There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

1 person found this helpful  

steep learning curve

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

Pros

exposure to the brilliance of 100s of smart developers
work with latest technologies
constant improvement in tools that aid in development

Cons

hectic work culture
not much fun, very frugal in perks
unattractive employee discount even in Amazon.com

Advice to ManagementAdvice

make working in amazon fun

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

3697 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    A great place to work at

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    1. Super exciting projects.
    2. Strong colleagues.
    3. Decent payment.

    Cons

    1. Bad work/life balance.
    2. Management team is pushy, but sometimes thoughtless.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect your employees, stimulate them instead of pushing them.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 76 people found this helpful  

    Face paced, ever changing company with a start up feel and plenty of room to explore and learn.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    FOCUS ON COMMUNICATION: Amazon does a good job communicating at the employee level. At many large comanies, the sheer size of the company means things slow down. Amazon does a great job focusing on communication tools to ensure information is disciminated as needed. Use of email, OCS, IRC, multiple ticking systems, and ancilary tools to find people help ensure information can get to where it needs to be now.

    OWNERSHIP OF TASKS: Each department has authority to do what it needs to do without excessive input from management. Even during major issues, regular employees can make the call to execute large scale solutions without having to go to management for approval. Teams themselves own day to day tasks and are responsible for them, often operating as a small business within the company . This allows each team to support their internal customers quickly with out office politics and meddling by multiple levels of management.

    LEARNING ABILITY: There is so much to do that after 1 or 2 years in a position, you are encouraged to move to another department if you so desire. This allows you to take your current skills, build on them, and grow into a new job. However, if you decide to stay put, technology changes so rapidly that you'll be constantly learning new programming skills, new operating systems, and new tools.

    MANAGEMENT OF POOR PERFORMERS: Up or out. It's that simple. Not performing, improve or you're gone. Poor performers cannot hide and are not tolerated. Managers have to fight for their employees every year and explain why everyone is valuable and should stay. If you don't perform, you'll be at the bottom of the pool and looking for your next job.

    KNOWLEDGEABLE CO-WORKERS: Although Amazon does not focus on education but multiple factors in hiring, it seems as if most people have advanced degrees. Not just that, but everyone is a super-star. If you think you know all there is to know about your job and are the top person in your company, Amazon will show you there are plenty of people better than you. That provides the drive for employees to learn, grow, and improve.

    FOCUS ON EMPLOYEES: Of course, this depends on the department as well. But, most departments do a great job of focusing on employees. Many jobs can be stressful and hectic at times. But, management takes care of their employees. Some teams have a cereal breakfast bar available every day, a Friday afternoon happy hour with food, beer, and wine (yes, in the office!), and quarterly fun events / outings. This is in addition to the Director or VP walking the cubes just to pop in and say hi and see how things are going.

    Cons

    DRIVE TO PERFORM: There is a constant drive to perform and produce. What you did last year or last month no longer matters. What benefit will you contribute to the company this week? If your answer is "I want to sit back and relax", this isn't the place for you. The drive to perform can be overwhelming for some as it requires constant work and improvement.

    POOR DOCUMENTATION: Amazon is a software company that moves fast. Documentation is an after thought. That causes problems when you don't understand something. Granted, there are internal help documents that any employee can create or update, but that doesn't get done regularly. You'll have to have a keen eye at understanding that a document from 4 years ago that contrasts a document from another department from 2 years ago may be 1/4 right and the new document 1/4 wrong. And, I guarantee once you figure it out, you probably won't go back and update the documentation for the next guy.

    A LITTLE TO FAST PACED: Things happen so rapidly that it is sometimes counter productive. That software you just wrote or the fix you are being asked to do may only be in production for 2 months. Then you'll have to completely rewrite it. Amazon uses the excuse of the sheer size of operations to justify projects that only have a life span of a couple of months.

    ONCALL: Not use to on-call? Get use to it. No matter who you are you WILL be on-call at sometime. Some teams make it easier by having a "follow the sun" approach (you might be on for 12 hours during the day and someone in India on for 12 hours during your night time). Others give you a day off to "compensate" you for having to work on the weekend. Regardless, if you don't think you will be on-call or don't think you'll get paged, change your mind set - it will happen!

    FRUGALITY: One of Amazon's core tenants. However, it almost goes to far sometimes. You'll have everything you need to do your job (pens, markers, computers, even multiple monitors if you're in the right job slots), but don't expect other employee perks like free shirts, a mug, or something else. Think of it this way - if it doesn't directly benefit the customer, it's not going to happen. So that "company wide free day off because you're so cool" - nope. A nice Christmas present? Ha. Your anniversary gift - well at 5 and 10 years each you get a new badge, but that's it.

    Do I like it here? YES. Are the "cons" worth the benefits? HECK YEA. Will I get burned out? Most likely, but at lest in the mean time I'll have fun and make history.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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