AWS Elemental Reviews | Glassdoor

AWS Elemental Reviews

Updated September 25, 2017
16 reviews

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AWS Elemental Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Sam Blackman
Sam Blackman
12 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Best Technology Company in Portland"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent benefits
    Challenging work
    Capable and collaborative
    Best technologists
    High caliber, high performing employees
    AWS ownership
    Not a bro culture
    Beautiful facility in the heart of downtown Portland
    Working on the cutting edge of the video industry
    Good opportunities for career growth
    Values community investment and giving back

    Cons

    Intense work environment -- not for everybody, only high achievers
    Be strong in maintaining work / life balance. Hours can be long
    Sometimes it's too cold in the office

    Advice to Management

    Keep the lines of communication open between teams
    Don't allow the company to lean too heavily to an engineering-driven org
    Continue aggressive diversity and inclusion initiatives


  2. "Great Portland based Amazon subsidiary with startup feel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great location, job perks, laid back working environment, very cool technology, great Amazon based benefits, decent comp package, focus on community and contribution, very nice secure bike storage room in basement

    Cons

    Very few downsides - Amazon style work environment of lining desks up next to each other in big open rooms can be a bit distracting sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on change management and quality employee retention through periods of integration and change. Devise clear plans of accountability for middle leadership that focus on mid-long term planning

  3. "Best company I've ever worked for, by a mile"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    AWS Elemental is all about the right stuff: diversity, inclusion, community, giving back, developing its people, providing a great environment to work in, and so on. They treat us so well.

    Cons

    None for me. There is definitely a strong emphasis on working in the office, so if you like to work from home it's probably not the right place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing, and thank you for doing it.


  4. "Great execution and possibilities at expense of balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Marketing in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AWS Elemental full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Great leadership
    - Seemingly limitless possibilities
    - Tech-geek culture
    - committed and amped up colleagues
    - High energy
    - The Elemental perks were great, not sure if they're still as good with the AWS'ization of the company

    Cons

    - "Too" many possibilities with deep AWS pockets resulting in less common purpose and focus
    - Unforgiving core encoding market where customers treat it as commodity, which it is not, with lots of innovation still needed
    - Bit of group think where energy and excitement is expected
    - Too Portland-centric, not necessarily a bad thing if you're in (and like) Portland

    Advice to Management

    Walk around and talk to employees more, tolerate different viewpoints more


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Smart team
    Excellent compensation
    High-potential industry
    Growing company
    Leadership is exemplary

    I believe the few negative reviews on this site are from low-performers that don't belong to the organization.

    Cons

    I recently joined and maybe I will change my mind later, but as of today I don't see any significant cons.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on keeping on :)
    Senior management is excellent!


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Bait and Switch: Toxic Harassment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AWS Elemental full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent compensation, but not worth the environment that provides it.

    Cons

    A very different environment was presented to me in the interview than what was reality. Despite being told that Amazon's (which had acquired Elemental) environment probably wouldn't take hold, I found myself solidly on a team that had the environment you read about in the news.

    Constant attempts to coerce me into throwing coworkers under the bus ...

    Attempts at forcing me to take on roles that I had no skills in (and had communicated in the interview that I had no interest in taking), while being belittled when I requested more training ...

    Being told I should just work more hours and to "just figure it out" if I wanted to catch up to these unrealistic expectations (after being told in the interview the company only expected me to work 40-hour weeks) ...

    Constant belittling and insults ...

    Not every team has this problem. But ask hard questions in the interview about management style and watch the response. I wish I'd paid closer attention to the red flags that presented themselves in the interview.

    I do not regret walking away. I do regret not listening to the red flags that were in the interview.

    Advice to Management

    See above.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "SDE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer I
    Current Employee - Software Engineer I
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The kitchen is good, as well as the Friday lunch activity. And you can have a flexible working schedule. You can have PTO and you can choose when to come and go.

    Cons

    Their management is a mess, since the manager know nothing about your products. The company's product is also not good enough. Most workers don't know what they should do and what they need to do everyday.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Engaging and growth oriented."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Care about employee growth.
    * Managers who care about your work.
    * Many Company sponsored events.
    * Fun and intelligent Co-Workers.
    * Exciting projects, and products that make you want to come to work every day.
    * Managers give you the reins, and you can manage your own time.

    Cons

    Not too many cons. Company is growing, work is challenging, I think this is the best company that anyone will find in Portland.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the culture, events, great communication going. That's what makes this a great company.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Probably one of the most engaging places to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time

    Pros

    -Extremely smart & enthusiastic coworkers
    -Not sure why others feel as they do about management, but I have never had a bad experience here. My managers have always been highly competent & fair.
    -Extremely competitive pay now that we are part of Amazon. I seriously doubt anywhere else in Portland pays as highly as they do
    -Cohesive company culture, with tons of perks & benefits.
    -My PTO actually increased as a result of the Amazon acquisition

    Cons

    -As others have said it's not a come here & take it easy company. Most people work 8 hr days, but everyone works hard, and you need to be willing to put in effort as needed.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work - don't lose the culture you're worked so hard to build.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "A fantastic place to work for driven, growth oriented engineers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AWS Elemental full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've been with Elemental as a software engineer for a while now (long before the acquisition). I'm mainly writing this review because I read the anti-Amazon reviews and was shocked. The company has well more than doubled in size since I started, and I was becoming really concerned about how process and structure were adapting (or not) to the company growing as quickly as it was. I have seen concrete improvements in process and team structure since the acquisition. I believe we would have gotten their eventually, but I think Amazon's experience as a large company helped us to adapt more quickly than we would have been able to on our own. There are a couple of things that are a little worse than they were before benefits wise (see cons), but overall, I feel better about the company now than I have in quite a while, and I think a large part of that has to do with the acquisition and other recent changes / process improvements.

    Pros:
    * interesting technology
    * smart, hard working coworkers
    * business development / sales side is really strong. It's nice that people actually buy the stuff we produce.
    * great career growth potential
    * REALLY good maternity / parental leave benefit
    * 401K matching
    * solid health / vision / dental plans
    * company provided short term / long term disability insurance, as well as life insurance
    * really fun company culture. Things like Friday lunch talks, employer funded meetup groups (for game nights, movies out, etc), frequent happy hours and parties for releases, a CEO who knows your name, education and conference reimbursement, engineering offsite trips
    * the typical tech benefits: free massages, stocked kitchen, Stumptown cold brew on tap, beer, coffee tabs at two different shops, lots of (surprisingly nice) SWAG, etc

    Cons

    * sabbatical is no longer a "thing" now that we are Amazon (we did get paid out for accrued sabbatical time, which was nice)
    * it would be nice to have a little more PTO
    * you will work really hard here, and managers will have high expectations for your work. Not a work / life balance company so much (it has been this way as long as I've worked here)

    Advice to Management

    I think the direction things are going is good. Keep taking into account the suggestions of those of us in the "trenches". Continue to focus on preserving the good company culture that we have as we move forward.


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