There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

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
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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    Miserable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Stower in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Stower in Fort Worth, TX

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

    Pros

    Though inflexible, management and HR were consistently friendly.

    Cons

    Inflexible management, respiratory irritants (heavy dust, chemical smells), rigid work schedule, short lunch break with no cafeteria options (with rigid sign in sign out requirements and a lot of walking involved - turning a 30 minute break into more like a 15 - 20 minute one), poor communication practices pre-hire (was not given HR contact info until a week before I started and 3 weeks after I've been hired - and then she never answered my emails), long wait after hire to start working (a month), insulting 1984 "ministry of truth" style propaganda at every turn ("Have Fun" is a motto posted on the walls of every room in the place and repeated daily after every team meeting - no one has fun being a machine for 10 hours without a real break to speak of), not given any say in work hours after starting (was not given option to switch to night shift)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A 30 minute lunch break in a 10 hour shift is sad and pathetic. Give employees the option to leave early for a longer lunch if they want. Get a cafeteria or at least offer more healthy vending machines options than the processed crap currently available, assign new hires an HR representative to get in touch with for any questions as soon as the initial interview is scheduled - and retain that person throughout the process. Do something about the dust or provide masks (a coworker I went through orientation only lasted 1 and a half weeks because of reactions to the heavy dust exposure, and I got sick myself). Stop with the propaganda. Give employees some options as far as their shift rather than simply assigning.

    On a broader note, stop selling everything regardless of how ethically it was produced or what kinds of harmful chemicals it was made with. You started out selling books, a noble profession indeed - but apparently that wasn't enough and now you've got your hands in everything. I joined because I heard the warehouse I was working in was for small items like books and dvds. I was saddened to find that was only a small percentage of what trafficked through that warehouse and that I had to work with. Most of my day was spent amongst needless and environmentally harmful consumer crap. So on many levels I was disappointed and unhappy with my experience there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Great

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon has an amazing culture and intelligent people. My clients are great and I thank them for what they taught me.

    Cons

    I haven't found any yet. Once I do, I'll be sure to let you know of my findings. I promise you!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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