Amazon.com

  www.amazon.com
  www.amazon.com
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

 

Great place to get your career started

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in San Francisco, CA
Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in San Francisco, CA

I worked at Amazon.com

Pros

Got to work on a cool project that the whole world can see.

Cons

Large company bureaucracy and fiefdoms.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Thanks for the ride.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

3938 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Could be great, but management treats employees like crap

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Unix Systems Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Unix Systems Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    You'll learn a lot and its a growing environment. I used to get really frustrated about the focus on frugality and the not-invented-here and build-it-over-buy-it mentality there. However, seeing how the rest of the work does IT, I'm good with the frugal approach and building it and doing work. Most people out there do IT via spending money on products to expand the domain of the IT manager, without any focus on the business, and without any metrics for success -- Amazon is the opposite fo that. Everything needs a cost justification and its difficult to build empires without any competency.

    The topgrading environment is actually good in some ways because it does eliminate a lot of the people that you have to put up with at other jobs who are totally useless. The bar raising interviews and stack ranking does actually mean that you might be working with a bunch of other decently talented people rather than trying to drag a department along single handed.

    I usually get bored at a company after 2-3 years, but I stuck with Amazon for nearly 5 years before getting bored with it because it was growing so fast (grew from managing 400 servers to 30,000 servers in 5 years). At some point, though, I'd learned most of the lessons dealing with scale, and that exposed the fact that I simply didn't like working for the company or the upper management (Bezos in particular).

    Cons

    Frugality get taken to an extreme. It leads to bad decision making if the payoff cannot be measured. If you simply argue that a technology will be able to be leveraged in the future and is forwards-looking it will go nowhere with upper management (although Bezos gets to make bets like that, but the engineer on the ground doesn't get to make that kind of call). Also, the focus on frugality leads to lots of turnover with the employees as they get treated like replaceable cogs.

    The topgrading environment is also a little abusive. It doesn't allow for someone who is simply doing a necessary job and doing it well to stay in that job, a lot of good people have been chewed up and spit out by Amazon, which increases churn. They would also do well to relax the focus on topgrading without abandoning it completely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you'd spend 1-2% more on your employees to keep them happy and treat them less like replaceable cogs it would vastly help with retention. Upper management agonizes over retention and them implements policies which alienate the employees. They wouldn't need to completely abandon their whole philosophy of frugality -- they don't need to replace all the door desks and bring in aeron chairs. A little bit of a budget focusing on retention would go a long ways though.

    Since Bezos will never go for that, though, the best you can hope for is a chopper crash that he doesn't walk away from...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    A great place to buy things, but I wouldn't want to work there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Depending on the team, you have the opportunity to work with some very sharp people.

    Cons

    The management hierarchy is excessively deep. Too many fingers from up above in too many pies, too much micro-management, more or less non-existent praise for jobs well done, and the pager. Getting woken up at 4 in the morning for several nights in a row will really have you questioning your comp package.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Much of the success of the business rides on the shoulders of software developers, and it should be the roll of middle and lower management to facilitate the efforts of those in the trenches. Any time a manager does the opposite, it's costing the company money and potentially talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

Work at Amazon.com? Share Your Experiences

Amazon.com

 
Click to Rate
or

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