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4 people found this helpful  

Used to be better

Software Development Engineer In Test (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

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

ConsAmazon 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 Senior ManagementRent 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    It's Better as a Customer Than as an Employee

    Senior Business Manager (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for 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… 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… Advice to Senior Management: One key leadership principle is missing: "help each other out" No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good learning experience.

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

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

    Pros: You get to learn lots of technologies very quickly. Very… Cons: Individual growth is very limited. It mostly depends on your… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More

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