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Amazon Cambridge Reviews

Updated February 22, 2018
28 reviews

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Cambridge, MA

3.5
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
18 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • While my work-life balance is great - others are having a different experience (in 2134 reviews)

  • Sometimes no work life balance and manager will not let you work overtime (in 444 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "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.


  2. "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.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "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?


  4. Helpful (2)

    "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.


  5. "Amazon is an great place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    - Professional Development/growth
    - Learning Opportunities
    - Flexible work schedule
    - Leadership Principles
    - Excellent work environment

    Cons

    I do not have anything bad to say about Amazon.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring and developing the best talented employees.


  6. "Smartest people I know who just get stuff done without politics"

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

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

    Pros

    speed of doing stuff
    lack of bureaucracy
    career growth
    insanely smart people
    no BS environment. No politics

    Cons

    See above - re: Smartest people. Always have to bring your "a" game or someone will call you out on it. but that is actually good. different teams have different cultures so make sure you know which team you will be on

    Advice to Management

    Pay us more - google and facebook are always knocking on my door and throwing money at me


  7. "Sr. Technical Program Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    I've been with Amazon Alexa team for about 3 months now and am having a very positive experience!
    Work: Engaging with lots of learning and so much potential now and in the future. Best way for me to feel part of the team was to get a project/work where I could contribute. It was great I got to work on an initiative which did not need Amazon Alexa knowledge in depth but leveraged my experience to streamline and optimize a process improvement in my team.
    People: Brilliant yet humble and helpful. Most everyone goes out of their way to help you get on-boarded and make you feel part of a team
    Management: Leadership is very clear with their expectations. They give new comers enough time to get accustomed to the Amazon was and also explaining why things are done the way they are. They give teams enough independence to operate and execute without teams going willy-nilly. They also hold teams accountable with relevant metrics and status meetings.
    For working parents there is ample Work Life Balance opportunities and never left stressed about family while I've been here.

    Cons

    No a con per say but something to know... Alexa is growing rapids and learning curve is steep so be prepared to work smart and hard with brilliant people!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the positive work atmosphere and the high bar in recruiting which helps make Amazon a good and smart place to work!

  8. "Great people, management, and execution"

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

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

    Pros

    Very smart people, everyone is nice, and the pay is great.

    Cons

    It's a huge company that is still growing. Not for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Keep making it easy for employees to pick projects and move around when they are not happy.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointing to say the least"

    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
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    You can put Amazon on your resume. You work with some really smart people.

    Cons

    NO process. Chaotic. There is not ability to say no to the science teams so you are constantly trying to pull off a miracle. The job is barely explained to you during the interview process so won't necessarily know what you are doing until its too late. The work load isn't scalable...I currently have project scoped out at 100 hrs a week which was brought down from 165 and I was supposed to be thankful for that.

    Constant finger pointing amongst different organizations when issues arise. TOXIC.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp the job descriptions and title. Hire the right people for what the job REALLY is. Do not take people away from good jobs to come and do demeaning work that causes career regression.


  10. "You Get What You Put In"

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

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, many team options, good coworkers, flexibility

    Cons

    Peak month can be rough


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