Amazon.com

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9 people found this helpful  

Boring

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

I worked at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

Pros

Good pay, talented & fun coworkers, flexible hours, work from home, wide selection of food trucks at lunch time

Cons

This was a developer position, and I barely got the opportunity to program, and when I did it was mind numbingly trivial. I worked in Retail Systems, and they are mostly bogged down in trouble tickets and constant feature requests from the business side, leaving little time to actually develop software. Furthermore, the paranoia about losing money leads to aversion toward software change, which means the code-base is a monstrous pile of incremental changes accumulated over the years. Almost no documentation, and I frequently would hear sentiments that documentation or comments would be a hindrance-- since that would mean having to maintain the documentation or comments in parallel with the code (this might have just been a cultural aspect of my team). There seems to be a revolving door for young developers, as well as people jumping around from team to team, so teams' know-how deteriorates to the point where there are large portions of code that no one is familiar with. And yet, you have to support that code when you are on-call. If you aren't familiar with on-call, it means getting paged at any time of day when there are problems with the software. You might be thrown into a scenario where you are responsible for Amazon ordering being down, and the problem lies in your team's software, but you aren't familiar with that part of the code. You will probably just have to relay this to your team members-- which is fine-- but needless to say it is stressful.

I was promised to eventually get the chance to do some real software development, but perhaps not for a year or more. If you are in it for the long haul, maybe it could be okay. I didn't care about the money, and it didn't make it worth letting my career stagnate for 2-3 years waiting until I was senior enough to do maybe have the chance to do some real work.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Slow down feature requests, and realize that technical debt and software cruft are a serious detriment to the companies future, and drives away talent who would prefer to design and innovate in a way which would secure a better future for the company. Treat your employees better-- the "customer obsession" and "frugality" mantras alienate employees to the point where they feel like customers come before them.

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

3964 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Fast growing company with room for advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Onsite Medical Representative in Columbia, SC
    Current Employee - Onsite Medical Representative in Columbia, SC

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

    Pros

    Multi-billion dollar company that is relatively new. Plenty of room to climb the corporate ladder. They count two years of Amazon experience as a bachelors degree.

    Cons

    Corporate BS, but hey, what job doesn't have that

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Free health insurance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Your peers are smart, but the culture is harsh

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Amazon hires very smart people. Getting hired is hard, but you will work with some of the brightest engineers out there.

    The total compensation is nice. Do not flinch at having part of your compensation be RSUs. Even if stock price goes down, your compensation will be adjusted. Because Amazon sees RSU as part of the compensation, they will fix it with market fluctuations. There really is only upside. No, you won't retire on RSU....won't buy a house....maybe a nice car is stock goes through the roof.

    Cons

    The culture is one that encourages harsh behavior. If you present an idea or argument and can't back it up with data or facts - prepare to be humiliated. I tend to see folks last < 1 year or more than 5 years. In other words, you either are cut out for this environment or you're not.

    The more senior the position (as management or as an individual contributor) the more aggressive you need to be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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