Amazon.com

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The best and worst of times

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

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

Pros

In most places challenging problems with motivated and competent colleagues working toward the common goal of making the most customer centric company in the world. Good rewards for implementing good ideas quickly. Culture encourages collaboration and access to intellectual resources. Competitive benefits with stock grants that reward pay for performance. The pace is usually exhilarating

Cons

Like most dynamic software companies the need for speed and impatience with failure biases work-life balance heavily to work at all technical levels evidenced in increases rates of fatigue and irritability. The pace reduces the time to recover. Q4 can be exhausting.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Pay attention to average fatigue and irritability. See if reducing the average increases productivity.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

3961 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great place but can be tough

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great compensation, dogs at work, challenging work

    Cons

    As company grows, they are becoming a bit bureaucratic in some areas. Women do ok here but it's not great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to developing women

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Dishonest in Hiring

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cloud Support Engineer
    Former Employee - Cloud Support Engineer

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazon as a whole is a great company, but only worth joining in the right departments.

    The good news is you can move after a year. If you go into AWS Support, work on networking and self promotion outside of AWS Support, then get out as fast as you can. *Never tell anybody you hate support. It's important one pretends to like AWS Support, then transfer as soon as possible.*

    If your transfer doesn't work out after a year in AWS Support, you still have a deeply discounted relocation to the Pacific Northwest or Northern Virginia thanks to Amazon. Expect to pay some back if you leave before 2 years, indentured servitude is central to the retention strategy.

    Cons

    Many departments are terrible. I stupidly joined AWS Support as an stepping stone into Amazon when I should have waited for the job I wanted instead of waiting to transfer. During the interview, they will say over and over, "this is not a call center!" It's a call center, a very densely packed call center. If you want to be a star, you stay at your desk and respond to as many customers as possible. Don't forget to praise your managers, they have no idea what's going on or what you do, they might not even know where they are most days, but they go crazy for giving them the same insincere praise they give each other and employees.

    The job is easy, they don't want people who can think and they've done very well in hiring the people they want. The entire job is linking to documentation or external blogs. Most of the customers are lazy, hence the need to pay somebody to Google phrases on their behalf. As long as you make the customer believe they are special and you care, you might get a 5-star rating, which is very serious in AWS Support. You don't have to do a good job, you just have to make the customer think you did something special to get that 5-star. Then your manager will give you a pat on the head, you'll oblige their condescension by feigning appreciation for their rote praise.

    If you get a 1-star rating, your managers will remind you of your terrible inadequacy. It doesn't matter why you get a 1-star, just that you did. They usually don't investigate the 1-star, you're told to have more "Customer Obsession" or some other such nonsense. It's the same coin as the 5-stars, just a different side of the same coin. Nobody bothers to understand why you have a 1- or 5-star rating, they just give false praise for 5-star rating or sincere, but ignorant, condemnation for 1-star ratings. From this, I realized most managers could be replaced with simple scripts that send a predefined message on IRC for 1- and 5-star ratings. The desks AWS Support could recover from newly automated managers would each seat four more support engineers.

    Literally anything goes to get the desired numbers. "Engineers" are encouraged to get many "actions", if that involves writing as many short emails as possible, that's good if it creates more "actions." No matter what a customer asks, everything is working well and every product is completely without flaws. Never give cautionary advice about AWS services, if a customer asks about a potential downside do whatever you can to avoid admitting any imperfections.

    The pay and benefits are terrible. There's no tuition reimbursement, the 401(k) is bad, the pay is low, the vacation days are few, the health insurance is almost worthless, and you get an insultingly poor Amazon.com discount code.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop pretending to care about quality and then whining about "actions". Stop playing favorites. Stop treating adults like children. Stop the obvious lies, nobody believes anything you say. Take training seriously.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

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