Amazon.com Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
3,561 Reviews

3.3
3,561 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,478 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Darwin walks the halls here - you'd think we were curing a major disease

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    1. Incredibly smart, driven and dedicated teams;
    2. Scope and responsibility like no where else you'll work;
    3. Likelihood of having one or more "Jeff" meetings is fairly high depending upon the team you join, which is mind-blowing the first time (then it's a slog);
    4. Leadership principles are practiced across all aspects of the business (hiring, meetings, talent management), which is more than I can say for other companies that hand-wave at similar tenets once or twice a year during reviews.

    Cons

    1. Pay (they don't tell you the full story when you're hired) and that signing bonus is a scam. The stock plan is designed to insure that you burnout before reaching the bulk of the $$$;
    2. Talent is not developed here ... at all;
    3. Amazon does fire people - they burn right through you;
    4. Leadership has NO backbone despite the leadership principle. No one disagrees with Jeff;
    5. At 18-months, I am considered a tenured employee in my org as most have left;
    6. I've worked more in the last two years than I did in the previous five combined, including multiple 100-hour weeks and 7am-1am days. Weekends are not off-limits by any means;
    7. If you're female, amplify all the above ^n.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in people. Amazon will find the bottom of the talent pool as you cannot sustain a 1.3 years turnover rate with 125K+ employees. The IP is walking right out the door.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hectic, corporate, professional dead-end

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - BI Engineer  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - BI Engineer in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    - A lot of people say that Amazon does not pay well, but I was able to negotiate very good salary from the beginning, so I cannot complain about it. Benefit are decent, like in most major corporations.
    - If you are lucky you can get on a good team. Overall workplace experience varies widely between different businesses within the company and is defined mostly by the director's personality and his hiring policies.
     - If you do not have to carry a pager and do not care much for career growth Amazon can be pretty relaxed place to work for. But again, depends on the team
    - Easy mobility within the company. You can move from team to team within the company pretty easily. There is a lot of variety so you can find a place which will be interesting for you without changing employer.

    Cons

    - If you are an SDE I with on-call duty the work/life balance will be all work and no life. There is a lot of pressure to push code into production ignoring proper design and testing and it makes support very time-consuming.
    - As a BI Engineer I feel that Amazon is a professional dead-end for me. I do not learn any new skills which can be transferable to another workplace.
    - Lack of documentation and a lot of tribal knowledge. Combined with high attrition rate during the first 2 years this makes ramping up on a new place very stressful.
    - lots of time you will have to have conference calls at odd times like 10 pm.
    - Career-wise, growing can be difficult, depending on your manager. Going from SDE I to SDE II is relatively easy, but after that it's pretty much impossible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Well, I am no manager. Look at Cons for things to fix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Great company work is always fun here

    Cons

    none as of now totall satisfied

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  5. 11 people found this helpful  

    Poor Treatment of Employees

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on interesting, cutting-edge projects. Generally highly competent, intelligent colleagues. Good 'name' for your resume to leverage for another position.

    Cons

    One of Bezos' fundamental values is 'frugality' and boy do they ever mean it at Amazon! Double-sided print jobs (for those awful memos you have to prepare and discuss in excruciating detail before doing anything) and stays in unsafe, sketchy hotels during business travel will be your life. No free phones here (although you may get a free IMDB Pro account, which is unintentional comedy at its finest). This emphasis on frugality is not shocking given the company barely breaks even but Jeff and his 'S' team doesn't pay the price - rank and file employees do. In an environment in which competition for talent - especially tech talent - has never been higher you would think they would at least pretend to care about their employees. Not so. When Microsoft looks great by comparison on this basis, then you know you have some work to do.

    They even went after a former colleague of mine, suing him for leaving for Google, even though he moved to California and they don't enforce non-competes there, which Amazon knows. They did this just to screw with him and to send a message to current employees who may be thinking of leaving (which is everyone below Level 8, at least). Cutthroat and awful place to be. Life is short - why spend it at a place that despises you? When my options vest shortly, I am gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Though you don't believe it, there are other important constituents and causes besides customers. Like employees...shareholders...partners...charities. We were not all put on this Earth to maximize Bezos' personal wealth accumulation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Burnout factory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    I learned a lot. Amazon employs some very smart people who've done good work solving some very hard problems. If you want to know about scaling, look no further.

    There's no question that having Amazon on your CV is good for your career.

    Cons

    Poor direction from senior management who couldn't decide what they wanted.

    Bureaucracy. Oh, the bureaucracy.

    Politics. Woe betide you if you worked in a group or on a project that senior management didn't find sexy.

    Churn. Despite intensive recruiting, people left faster than they could be replaced. The hiring bar was rightly high, but there were too many ways to fail the interview for spurious and/or arbitrary reasons. The recruitment process may work better in Seattle where Amazon is one of the biggest names in town, but the competition for developers in London is too intense. There are other prestige tech giants, there are big media companies, there are startups, there are banks with deep pockets. In this environment, Amazon can't turn down good people and meet its hiring needs (and indeed, they had to import lots of staff from Seattle to keep the office afloat).

    On-call. Being woken up in the middle of the night got very old after a while.

    And finally, the kicker: work-life balance. The company pretty much destroyed a few of my colleagues. Amazon are very good at using guilt to get people to work all the hours God sends, for no particular reward. At the end of one spectacularly hellish project, everyone got -- a T-shirt. Not the best way to make your employees feel valued.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide on your product road map *before* sending your development teams on death marches.

    Admit that London is a different labour market to Seattle and act accordingly. It's hard to get things done when half your colleagues have left and there's nobody to take their place.

    Don't treat staff as disposable tools to burn out and throw away. It's not nice and it's not good for your business either.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hectic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer  in  Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    A lot of opportunities to learn.
    Working on large projects with millions of users.
    Nice concepts in internal tools (build system, versioning, software dependencies management, continuous deployment, deployment on development & production hosts).
    Possibility to work for other teams if you want to change.
    Compensation is good (but no perks).
    Working at Amazon(/Apple/Facebook/Google) is a good experience.

    Cons

    The focus is put on delivering new features under tight deadlines. It is exciting but it often results in lowering the quality standards and increasing the operational load (frequent firefighting).
    Little time is invested on stabilizing a feature once it's been released.
    On-calls are expected to be available to work on weekends. Every engineer is part of an on-call rotation.
    Heavy process and emails are sometimes getting on your way to get things done.
    Getting a promotion requires your active participation: you'll need to get the right exposure and be vocal about what you do (it won't come naturally).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest on keeping your employees, listen to them and remove what is getting on their way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    HIGH turnover, Some OT and maybe some unpaid voluntary time off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Picker  in  Chester, VA
    Current Employee - Picker in Chester, VA

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

    Pros

    You get to meet people who are from most age groups. If you can stay long enough you can try most anything at your skill level or lower. Pay is ok

    Cons

    Did I say High turnover? I'd say that 50 percent of all new hires leave after 30 days or less. The performance rate they want is hard to achieve considering the work flows they put on you are challenging at best. They WILL terminate you for not meeting rate. You might stay with one manager for about 6 months then either they promote move or leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to what your employees say about the atmosphere of the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you stay you might not have a real life ever again

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Picker  in  Middletown, DE
    Former Employee - Picker in Middletown, DE

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

    Pros

    There are daily quota to meet in any warehouse position, if you are among the top in the warehouse you are noticed. They also offer a one time bonus to seek another career if you are not happy there.

    Cons

    20-25 miles a day of walking within your 10 hour shift if you are on target for over the daily quota, this can get to your knees eventually.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work, I never seen Management so well as the one mentioned here, the managers are out there to look out for the Tier I's and are always taking advices for improvement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Amazon Seasonal Employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker  in  Charleston, TN
    Current Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Charleston, TN

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

    Pros

    Good seasonal income--work pace is very fast and time goes by quickly. Work is through Integrity Staffing unless hired as a permanent employee by Amazon. You are allowed time off without pay after working a few weeks with Integrity.

    Cons

    Plan to work hard and switch tasks frequently during shift. It can be frustrating because you are moved around a lot. It seems like the only goal of the company is to complete the work--not a lot of concern for the employees themselves. Plan on a lot of overtime - can be very tiring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Possibly keep employees at one task for more than half a shift or even a quarter of a shift.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    On-figure fashion photographer in the New York City new studio.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - On Figure Fashion Photographer  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - On Figure Fashion Photographer in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Very friendly atmosphere with great opportunities to learn and grow within the company. Management very courteous and professional.

    Cons

    Competition between employes can be high sometimes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve share of information between colleagues.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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