There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

2 people found this helpful

Great company with minimal perks

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Intern - Software Development Engineer Intern in Seattle, WA
Current Intern - 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
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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    Generally satisfied Amazonian here...but I can only speak for my team

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

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

    Pros

    As mentioned in the title, I've only worked on one team at Amazon, and it is in the context of a new/secret project, so I'm not sure my experiences are representative of the company as a whole. That being said:

    - Fast pace
    - Plenty of responsibility
    - End-to-end project ownership
    - Smart co-workers

    Cons

    - Not the most "positive vibe"
    - Collaboration with other teams can be a bit adversarial (I guess this is a slightly less vague example of my first con)
    - Work environment: open work space (lots of interruptions), frequent moving (on a rapidly-growing team, anyway), dearth of conference rooms
    - Focus on code quality tends to lapse severely in the face of totally arbitrary deadlines -- and isn't usually accounted for at all during planning

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Pays well. Depends on your team.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Pays well.
    They cover housing for you, bringing your intern salary to about 100k if full time.
    Opportunity to learn a lot.
    Flexible work schedule. (can come in late. can work from home. can leave early if you need to)
    Tons of smart people
    Employees care about the customer
    You get full disclosure on your performance
    real work as an intern - your team will give you a project to work on that they had on the back-burner but still want done

    Cons

    The pros are largely universal. The cons will depend on your team.
    If you have a great team, you'll have a great time. If you have a crappy team, you'll have a crappy time. I'm basing this off of what I know about my team versus what other interns told me about their teams.
    Either way, you'll need to be assertive. Ask questions. Get help when you don't know something. General rule is spend 30 mins trying to figure something out. Then if you haven't, go ahead and ask a someone with more experience.
    Your project may not be defined. You will have to get it defined. (i.e. figure out what you have to do for it to be complete). It can be hard to communicate with superiors as an intern, assuming you have little prior experience. A thought I basically had "I am inexperienced. I do not want to annoy anyone. I'll just try to figure this out on my own." This is incorrect. Your boss will know that already. Go ahead and don't be shy and you'll avoid lots of the problems.
    You may have to work longer hours depending on your project.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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