AWS Elemental Reviews | Glassdoor

AWS Elemental Reviews

Updated September 25, 2017
17 reviews

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3.8
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AWS Elemental Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Sam Blackman
Sam Blackman
12 Ratings

17 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. Helpful (2)

    "Horrible Environment Full of Lies and Backstabbing"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They pay people stacks of money to make up for selling out your soul.

    Cons

    Too many to list, but here's a few:

    - A beautiful office facade to make up for the fact you are all crammed in together in a loud, small, uncomfortable work space.
    - Eroding benefits and perks, thanks to Amazon's "frugality"
    - A power struggle between Amazon and Elemental management, with no one having a clue who's in control, what's going on and what the vision for the company is.
    - Amazon slowly integrating and consolidating jobs quietly up to Seattle HQ.
    - Managers lying to your face and stabbing you in the back.
    - Constant stress and pressure to deliver more, more, more, no matter how unrealistic.
    - Being hired for one role, then being forced to do things that have nothing to do with what you were hired for and being punished for failing to live up to those expectations.
    - Cult-like behavior in drinking the kool-aid and following the Amazon Leadership Principles, no matter how ridiculous.
    - Any remaining culture or uniqueness disappearing. The "Elemental" part is fading away.

    Take a less paying job and be happier while keeping some dignity.

    Advice to Management

    Amazon has control. Stop acting like they don't.


  5. "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


  6. 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!


  7. Helpful (8)

    "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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.


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