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6 people found this helpful  

Some great teams, and a lot of terrible teams

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

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

Pros

Great tools for programmers. A lot of them are very proprietary, but the concepts are there, and the whole software ecosystem meshes together well.

Some really smart people scattered throughout the company. I've learned a ton being here.

If you find the right team, you can build products that customers love and have some say in how they're built. If you find a small team that's missing say a project manager, you get the chance to take on different roles.

The "leadership principles" - while receiving a lot of scorn from some employees - are awesome guiding principles for how to act. They're burned into my brain for the rest of my life.

Cons

Lots of crappy programmers. Blind leading the blind means many college hires get indoctrinated with bad practices

Here's your choice of teams:
  - Small agile teams that are building cool products quickly
  - Massive orgs that have built themselves into corners and make every simple task take days to get right
  - Teams owning some of the oldest software in the company with crazy high attrition rates (think avg 6-8 months)
  - Teams that grew too fast and have 10 awful hacks for every good programmer, causing nightmares for whoever's on call

If you're looking to work at Amazon, you NEED to talk to the manager/coworkers on the team you're being hired for. If they look defeated and sad, look elsewhere!

Advice to ManagementAdvice

The best teams are small and agile. Building a huge organization and trying to coordinate across it just gets you in the area of diminishing returns. Asking people to move quickly and hamstringing them by forcing them to use crappy tools is pretty Orwellian.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

3488 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Brutal

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The company is very customer centric, and tries to do the right thing for the customer. If you find right manager and mentor, you can build a good rewarding career here. The key is, right manager and mentor. Amazon is not a bad stepping stone to other companies where you can grow technically.

    Cons

    The work culture is brutal here. Sub-standard hardware, open rooms with lots of noise and chaos. Hard to get any work done. Everyday seems like a fire drill. And to add to that, middle management has no clue and is running around like chicken without a head. Managers have no vested interest in nurturing and developing their employees. You basically have to fend for yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Attrition is high for a reason. Understand what motivates your employees and invest in their development. If you want to be a technology company, understand your biggest asset is your employees. And hire managers who have vested interest in developing their employees, and value different work styles rather than trying to fit everyone into one mold.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Growing so fast that middle management is poor

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

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

    Pros

    Startup feeling in a company with tens of thousands of employees
    A great community especially in Seattle, outside of Seattle in other offices the feeling is a very stark difference to the Amazon culture (could be a con)
    Lots of projects, sky is the limit!

    Cons

    The company likes to promote within for middle management but does not commit to training these managers to be good managers. Managers rarely can be an individual contributor and a manager effectively at the same time however there does not seem to be the same focus into bringing management on par with the ideals of Amazon. In the last couple months I've been told don't worry about the customers, be selfish, the team doesn't need to know why you are making these decisions, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a strong look at the course of the company and remind middle management to stop changing the bar to suit their needs and twisting the leadership principles.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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