Amazon.com
3.3 of 5 3,203 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

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16 people found this helpful  

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

Software Development Manager (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

ProsVery 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.

ConsRidiculously 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 Senior ManagementShift 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    2 people found this helpful  

    A busy, constantly on the move type of job.

    Warehouse Picker (Former Employee)
    Whitestown, IN

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


    Pros: Pros: decent pay, good people, good exercise. You get some… Cons: You don't really get a break. Your feet hurt after awhile, your lunch break is… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Push yourself to the limits while dealing with stretched goals

    Software Development Engineer II (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for 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… 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… Advice to Senior Management: 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… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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