Amazon.com

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

16 people found this helpful  

Good Exposure to a Highly Successful Company, But Don't Expect Adequate Compensation or Upwards Mobility

  • 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 (more than 5 years)

Pros

Very smart people. You will get to work with many high achievers from both the engineering and business worlds. Engineers get to learn a lot about business and see how high-achieving business managers function. Business managers get to work with and see how industry-leading engineering teams work.

Cons

Ridiculously hard to get promoted. You're more likely to see incompetent managers get hired into positions that they don't want to promote you to. Performance reviews and compensation systems are set up to allow the company to work you harder and pay you as little as they can get away with. Basically, you will only get a promotion or a decent raise when you work so hard that management runs out of excuses not to reward you properly. Very top-down management style. Every engineer's goals are the result of his or her manager's business goals which are trickled down from the "S-team" - the top level VPs of the company, and so bottom and mid-level creative initiatives tend not to happen. Engineers have to deliver on project after project with overly aggressive deadlines, support a huge operational load (i.e. pagers going off in evenings and weekends), and are then held accountable for quality-related issues. Many teams with bloated mid-level managers who demand lots of meetings, book keeping, reporting etc. TPMs and Dev Managers have to depend on tribal knowledge and personal networking to get anything done. Company emphasizes "Leadership Principles" which are the basis for how everyone ought to behave, but is vague and contradictory and only gives the impression - to those who drink the Kool-aid - that the company appreciates hard work as well as results, but in reality, they're no different from any other company who stack ranks their employees based on all sorts of subjective opinions. Reviews are full of BS and are mostly written after ratings have been determined. Eventually, the only engineers with rewarding careers at Amazon tend to be the fortunate ones whose managers know how to game the system, rather than play along with it. Everybody else eventually leaves - burned out and under-appreciated.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Shift the culture away from top-down, middle-management-heavy dynamics, and start fostering more focused and creative teams from below. Reward more. Promote more frequently from within. Recognize who the incompetent bozos are among management, and stop rewarding them more than your developers. Stop force-feeding the Kool-aid. Few are buying it - they're only playing along because they don't trust that you'd reward them for honesty.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

4163 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Push yourself to the limits while dealing with stretched goals

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • 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 full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazon promotes leadership skills to every job type and level. It sets clear guidelines as to what is expected out of one's job role to become a good leader. Amazon values its culture fit and put a lot of efforts in hiring people who resonates with these leadership principles. Goal setting is pretty aggressive and pushes people to their limit to achieve that goal.
    For a young software engineer Amazon has all that is needed to grow in the industry and excel in her career.

    Cons

    Work-Life balance couldn't be maintained all the time since Goals are aggressive. It is in the philosophy to have stretched Goals (and not easy goals) so everybody is under more or less stress. One has to handle this stress in order to survive in Amazon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Giving good compensation and focusing on employees' workplace satisfaction would help the employees cope up with this increased stress. Somehow Amazon's higher management does not seem to value its employees' well being. This reflects in poor workplace amenities in various offices in comparison to other big companies like Google or Facebook. Frugality is taken to its extreme in this sense. People leave the company when they cannot cope up with the stress though the work they get may be challenging and satisfying.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 15 people found this helpful  

    Work, Work and have no fun, life

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Amazon will let you bring your pet to work. The dress code is very casual. The downtown area where headquarters are located is beautiful.

    Cons

    This company has grown so fast, it has placed incapable individuals in high and mid level management roles, that makes things very stressful day to day. Managers only care to blame someone to cover their own shortcomings. The work atmosphere is anything but fun it feels like a sweatshop. There are too many managers and very few employees who do the actual work. Most people working there are impulsive, irritated and burnt out from overwork. It is not a family oriented company, work days are very long and stretch into weekends, one person’s work load normally equates to 2-3 people’s worth of workload, if someone complains about workload, they are told that everyone around here works 2-3 people’s worth of work, so go back and work harder. Eventually, everyone burns out and looks for better jobs elsewhere. This causes a constant churn of employees, new people are constantly being brought in and there’s never a stable team.
    Moreover, there is no recognition of employees. Even after delivering stuff, there is hardly any feeling of achievement because it is not attributed to employees and they are not recognized.
    Too many layers of managers who do nothing but micro manage their employees and play dirty politics. The annual review process is completely flawed, it favors connected and old timers over the new employee. Pay raises are very low to none, promotions are only given to people who are not qualified but are well connected to the top. This company has such an excellent customer service for outside customers but it has most terrible service for the "inside” employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating your employees as disposable assets, you do not have to constantly recruit people, treat your employees well and they will stay longer with the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves 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.