There are newer employer reviews for Amazon Lab126

7 people found this helpful  

No culture, good pay

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Cupertino, CA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA

I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

Compensation is very competitive. They generously offered me more than 20% of what I said I would work for, plus a large but standard bonus and RSU's. They provide limited shuttle to SF, East and South bay and you get fruit on Tuesdays, but get there early to get it.

Some great innovative project ideas and lots of money behind them bring them to life. Exciting to work on projects where nothing in the market exists to compare it to. Other projects are 'me too'

Some employees are very dedicated, extremely intelligent and hard working. There are some gems here.

Cons

There is literally no culture or much in the way of perks. Work life balance can be pretty bad. There's all the policy and corporate structure of Amazon with lesser engineering staff than Amazon (on some teams). The bar can get lowered when teams are desperate for staff and I've seen good people quit because they're tired of low quality talent getting hired.

The offer is back-loaded but otherwise fairly standard. My particular offer was 50% of the bonus on the day I started, owing the pro rated portion back if I leave before the year is up. Then the remaining 50% of the bonus amortized over year 1-2. RSU's sit in a holding tank and you don't receive any until years 2-3, with the majority of them being over year 3-4. When there's no culture, heavy workload and high stress: that four years is going to feel like an eternity.

For projects that haven't launched there is a lot of auditing and hoops to jump through to adhere to Amazon standards.

Lots of blame, occasional employee backstabbing and spending energy to be 'defensive' against other groups and protect yourself from blame. Some bad employees poison entire groups yet the bad employees remain.

Many of the hires are people that have families or obligations that require the high pay and only do it for the paycheck, showing very little passion in their work. Or H1-B type hires that take weeks or months to finally join your team.

High levels of attrition across the board. I worked on multiple teams and saw that most people don't stay more than 2 years.

Jeff doesn't want to provide perks like free food because they believe in a culture where there are people who are builders and are dedicated to working just to work, and not essentially 'moochers' that show up for perks. What they don't understand is that there is a balance between those two and not everyone who enjoys free food is a moocher.

During launches they might cater free food but often it's dinner with the expectation that you'll work 10+ hour days. Sometimes this just means pizza. Rarely is lunch provided, but it really depends on the team.

Expect less than 1% raises for an average employee annual performance review. All your compensation better be negotiated up front because it's pretty static once you're on the team.

Often people who get promotions won't get recognized for it because there is a culture where they don't want to make other employees jealous. Lots of management get shuffled around and shoved back down the totem pole when under performing.

It can just feel like a sad place to work.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Work on your culture and don't lower the bar. You need to create better culture before people will stop leaving so quickly. The high pay isn't enough to keep people happy.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

95 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon Lab126 (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Burn and churn company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    good compensation, senior management are very technical, smart people

    Cons

    Long hours all year long: 60-80hr/week; management/tpm promise dates without communicating to developers; software quality and technical debt are not paid, maintenance is difficult which resulted in long hours; new feature come in 2 weeks before product ship

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire better tpm(s) and do proper planning; evaluate managers not only on deliverable but also on how many people left the team

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Do your research - ask around

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 for more than a year

    Pros

    You'll ship product. Planning for projects is quite different than other companies. If you're on the platform (i.e. integration) team it's just constant churn, same thing every product. Maybe learn a new component but nothing to enhance your SW development skills if hired as SDE. Promotion possibilities are extremely limited on the platform team. Look up Amazon OLR to understand why. You'll be hired as an SDE at a specific level with specific requirements of what the job entails, but the position you'll get on the platform team does not match the SDE requirements. If you're hired as an SDEIII which would be design work. How much design work is involved in integration? Something to consider.

    Outside of the platform team you may have better opportunity. Seems like unless you're on a team from Seattle your prospects are limited.

    Cons

    you won't have vacation, weekends, or family time. I spent a couple of my vacations working. If you're on the platform team plan on scheduling weekends to get them off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Certain managers, during their ghost hunts like to have 3 hour meetings. Let the engineers figure out the problems versus Directors. The engineers are actually quite good .

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon Lab126

Worked for Amazon Lab126? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.