Amazon.com

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  www.amazon.com
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4 people found this helpful  

Used to be better

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Amazon makes cool software. If you time your moves right, there is a fair amount of mobility between teams within the company.

Cons

Amazon is switching to High Density seating. HD should be for data, not people. HD seating means developers no longer get their own cubicles, we have to sit in large bullpens that contain a dozen or more people. This is just terrible for both productivity and culture (everybody is too noisy, so productivity takes a major hit, but you also try to be considerate of your neighbors, so socializing takes a hit). They say this problem will go away when the new buildings start coming online later in 2014, but they really need to just rent more space now. At the rate Amazon is growing, those new buildings will fill up with HD seating just as soon as they're built.

On a similar note about Amazon's growth: it feels like we're in a phase of runaway personnel growth. This means we can't hire front-line managers fast enough to keep up with the development team expansion, and the development teams are getting to large for their managers to handle. Also there are a lot of fairly new managers who really don't know what they are doing. This is resulting in lots of developers not getting the help they need to further their careers.

Software testing is one of those areas that comes into political favor, and goes out again in a couple of years. In some departments, this means the QA teams get absorbed into the development teams (and then those people get assigned developer work and pagers). In other departments, this means that the QA team just doesn't get headcount expansion to cover new teams and team expansion. But the QA team is still expected to do some kind of coverage of these expanded and new teams. This means nobody is happy with the QA teams. Developers are frustrated because QA isn't keeping up, and is stalling releases. Development managers are put upon to provide more headcount for QA, or otherwise close the gap. QA is unhappy from being overworked and/or not getting the services covered. QA also doesn't have the bandwidth to do major process improvements that would improve their productivity.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Rent enough space to seat the software developers comfortably. High Density seating is eroding productivity and culture, and will probably result in much higher turnover in the near future.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

3945 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    It's Better as a Customer Than as an Employee

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Opportunities are endless in this rapid growth stage; it's a culture that supports rotating through different groups means that one will never be bored.

    Leadership principles are clearly understood. This means that despite the large size of the company, it's easy to transfer from one group to the other and understand what it means to be an effective Amazonian.

    Cons

    Decisions (both hiring and day-to-day business) feel robotic. As a result, the overall "emotional intelligence" needed to thrive in this place is low, and if you are an emotional person (or someone who thrives on positive feedback), this is not be the place for you.

    Because everyone is rated on a curve, there is little to no incentive (beyond a feeling of general satisfaction) to help your peers. As a result, it really is sink or swim. Those who do not display natural strength early on, are written off as not being smart enough of, or right for the company.

    There are a lot of wonderful, hardworking, loyal, and smart individuals who have been weeded out, and in their place are former military, former consultants, MBAs (I'm one of these, so this is simply an objective statement, not a judgment). It's the purely analytical type and those who are willing-to-accept-orders-under-any-circumstance type who will thrive here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One key leadership principle is missing: "help each other out"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Not a proponent of Telephonic Interview but thats how it starts at Amazon.

    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Challenging work environment
    Innovative products
    Technology leaders

    Cons

    Interview scheduling process
    Candidate role mapping

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage more initial face to face interviews and enhance the role vs candidate qualifications mapping exercise.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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