Amazon.com

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2 people found this helpful  

Smart people, challenging problems, long hours, good luck getting promoted

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Low tolerance for bs
Document-based meetings make sure people have thought things through
Very smart leadership

Cons

Managers are too busy to coach, or manage
Long, long hours
Un-even promotion bar across departments, low promotion rate to Sr. Manager or higher - bar is a lot lower for external hires into higher level position than in-house promotion

Advice to ManagementAdvice

If you find someone good enough to rate at the highest level for three consecutive reviews, promote them or coach them, or they will leave and work for your competitor.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

3960 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 14 people found this helpful  

    AWS review

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

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

    Pros

    - good pay
    - lots to do
    - empowered to make decisions and BIG ones
    - company is exploding and you can ride that wave
    - take on greater responsibilities
    - highly visible roles (to outside world)

    Cons

    - extremely political
    - cya mentality at the expense of the team - there is no i in team but everything is an i at aws
    - paranoia - mentality that everyone will screw them over
    - poor vendor relations - amzn squeezes every last drop of blood on every deal
    - they will pile on more and more and more and more until you are buried
    - most employees don't make it through year two
    - no life outside work
    - you must constantly be ready to defend yourself against someone throwing you under the bus
    - you will be put in a position where you may burn bridges due to negotiation of contracts
    - the promotion/title leveling up process is totally lame - similar to msft in that a fair amount is based on peer input and it only takes one negative person to essentially tank a promotion - also there is a fixed percentage of employees rated such that they'll advance, the rest remain in current slots or get managed out

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come judgement day you may have built the biggest company but you didn't get there by doing the next right thing at every step along the way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 14 people found this helpful  

    Great people and opportunities here but the company and structure can be a grind

    • 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 10 years)

    Pros

    Opportunities to do a wide variety of interesting projects due to the large scope of Amazon's business.

    Large population of employees who have broad experience. Someone who knows something you need is probably on a relevant internal list.

    Most people there are pretty nice. I know this sounds vague but this place has a refreshingly low jerk count.

    Cons

    While the company puts customers first, the same isn't done for employees.

    Burdensome operationally. You'll have a pager rotation which varies from awful to not too bad (other than you need to be able to log in at all times). Tons of overhead tasks like hardware planning, permissions audits, monitoring etc. These take a substantial amount of time and are about as uninteresting as it gets in engineering.

    Annual review process is political, confrontational and even hostile. Everyone is stack ranked. This is common in the industry but Amazon takes it to a new level. Other managers in your division are motivated to push you down the ranking scale to get their own employees higher up. They have incentive to trash you in the ranking meetings so you have to watch your back. There's high manager turnover so if you have a manager who is inexperienced at this process, you're at risk of being downgraded which happens quite often. They don't care much because they'll just higher many more brand new engineers. Nobody seems to care that the company is overwhelmingly staffed by relatively inexperienced engineers. If you're not, you're expected to mentor more and more of them and if you don't do that well, you will get a poor review.

    Promotions are extremely difficult. Other than from SDE I to SDE II, it's quite difficult to get promoted. I know many top notch engineers that have remained at the same level for 5-10 years.

    People do get promoted and many deserve this but there's an art to it. You have to be fortunate enough to have a champion there who is willing to sponsor you and support you and do an incredible amount of documentation proving why you deserve it. They'll also need to rebut inevitable arguments against your promotion by other managers (see above). Lots of the time the promotion won't happen. It's not explicitly quota based but that's how it works out.

    Obviously I have mixed feelings about Amazon. Ipet

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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