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

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Helpful (15)

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

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Seattle, WA
Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

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

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com

  1. Helpful (16)

    Fired while still in training for asking for an hour of personal time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It was great to be able to work from home They take good care of their customers Will be in business for a long time

    Cons

    (Sorry this is so long-- I left my job of five years to work at home for Amazon and was fired while still in training. I want to let prospective employees know how very little it takes to get fired though, and how you may not even know it's coming. --During interview and recruitment, I was told I would be on a 'chat' team to assist customers with technical issues via instant message. This was not true and I was assigned to a frontline phone support team-- a horrible assignment and definitely not one I would have left my former job for. I really doubt it was intentional but it certainly something they should have told me. --They called me back a few days after the interview and asked if I could start two days later (!). I could not since I had been with my employer for about five years and wanted to give them two weeks of notice that I was leaving-- only fair since we had a great working relationship and they depended on me for many things. We're still friends outside of work. The recruiter agreed (or said they did, anyway) and rescheduled me for training so that I could give notice and I thought everything was looking good, until training started. --A little over a week into training, a situation with family came up and I needed an hour of personal time-- I asked for the time and was told how to handle these requests. A couple of days later, I was contacted by my manager (which is pretty funny because didn't know I had one until then) and they wanted to talk about my attendance issues-- surprising since I didn't know I had done something wrong (I didn't say this, of course). About 10 minutes into this call, my manager brought in someone from HR as well. It was immediately clear to me that this was a well-versed routine and that they were trying to pressure me into quitting (which I wouldn't). With the HR person on the call, my manager went on the offensive and immediately asked me why I punched in precisely 20 minutes early every single day--- a really strange accusation since it's completely untrue-- I signed in and out exactly when I was supposed to and I still wonder where this question came from. Did my manager have the wrong person, or was it just an attempt to throw me off or provoke me? I'll probably never find out. We were told in the training that we had a window of approximately sixty seconds to punch in and out, which is really not enough time since we had to use an RSA token and PIN to sign into their VPN (a little device that gives you a code to sign into their network), then had to remotely connect to our desktops, then finally login into a time-keeping site and hit the 'punch clock' button. After that, you had 4 minutes left to sign into four different communication platforms (email, group chat, instant message, and their knowledge bank. I can only imagine how many of the other trainees had similar experiences or worse... A shame since I was a huge fan of Amazon before I went through all this.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent about what criteria your employees are being judged on-- every other company I've worked with has been clear: "Do this. Don't do this." This is really important if you want your employees to succeed. Really doesn't make sense to me since Jeff Bezos is so data-driven and objective in judgment (it seems like to me, anyway).


  2. Challenging and Fast Paced - Great training ground

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager, Vendor Management in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Manager, Vendor Management in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great place to learn about retail, fast growth environment, high caliber colleagues, gold standard of e-commerce

    Cons

    not employee centric, not concerned about retentiona

    Advice to Management

    start paying attention to employee retention to avoid brain-drain


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

See Most Recent

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