There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

10 people found this helpful

Great people, horrible technology

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

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

Pros

Intelligent, helpful colleagues. There was not one person there whom I disliked working with.

Excellent hardware provisioning and IT support. I was all setup within a day.

Contemporary building. Good local dining, daycare, petcare... It would be easy to get an apartment nearby and live within walking distance of all necessities.

Nice (easy to update) wiki.

Standard best practices envisioned in the training documentation.

Great opportunities to advance rapidly. If you can tolerate the outrageous inefficiencies and disarray of Amazon, the employee churn alone will advance you quickly.

Alluring sign on bonuses - up to (possibly beyond) double your salary.

Company outlook is good. Amazon has top-notch customer service. They have mastered logistics and they are a logistics company, not a technology company.

Cons

Horrible technology stack. Runtime environments and build tools proprietary bastardizations of their open source counterparts with poor/no logging. In other words: You are always working on a fragile environment that routinely goes down entirely for no apparent reason. Countless hours are burned trying to recover your environment. Tremendously disruptive because there is almost always somebody dealing with their broken environment.

Best practices are not followed:
- There are few tests, and it takes lots of hacking just to get unit tests in place (forget about IT/functional/e2e as they use prod and customers in target regions as their testing ground).
- The teams are seated in open bullpens and tasked with ever-changing-priority duties. There is such a lack of cohesion that any upfront strategy discussed with anybody varies by individual.
- There is no scrum process beyond a quick bi-weekly summary of what you completed.
- Without tests, there is no guarantee that a newly-released version set will even compile. Colleagues get the bad news upon pulling the new bundle into their environment and watching it burst into flames.

On calls. Wear a pager a few weeks a month and be available 24/7 to troubleshoot all high severity issues. Remember the 'testing' approach? The high severity alarm goes off several times a day.

Golden handcuffs: A big upfront sign on bonus paid in full that tapers off over time. Get hired, receive chunk of money, spend it, discover unpleasantries, be financially imprisoned or pay back bonus and depart.

For these reasons, Amazon has earned its reputation as a meat grinder. Developers must be able to deal with spending several days/weeks accomplishing a task that, anywhere else, would be completed in a few hours. Furthermore, the ecosystem is hacks on top of hacks. Not to mention they are eagerly looking for somebody who is willing to migrate Perl to Java.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Try not to let the schizophrenic nature of this organization affect your wellbeing.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO
reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Cutting edge technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Challenging tasks.
    Sharp people to work with.
    You will always be on your toes.

    Cons

    On calls might be sometimes little hectic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need more employee feedback

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. best company I have ever worked for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    benefits by far the biggest pro. stocks, insurance, attendance policy, low stress, what else can I say

    Cons

    it is kinda boring, not overly satisfying work, I mean really, we process boxes. I hope your personal life is exciting because your job won't be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are not the only ones with good ideas

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

Work at Amazon.com? Share Your Experiences

Amazon.com

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.