There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

1 person found this helpful  

Great company with minimal perks

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

I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern

Pros

Technology:
It is extremely easy to move laterally between teams and divisions. Because the company is so diversified you will have the opportunity to work on any area of technology you can think of: Web applications, cloud infrastructure, web browsers, tablets, consumer retail (at ridiculous scale), builder-tools, etc. Furthermore, they work in mainstream languages and leverage a lot of open-source software, so the skills you develop will be portable both inside and outside the company

Customer Focus:
Amazon is extremely customer-focused. As a result, they are extremely externally competitive. Even as an entry level developer, you will be aware of how your work impacts the customer. This stands in sharp contrast to some other big tech companies with extremely long release cycles. It still has a startup feel despite being a truly massive company.

Talent:
Despite having the reputation of having a difficult interview process, not all of the intro-level employees hired right out of college are all that impressive. However, the higher-level employees are all incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, and eloquent. It seems that the evaluation process does a good job in selecting truly outstanding individuals. If you are confident in your abilities, this is a plus (although it is not unique to Amazon).

Work-Life Balance:
This varies DRASTICALLY by team. If you are working on load-balancing for the consumer retail site, expect to work crazy hours during Q4. However, you can select any team you would like, and there are plenty of teams where people work standard 8-hour days. On those teams, hours are extremely flexible.

Cons

Perks:
Free bus pas and an occasional team outing, but that is absolutely it. There is no free food, free haircuts, free massages, etc. This doesn't actually bother me all that much, but if you care about perks then you will be sorely disappointed.

Lack of Transparency:
Amazon is very tight-lipped about almost everything. Information is disseminated on a need-to-know basis, so don't expect to play with new devices before they are released unless you are working on them or get tons of details on the company's performance. Other than the metrics for your own team, you will know about as much as the public knows.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

3666 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Not great, but not terrible either.

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

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

    Pros

    Pay is some of the best in the industry for a new grad, up there with Google and MS. Benefits are decent.

    Most teams work normal 40-hour weeks, unless you get unlucky enough to get put on a team with an insane workload or on-call rotation.

    Cons

    The culture hates developers and treats them like second-class citizens. Due to Jeff Bezos's obsession with miserliness (which he mistakenly calls "frugality") you will be given one standard monitor, one slow desktop, and one slow laptop with not enough RAM. If you want anything else, take it from an intern's desk after he/she leaves, or buy it yourself.

    In the same vein, funding to fix "developer pain" issues is non-existent. Could everyone's job satisfaction or productivity be vastly improved by having a few developers work on environment, tooling, or build system issues? Doesn't matter! You can either voluntarily spend your free time working on it, or do without. Actually lots of business-critical internal tooling is maintained this way, by "volunteers". Be prepared for tools you use every day to fall over when whatever random guy maintains them leaves the company! Management doesn't care. All hail "frugality"!

    Your manager will probably technically be a former engineer. But teams are informally run by business people here, not engineers. They love to strong-arm engineering managers into committing to dates for project launches without spending an appropriate amount of time investigating and scoping out the work.

    Oh, and the main reason projects take so long is because given a choice between spending two months on doing something correctly, and one month on some horrible hack that makes it kinda work but convolutes your entire architecture, guess what the non-technical people who run your org will pick EVERY time... It's gotten to the point that we have business code no one understands or is willing to touch, simply by "death by a thousand cuts" with no time ever allocated for refactoring.

    Don't even get me started on the space... I hope for your sake that you get put in one of the new buildings that are "only" normal high-density seating, not Amazon high-density seating. Otherwise, your work environment will sound like a high school cafeteria and be about as productive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give engineers what they want! You have a tech employees' survey; actually listen to it, even if it would cost you a bit more money. Giving programmers nice tools and offices would already go a long way towards happiness, and cost you barely anything as a percentage of salary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Work hard and Play hard - no joke

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    This is a fast moving company that allows you to think big and run with it if your ideas are sound, and can make a difference. There is plenty of support to grow and you are encouraged to work on projects and in areas that excite you.

    Cons

    There is no such thing as work life balance for most departments here. This is a 24/7 business and the delivering the best customer experience is demanding.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion 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.