There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

4 people found this helpful  

A visionary founder and inventive company that disrupts entire industries - it's pretty fun.

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

Amazon keeps making bold moves and placing big bets, and while it may appear to be a sophisticated company that is laying waste to competitors on the outside, the culture is self-critical and constantly looking for new ways to invent and deliver new and delightful services to our customers. If you work for an influential technology department at Amazon, it is a fantastic place to learn what it means to launch a business from the ground up - from the inception of an idea to getting a public launch across the finish line.

Cons

Performance reviews are less about your actual contribution at the workplace than they are about managerial opinions about your leadership skills and growth potential. Most review assessments take place before an employee assesses their own goals and although you may have agreed upon your goals with your manager for the year, they may not contribute much to your overall performance review for the year. The review assessment seems more based on judgement rather than measured contribution.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Drive bigger goals towards reducing operational burden among the developers at this company. Too many TPM's and PM's drive to evolve the scope of software because it's expedient to do so, but this is done at the expense of good design which maintains a high operational burden for everyone at the company. If Amazon could keep tilt the operational scale to something more like 80/20 between development and operations, this company's achievements on a launch timeline each year would be incredible.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

3557 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 16 people found this helpful  

    It will be a hard slog, and if you start at the wrong group you're in big trouble

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Cutting edge technology (at least in some groups)
    - Excellent tooling/infrastructure for SDEs. Good (not too burdensome) processes.
    - Smart engineers
    - Good pay and decent benefits
    - Stock doing well so RSUs can be worth a lot (if you join at a low point in stock price).

    Cons

    - Terrible oncall in almost every group. You will get very little sleep. All manner of abuse of employees is justified on the basis of Customer Obsession (employees are not treated as 'customers').
    - Software quality is often sacrificed by managers to meet deadlines and blame for failures placed on engineers (so the only way for a SDE to deal with a sev-2 is to kiss that long weekend goodbye and at least show you are working on the problem).
    - Turnover rates in some groups are very very bad, particularly some platform teams. Managers last less than six to twelve months (these folks typically leave Amazon because you can't transfer internally before 12 months are over). If you are an SDE, forget about stability and continuity.
    - As AWS becomes successful, the platform teams are getting political at the manager/sr. manager levels. The organization runs on fear. You don't know when you'll get thrown under the bus. It's less of an issue at the SDE level.
    - Expect to beg for productivity software and decent quality laptops/computer peripherals (or buy your own). This applies across Amazon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Don't create a bureaucracy. Maintain a flat org structure like Google.
    - Hire managers who write code around 10% of their job (these type of people tend to spend less time playing political games).
    - Give developers some breathing room to be creative, and work on hobby projects to expand their horizons.
    - Create dedicated operations teams to reduce oncall burden.
    - Don't overwork engineers and managers and tell them they are fortunate to be working for a company like AWS. It won't make up for sacrificing your best years with family, or getting divorced, or losing your health. I've seen people going through all of these things at platform teams in AWS, due to the politics, stress and fear.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great company with extremely bright people

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon has a high hiring bar with competitive compensation and bonuses, and therefore bright people you can learn a lot from about new cutting edge and large scale technologies.

    Cons

    Benefits are at ok level, and you can expect to be doing multiple types of activities during your tenure there - beginning with requirements definition, and finishing with operations support and being on pager duty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish the technical side of the company was more structured into Operations support, development, QA.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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