustainability in the work conducted.


  3. Helpful (12)

    Go somewhere else

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - you work on products that are used by millions of people every day - they have some good internal talks/conferences (if you have time to see/attend them)

    Cons

    - frugality: be sure to only receive the cheapest hardware(Macs, Screens) that Amazon can find - usually you only get a used laptop when you start. Also you are supposed to keep your laptop for 4+ years - "the leader in the cloud" develops its software on desktop-PCs (which are horrible slow and run your dev environment in a VM) - 10 days of vacation during your first year (don't underestimate your need for vacation - in my previous company I had 25 days already and it hurts to loose 15 days) - they run you into the ground (prepare for tons of overtime, 12h days are not only normal, but expected) - dont be alarmed if your team gets shut down and you have to find a new team within 30 days or you are fired (happened to my first team and heard of a handful of others) - only the minimal parent leave that are required by law - Java is pretty much the only language in the house - if you try to change their mind you get shut down fast - lots of legacy systems/code - if you came from a fast moving startup, be prepared that things that took you 2hours tops will now require a 2 week development cycle with tons of reviews and millions of side-effects to consider - the shares that you get only vest after 4 years and are not worth it - too low - people don't stay long - on average people stay about a year before they leave again

    Advice to Management

    - pay hire wages! - more vacation! - some payed parental leaves - and longer leaves! - pay for a great workstation (top-of-the-line MacBook Pro 15", two screens, standing desk) - you keep everybody as unproductive as possible with all your frugality policies... - much better work/life balance (stop "normal" 12 hour days - those literally kill people)


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Unpredictable Levels of Stress

    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer Intern in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazon engenders an environment that facilitates learning Employees are given a great deal of independence The Downtown Seattle campus is a vibrant, fun place

    Cons

    Independence of engineers and their projects does not encourage collaboration Employees keep mostly to themselves Frugality can be frustrating at times

    Advice to Management

    At times, it can feel that there is no pressure to succeed, and then, all of a sudden, the stress levels will shoot up drastically. The on-call system seems to frustrate most employees, especially when what is broken is not something built or understood by the person on-call.


  6. Intern experiences

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice project, nice managers. No state tax. The weather is nice during summer.

    Cons

    Seat is not comfortable. Too far from home.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Still some corporate red tape, but getting better quickly

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I feel like I should write this review over things the company has been working on changing over the past year or so. Notable positives: - Removal of an "ask first" open-source/outisde-work policy, and replacing it with a "notify-after" policy. - Gradually moving to better technology (desktop/laptop) standards. - Emphasis on "Operational Excellence" to push for lower on-call burden. - Removing some red tape on internal activities, such as security certification. - Unification of the promotion process between some levels (SDEI -> SDEII) to make it more transparent. - More open debate about company culture on mailing lists.

    Cons

    The company can still be stupid (as a whole) with some business decisions. Some teams can still be terribly-managed, and if you're joining Amazon from the outside, it's hard to pick those out. In some areas, the company can still be really cheap. But, when you yell loud enough (and perhaps embarrass the right people) things *will* get done.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on the employee. *Listen* to your employees, and not just the L7+es.


  8. Exciting and Draining

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazon is fast-paced. I've worked on several teams within the company, both new and mature, and the push to improve and invent is relentless across the organization. Software teams at Amazon are fairly independent, and feel like startups. That said, working at Amazon gives you access to some of the most intelligent people in the industry, as well as an impressive suite of internal tools.

    Cons

    The pace of Amazon can be just as draining as it is exciting. Also, the semi-autonomous nature of development teams means that you can have vastly different experiences depending on who you work with and for.


  9. Pretty solid

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bleeding edge technology and projects Switching teams is encouraged Hard problems to solve

    Cons

    Management doesn't have a clue about quality engineers. They promote people who they are buddy buddy with, even if they write unmaintainable / unscalable code. They also give out the big projects based on this flawed criteria. No wonder the average time there is about 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to your engineers, promote those who deserve it, give projects to those who deserve it.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Ownership is key

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Money is good, there are mentors available for SDE1s and managers have incentive to get you promoted. There are also tech talks every week and a strong engineering culture. If you want to learn, you have infinite opportunities to do so.

    Cons

    Oncall - getting woken up at 3am to work is the worst feeling ever, and depending on the team you join, it might happen way too often. It can also be hard to find senior engineers to learn from, or to have as a mentor - the company is very young and the turnover is high. I've been there 3 years and my tenure is longer than 66% of the employees in Seattle.

    Advice to Management

    Do more to attract experienced talent and get them to mentor, do talks, maybe even give classes. There are not enough experienced engineers to learn from, and the ones who are there don't have time to help others learn and grow.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Software Development Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Start-up like atmosphere with big company resources. * Great experience with a range of software development environments. * Learn a lot quickly.

    Cons

    * Oncall rotation can disrupt work-life balance. * Stressful timelines/deadlines. * Very frugal culture/values.



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