Amazon.com

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Progressively Structured and Formal

  • 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.com full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Customer-centric and fast paced. Always launching new services to customers. Great peers and direct reports, everyone genuinely comes to work ready to work hard. I've seen many entry level employees move to management or analyst positions over the years. Some of the smartest leaders and managers I've worked with have come through the doors at Amazon. Pay is competitive.

Cons

Where once there was an environment for innovation there is red tape, especially in operations where front line associates want so badly to be heard and respected. Fast growth and formal structure is overtaking the informal and unstructured culture that was once sought after. Poor hiring decisions - There are so many new mid/high level managers hired externally who do not exude Amazon leadership principles. They have MBA's but don't know how to work with people, develop or inspire them.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Company culture is waning. Remember what it means to be an Amazonian, and the pride behind the brand years ago. I've seen more reliable, smart, inventive people who were going to be lifers with Amazon leave in the last two years. My newly hired peers typically shy away from healthy debate. Hear what your front line employees are saying they are the backbone of the company.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

3961 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Love / Hate Relationship

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of smart people, lots of cool projects, really value their top employees, good compensation

    Cons

    poor health care benefits, caustic work environment (dog eat dog), high attrition rate, too much work not enough life balance, really only values top top employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider the reputation that you have in the community. You have 1/2 of an incredible company (i.e. the smart people, cool projects, $ to spend, customer focus), but your regretted attrition rate speaks to a culture that doesn't truly value its employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 24 people found this helpful  

    Only work at Amazon, if you absolutely can't do better

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is a well known, and well liked company -- they actually do care about customers -- and take customer trust and experience very seriously. Different groups and teams are reasonably decoupled, allowing a lot more independence.

    If you're the sort of person that likes to work on lots of different bits of software, and constantly jump from fire to fire, it's definitely a better fit than someone who prefers quality.

    Amazon also copes very well with the high-level of turn-over by making sure that exposing a lot of people to a lot of things -- to keep employees fungible.

    Cons

    Amazon makes no absolutely effort to attract high-quality people (in fact, they do quite the opposite with their self-claimed 'frugal' -- absolutely-under-no-circumstances-any-benefits policies).

    When Amazon tells you about 'Work Hard', what they mean is that they make work hard. Like all the stuff you're expecting: a powerful developer machine, or a second monitor, are things Amazon has a policy against (Although, as they will tell you -- you're allowed to buy and bring in your own stuff like RAM, SSDs and Extra-Monitors ... lucky you!).

    And what about Admin access on your developer laptop? LOL no, that would make life easy. To be approved for that, you need to be literally 4 levels up from the bottom! Root access on your Desktop? Nah, but they'll give you sudo, but you can't actually use your desktop for development -- you'll have to work through a VM. And to make sure you don't enjoy it, your development VM will be some ancient Red Hat image, with absolutely nothing newer than 5 years old (literally!). Just in case you ever want to google something, all the libraries/function/features made in the last half-decade won't work.

    The internal systems at Amazon are so painful, that I suspect that a large percentage of employees after a hard-days work, come home and put needles in their arms for fun. When stuff works, its slow and largely unusable, and a dozen times worse than any freeware you'll find on the internet. The source control, build systems and all other developer tools seem like it was developed by a retarded monkey after he drank too much that night. Apparently they're now working on an "internal github, that works on more SCS than just git -- and has an awesome advanced security model". I wonder why they don't try get their page-load times under 10 seconds first.

    Even things that you thought were solved 20 years ago, Amazon manages to break with their own special flavor of retardedness. Like the mailing lists. It's an accepted fact, that it's impossible to *reliably* filter a message to a folder, because the send is not from the mailing list -- there is no mailing list header, and no required subject prefix! Another great joy is, after sending a message to a mailing list, your inbox will lag for *literally* the next 5 minutes, as you get spammed by "Out of Office" replies. But no one excepts the Amazon workplace to be functional or enjoyable, so this is just the normal.

    And of course, then there's the bureaucracy. At first, you'll try fight it, and try do what's best for the company. But soon you'll realize, like half the company is nothing but paper-pushers -- and you can easily waste a month just trying to get approval for some trivial thing. In the end, you'll be a lot happier here if you treat it as a job, don't try fight it, don't try enjoy it, put in your hours and leave at the end of the day (hoping your pager doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night, over some stupid issue)

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

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