Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,800 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

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84 people found this helpful  

Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others

Software Development Manager (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

ProsAmazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

 - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
  - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
  - A chance to make a huge difference
  - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
  - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
  - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

Cons- You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
- Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

Advice to Senior ManagementStack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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131 people found this helpful  

Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

Marketing (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

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


Pros: The name will precede you. This company can legitimately be called a "Disruptor" and perhaps even a world-changer. Customers love it and it's amazing to… Cons: "Work-life balance" means different things to different people, so I'm not going to say it's bad here per se. That said, long hours are the… Advice to Senior Management: It's great to work at a place that highly values customer experience, so please keep that up. Work on your compensation - it's not competitive… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More

  • Culture & Values
         
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1 person found this helpful  

Interview process

Executive Producer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year


Pros: Very methodical, very thorough. Appreciated the screening based on leadership principles. Process provides great overview… Cons: Long process for all day interviews. More time for questions… Advice to Senior Management: Add an orientation to how levels work in the company. – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More

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