Amazon Reviews in Cambridge, MA | Glassdoor

Amazon Cambridge Reviews

Updated October 8, 2018
33 reviews

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Cambridge, MA

3.9
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
21 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Work/life balance seems comparable to other places I've worked - not worse" (in 2447 reviews)

  • "I have no work life balance issues" (in 508 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Amazon machine learning team - great place to be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great learning opportunities, flexible schedule, wonderful colleagues

    Cons

    Not a place for academic research


  2. "Enjoyable work, great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Super collaborative ecosystem - everyone's working on a common goal, and therefore you can seek out people working on completely different parts of the product and discuss their work and / or collaborate. Speaking of my team, they are the nicest bunch of talented scientists.

    Cons

    Would like to spend less time in meetings

  3. "Work to Delight Customers"

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

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of smart people, good for building a network

    Access to cool in-house technologies

    Work on cutting edge products

    Good pay

    Cons

    Managers have high expectations. There is never not a lot of work to do.

    Lots of emphasis on Leadership Principles. If you get a job at Amazon, be ready to take them seriously

    Promotions and career advancement is as much about being in the right place at the right time as it is about doing great work


  4. "Life’s pretty good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SDE1 in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - SDE1 in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    $$, Smart people, brand (opens doors when you have amazon as experience on your LinkedIn)

    Cons

    Somewhat bad WLB, Lots of ops work pretty much everywhere, good teams just don’t get pages that often but that also means they put in more effort upfront for ops best practices.

    Promos are pretty hard (esp. L5 to 6).

    Some managers employ churn and burn strategies but they get caught out in tech surveys and such so if youre on the outside but have a buddy who works for amazon, ask them to check out the results for you.

    Advice to Management

    NA, L6+ at Amazon are pretty smart and know what they’re doing.


  5. "a lot of work but pays off"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applied Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Applied Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pays well. Rigorous performance review systems ensure that you don't get an abusive manager or lousy teammate. Your work will have a high impact as Amazon has a huge customer base.

    Cons

    Amazon's customer obsession drives employees to be over achievers. So the workload can get heavy from time to time.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "They expect you to last less than 2 years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are excellent, wide variety of areas that you can work in. Hours used to be flexible, location isn't bad.

    Cons

    Management changed policy without warning or reason, taking away flexibility that was previously available for more than a year. HR is very unhelpful when it comes to matters involving disability.

    Advice to Management

    Let your employees work in areas they can excel. Don't force burnout. Provide more support for skilled employees with physical disabilities.


  7. "Don't be scared about work life balance"

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

    I have been working at Amazon full-time

    Pros

    Smart and humble coworkers
    Managers want you to succeed
    Compensation
    Company wants to win
    Work life balance is great. My biggest fear coming to Amazon was the lame NYT story. From my experience it has no basis in truth.

    Cons

    You have to badge in every door. It gets annoying. If that is my bigfest con then you know its good.

  8. "Fun Work, Fun Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Data Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Data Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    The work is interesting, and the atmosphere is good. Colleagues are friendly and helpful. The benefits are pretty good.

    Cons

    The pay is not great.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Prestigious and Not Worth It"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Good benefits
    - Amazing coworkers: Really the best reason to work here.
    - Close to the T (Red Line)
    - Some managers are are really special and good. Not all of them, but some of them.
    - Prestigious name for your resume
    - Technically a job

    Cons

    - If you are a salaried employee, expect to be working minimum 50 hours a week. I know some people who work over 60. It's not healthy. It's only worth working here as an hourly employee, when you are capped at 40 hours per week.
    - Little upward mobility; rigorous and competitive promotion process
    - Inconsistent amount of work week-to-week: Some weeks there's over 40 hours of work to do and some weeks there's maybe 20 hours worth.
    - "Frugality" is honestly an evil leadership principle that justifies not paying overworked people enough
    - No one knows what they're doing, they're just making stuff up as they go
    - Unwilling to take action when people when they don't do their job or actively make more work for other people
    - There are only 6 paid holidays If you want a day off between New Year's and Memorial Day (January and late May) you have to dip into your own small pool of personal days
    - Lack of diversity
    - Sexism in workplace; men (most often white men) are offered more opportunities than women or POC
    - People avoid being direct at all costs. Complete lack of transparency.
    - Boring and repetitive work.
    - Everyone you know will ask you if you can get them Prime for free. You can't even yourself Prime for free.
    - "Job levels": Amazon doesn't see anyone at lower than a level 4 as a person. They are mistreated and not invited to many corporate opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    - You need to address the lack of diversity in the workplace.
    - You need to address the sexism in the workplace.
    - Spread the wealth, Bezos. Your employees aren't paid living wages.
    - Give more paid holidays.
    - Unhappy and overworked employees are not good employees.
    - Switch to using Slack, oh my GOD
    - Some of the best people I've ever met work here and they deserve the world. You need to show them that before they leave for better opportunities.
    - Why are the doors always broken? We work for the richest man in the world. Can't he fix this?


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Please Treat Your Employees Better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Data Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. The people at Amazon are amazing; the culture among the lower level staff is great. Almost everyone is incredibly friendly, very helpful, and very hardworking. There are a lot of people who are stars; they can do any task no matter how complex, and they are always willing to help you out or share their knowledge.

    2. Many of the people managers are also wonderful, they care deeply about their employees and their development, although they are limited by Amazon's organizational structure.

    Cons

    1. Amazon's organizational structure is incredibly frustrating. The DA position was created with no upward mobility in mind and as such it is almost impossible (and always time consuming) to move up in the company. Amazon makes employees interview multiple times in order to move beyond a certain level instead of just taking into account the strengths and skills of worthy people and promoting them. There are also so few positions available to so many talented people that almost no one who deserves a higher position gets one.

    2. Amazon cares little for its Data Associates. DAs are grossly underpaid for the work that they do, especially when compared to other similar positions in any other company in the surrounding area. Amazon counts on their brand recognition to draw in workers instead of maintaining any kind of competitive compensation or benefits. The organization also promised very flexible hours when I first started but when I left they had done a complete 180 and cracked down on time sheets, instituting a very inflexible set hours structure. Employees were given no other benefits to compensate for the loss of flexibility.

    3. Others are treated visibly better. DAs working in the same building as SDEs (or even seeing communications from other sites) can see how vastly inferior they are treated. SDEs are often provided catered lunch at events, larger salaries, and are treated with much more respect. DAs are often offered the leftovers from SDE events but cannot expect the same level of catering at their own events. They are made to obsessively time track to account for every single second of their day, whereas the SDEs are free to do as they wish.

    4. The role of DA has changed dramatically overtime but no changes in pay, benefits, opportunity, or recognition have reflected this. The DA position was originally created to be a glorified button pusher, just entering in data with little critical thought. Now a high performing DA is expected to specialize in various complex work flows, organize small-to-mid level projects, communicate cross-site, be able to train others on various workflows, and develop new and up and coming projects. The wage has remained the same since the DA position was created though the position has become more of a workflow specialist or coordinator position. Upper level management seems to neither understand nor care for this, as the same compensation is still being offered, the job description remains the same, and DAs continue to be undervalued and underdeveloped.

    Advice to Management

    You are wasting talent and you are losing out on opportunities to nurture success stories. You have many extremely talented individuals at your lower levels who would become amazing managers, project managers, coordinators, and trainers. Lower level management does a good job of advocating for their people and work their hardest to provide DAs with worthwhile resources, but upper level management (and indeed corporate management) ignore the needs of their employees.

    Amazon's treatment of its Data Associates stands in the face of their so-called "leadership principles."

    You want to "hire and develop the best?" Provide competitive wages to drawn in the best. Provide career opportunities for good performers and keep informed on the work people are doing and the way in which positions have changed so you can fill them appropriately. Remove the bureaucratic road blocks that stand in the way of upward mobility within the company.

    You want to "earn trust?" Earn the trust of your employees by developing and maintaining a cogent and adaptable organizational structure, treating your employees with equal opportunity and respect no matter their job title, and investing in their futures at the company.

    You want to "think big?" Think about your company in the long term. It might be "frugal" to shuffle people in and out of the DA position in the short term but you are losing out on smart and talented people. Retaining your best DAs means retaining workflow expertise leading to more accurate results, more mentorship support for others which allows them to develop more quickly, and higher employee satisfaction which in turn will attract even more talented players. If you aren't going to do it for the people--even though that should be enough--at least do it for the company image and success.


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