Amazon Engineer Designer Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Engineer Designer Reviews

Updated October 13, 2017
9 reviews

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Engineer Designer

4.5
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • We get to learn a lot of things on the job (in 420 reviews)

  • It really depends on the individual employees to maintain the work-life balance (in 335 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is not easy to maintain (in 1954 reviews)

  • There is nearly no work life balance (in 421 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Amazon is an amazing and innovative company, with a catch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Innovation & Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Innovation & Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I love the culture here. The Amazon philosophy is "it's always day 1," which in itself breeds innovation due to the inherent startup mindset. If you are looking for a fast-paced, ambiguous, and consistently fun environment to route the trajectory of your career, Amazon is the place for you. In the technology era, Amazon stands alone on the peak.

    Cons

    Politics and bureaucracy. As Amazon grows YOY, the increase in these facets are only going to get worse. The leadership principle "disagree and commit" is constantly losing traction, as more and more people jump on board, promoting everyone to have and express their opinion, thus making the lower lever workforce's opinions null. This isn't solely to blame on Amazon's growth though... The hierarchy that is taught and preached in higher education (such as MBA) is your boss is always right, which I think we all can agree is bullsh*t.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within, rather than hiring externally. The ramp-up time for new hires, and even more so with leadership is frankly too long. Although, this may be more applicable on my team than in general.


  2. "Great place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Industrial Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Industrial Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Top of the technology, get chance to work with complete supply chain, fast paced environment leads to a good amount of learning in short span of time.

    Cons

    Some times, fast paced culture make one to feel pressure in one's work.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Management Circus Sideshow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    An employment machine, hiring quickly and aggressively in such a way that it's net inevitably catches some amazing and diverse talent. Unfortunately, the same cog and wheel infrastructure, operated by ego-driven, immature and vapid managers who's main HR mantra is to find the weakest link and "manage them out." Truly disgusting .

    Cons

    Managers and Directors play petty mind games and favorites, in an effort to belittle and "break down" strong personalities. These are people you avoided in high school and college, who are now playing cliquish side show games to pit creative people against each other. I was literally told by my manager that they purposefully challenge people to see what their limitation are and what they're able to take. This includes pointing out weaknesses while not mentioning strengths and successes, lacking in any competent mentorship, and severe hierarchies (although they claim their a "flat organization" where you're encouraged to "talk with anyone above you"....don't believe it for a second, they all fear tarnishing their "image" and consider their position and yours in all their interactions....it's boot camp all day long).

    Advice to Management

    Obvious....one of your stated principles is "customer first"....and yet you treat your employees like barnyard animals. First, take a serious look at your HR team...they're butchers. Get rid of the "manage out" weekly stack ranking process...the fact that there hasn't been an uprising goes to show how easy it is to brainwash people. Grow up!


  4. "Hardware Design Engineer I"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Hardware Design Engineer I in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Hardware Design Engineer I in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Focus on customers rather than on stockholders is a huge plus. Instead of being profit driven, which can lead to cost cutting and lower quality products, Amazon focuses on delivering products that provide the best customer experience.

    My experience has been five stars, because I am in a job position best suited to my abilities, I am on a really great team with highly capable individuals, and my direct manager provides excellent feedback and advice.

    Cons

    If your manager doesn't push hard to get you a promotion, promotions can come very slowly. You might be doing that job a level higher for well over a year before the company finally promotes you to that level. Easy to get stuck in a level if you don't challenge yourself.

    Advice to Management

    I have noticed your efforts to improve the employee experience (the "customers" of the managers, if you will) by providing the best possible tools for the job, as well as by improving the work/life balance - something I value highly in any job. Keep listening to your employees and following through on promises for improvement. Don't push employees to churn out as much work as they can before breaking, push them to be better people - both professionally and non-professionally. A few people are so single-minded that their work is their life, and they love it; but the majority of people have many interests and valued social lives. You would do well to encourage top performance from employees during regular work hours, and reduce pressure to work extended hours for quicker results - it will improve your ability to retain the highly qualified people you were able to bring into the fold. An employer/manager who succeeds at improving a person will have far better results than one who only succeeds at increasing their workload.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Excellent company where invention and creative are a part of daily life."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Innovation and Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Innovation and Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart coworkers , great campus , salary and benefits.

    I have never been at a company who allowed such fast realization of ideas. Bring your idea well documented with supporting data and your are off to the races.

    Cons

    You MUST define your work life balance else you will end up working long hours. The manager and team you work with really make a difference , I currently have great work life balance.

    Frugality is taking to the extreme , cramped work areas do to growth , offices only for director level and above and still the word "office " to describe that space is a stretch.


  6. "Ever changing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior Display & Touch Mechanical Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Display & Touch Mechanical Design Engineer in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    intelligent colleagues, new office building

    Cons

    management direction and lack of clear career development guidance


  7. Helpful (3)

    "About what you'd expect when you sell your soul. You get a good price for it though."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Design Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money

    Cons

    Working conditions (small cubes), tools available (one-size-fits-all computers don't really fit all sizes), competence of project managers (disorganized, no formal requirements setting), the need to maintain your own systems (nighttime and weekend calls/pages), lack of testers, lack of support staff. Basically, engineers are highly skilled web developers and system administrators. The compensation scheme also doesn't put much emphasis on performance, so the compensation is pretty similar if you did a good job or a bad. And people who are jerks, who don't get along with anyone and disrupt teams, aren't handled. They stick around forever.

    Advice to Management

    Faster turnaround on evaluations, and put more emphasis on performance when determining compensation -- maybe move to larger bonuses (immediate bonuses -- 2-year-away stock doesn't count). Realize that a significant percentage of the best developers in the industry change jobs every 2-3 years. Make Amazon a place they want to stop in.
    Give developers more freedom to get more tools. You spend over 150K/year on them, but won't give them another gig of RAM? or a third monitor?
    Invest in TPMs. They need to be technical and understand requirements.
    Make it easier to get rid of people.
    Why can't we have more webdev's to do html?
    Why do most of us have pagers and not support staff who aren't developers?
    Why don't we have more testers?

  8. Helpful (11)

    "More of operational work for SDEs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Design Engineer in Bengaluru (India)
    Current Employee - Software Design Engineer in Bengaluru (India)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Exposure to E-commerce business, high scale applications and AWS technology(If most of the things are already built in your team, you may just get awareness of how the systems are working but no real hands on. New systems are mostly developed by senior members of the team)
    2. Leadership principles which you can apply at any other workplace.

    Cons

    1. No work life balance...Heavily stretched work hours even if you are not oncall. It's common for a manager to come to you at 6pm and asking you to complete a task by EOD,
    2. Oncall - Need to be on support for a whole week(rotated among team members)..For high severity issues your availability is expected 24x7. You may have to wake up at midnight to check why a host is down.
    3.You may spend more time into operations and understanding amazon business. I wonder if 10% of a SDE time really goes into coding/designing..
    4.. Everyone- SDEs/Managers/Ops team have work pressure..Even a coolest manager may yell at you..
    5. Frugality - workplaces are crowded..it's disturbing at times when some SDEs do louder conversation to make whole floor listen about the cool thing they are talking about..Need to open a ticket even to get a water bottle. ..No admin/supporting team for employees..If you had worked at some other company you will find it strange that to get a HR address proof letter you need to prepare it yourself, take a print and go to HR for a signature..
    6. No performance bonus. Also one would not get any additional stock award in the first 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    Realize the importance of work life balance..


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Engineers can learn from the best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Design Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Design Engineer
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Learn about scaling and customer obsession. good work environment for junior engineers, there is a lot to learn within Amazon. Open culture for engineers to learn and exchange. The best place to be to understand retail, and yet has some very interesting teams

    Cons

    Long hours, little fun. Too frugal. Engineers operate in silos. You barely know the people in the next office. If you are in a service that requires to inter-operate with other teams, you have a tough time. Its very hard to get roadmaps aligned and it requires frequent iteration. The usual answer you can expect is "we dont have this on the roadmap for this year"

    Advice to Management

    Create opportunities for fun time